Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sochi Snowflake Book Explained

A couple of people have asked me to provide a little more detail regarding the Sochi Snowflake Book that I completed for the Iron Craft 2014 #3 Challenge. Since I was running out of time to post for the deadline, I thought that I would take this opportunity to explain a little bit more about the design and rationale regarding the book.

First, I wanted a project that wouldn't offend so I purposefully chose to do a double sided book. In explanation, it could be the sanitized version vs the unsanitized version of the Olympics. I chose to only post the snowflake side on Flikr for the challenge so that people wouldn't be offended without explanation (in other words, they would have to view the blog where I could explain the protest side of the book).

The decorative paper is a paper from India that is embedded with little brass beads. The paper is really stunning but there are some drawbacks. First, the thickness of the paper makes turn ins a little difficult. Also, the little beads make the turn ins and paste downs even more difficult. If I had more time, I would have sanded the beads off of the turn ins so the paste downs would have been easier. The beads were supposed to represent the stars in the Russian sky during the Olympics.

As mentioned earlier, I cut out four different snowflakes for the book. I had to make a conscious decision because I had two options--four or six snowflakes (depending on which side of the book I wanted to illustrate). Since the cutting was the most time consuming aspect of the whole book, I decided to only cut four snowflakes.

I knew that the two middle most snowflakes should mimic the changing snowflakes from the Opening Ceremonies. I needed something similar and related. The two pointed stars seemed to fit the bill. The first one seemed denser and the second seemed more open as if it were expanding--just like the snowflakes that emerged into the Olympic Rings.

Once the two middle snowflakes were found, the other two snowflakes fell into place. One that looked like the Olympic torch (first snowflake) and one that looked like fireworks (the last snowflake). The pages look a little tinted from this side of the book. This was totally unexpected. The paint is actually from the reverse side of the book.

The reverse side of the book used images of protest found on the internet. Many of them were widely circulated so I wanted to make sure and utilize those. I wanted also to use a representative show of corporate support and decided to use the Google doodle to show the solidarity that some of the corporations provided. 

The pages were tinted with alcohol inks because I needed something that would dry fast and wouldn't warp the paper by providing too much moisture. I used a red, pink and burgundy palette to represent those that have been beaten and abused in Russia over the new gay propaganda laws.

Once again, to keep the added moisture reduced, I used spray adhesive to paste the images to the paper. The paper was Canson text weight paper.

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