Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Iron Craft 2014 Challenge #10--Blue Butterfly Book (Project 20)

Blue Butterfly Book
(Three times the letter B)
Iron Craft Challenge #10 was sponsored by the letter B. We were tasked with creating something inspired by the letter B--either a technique, or color, or thing. I knew that I wanted to make a Book (the first letter B). I also knew that I wanted to make something Blue (the second letter B). I have been meaning to make this project for a while and knew that I had two weeks to make it happen. AND--it took me all of those two weeks to do so.

I have always been interested in Pop Ups and actually took a class in Paper Engineering at The Center for Book Arts in NYC. A second class that I took was a bookbinding class that dealt with a special type of book called the Star Book Structure. Like a tunnel book, the pages are mounted to each other in layers to present a diorama per page. When the book is opened cover to cover, the pages make the shape of a five sided star. I was going through my Japanese paper stash and saw this paper that had butterflies on it--therefore, the third B.

The first job was to cut out butterflies and attach them so they would "fly" once the pages were open. I used some butterfly designs from a Dover Publication book as the basis of my collection. The first step was to cut out the butterflies.
Butterfly 1
Butterfly 2
Butterfly 3
Butterfly 4
Butterfly 5

The second step was to create the background--or the layer behind the butterfly (what is seen in red above). I used a grass pattern from a previous project and printed it onto vellum. I then cut the vellum to size and mounted it behind the butterfly layer.
Butterfly with vellum background
The third step was to create the back layer. This is a window cutout layer that allows the light of a battery operated tea light to shine through the vellum and to illuminate the butterfly from behind. This is the trickiest layer because the window has to be precisely cut and the spine has to be folded unto itself so the tea light can rest of the shelf that is created by this fold.

Layers two, three and four
(illuminated with a tea light)
The fourth step is to create the front layer through which the butterfly flies. Once again, this layer is based on precision because the there has to be enough room for the page to open without putting too much stress on the hinges but also has to accommodate the "flying butterfly."

Fully opened book
In the picture above, you see the individual layers of each page. When the pages are open, you can see the butterfly flying past the first window creating a 3-D effect. You can also see why they call this book structure a "Star Book."
Illuminated book from above
The special treat for this particular structure is the illumination caused by the battery operated tea light. When I took the class for this book structure, I was playing around with this concept. The teacher said that she had never seen anyone make this structure in this way. As you can see--the light really does add some special interest.


kat said...

This is stunning! You really outdid yourself. I can really see why it took the whole two weeks.

Manisha said...

Wow! That's amazing and inspiring. I just recently started making books (other than my journals) and so I look forward to the day - years down the road - when I have enough skill to attempt something as wonderful as this.

Dr. Russ said...

Thank you for your kind words. Just start off with small book structures and keep at it and you will be surprised how your skills will progress. I am so happy that you are delving into more advanced book binding--although there is nothing wrong in taking pleasure in a well crafted journal.