For our May event, we were thrilled to have Rachel Hazell, the Travelling Bookbinder, to lead an exploration of the physical book, showing the diversity of mere paper folds and how they can aid different narratives, while giving everyone their own little book art to take home.
“You go to adult parties and don’t get goody bags,” says Rachel, “I think everyone should get goody bags.” And so, everyone did: full of book pages and tags that would become important throughout the evening.
Before we begin, Rachel explains a little on how she came to be a paper artist, through to a great revelation on a journey home. “I had a vision on the way home from Glastonbury. I’d kit out a double decker bus, have people come in and do some bookbinding, and then I’d ride off into the sunset.”
While it hasn’t unfolded exactly like that, she has travelled all over the world to teach people – and while she loved it, it was exhausting! Hence, the formation of her online course Paperlove, bringing her paper craft to everyone around the world with ease.
For the first half, we take plain A4 sheets and simply fold and cut them differently (once you’ve folded paper with a bone folder, you can’t go back – it’s so crisp!). Each creates a new little book format, where the style can actually aid the story being told – some have hidden pages, others have pop-up mini-books, where they can be the focus. Finally, we make an envelope to keep them all in, before delving briefly into pop-up book art.
A particularly nice anecdote on the kinds of uses for these new book formats comes from one of Rachel’s visits to a school in Alloa. She admits the children didn’t seem very into the books, many were just chatting to one another, but one girl was colouring in very intently. The cover was bricks, the first page was a puddle – it seemed really bleak. But inside one of these little compartments she’d drawn a secret sunny little garden. How nice!
For the second half, we get to delve inside our goody bag. We’re asked to divide our book page into eight sections and circle a word from each (which gains a gasp or two from book purists!). Then we write sentences featuring each one and, using one of the book models we’d just learned, put it all together into a little piece of book art. Everyone had a different page, meaning that no two books were the same. Add in the tags Rachel included, and everyone has their own unique little creation to take home.
A great night, and definitely one that opens up the potential of arty endeavours at home. Tie them with ribbon, give them their own little covers, the possibilities are endless in making your own books! To get involved with Rachel’s Paperlove course, or just keep up with her goings on, you can find all info here:
Thanks again to Rachel for hosting the event, and to everyone who came along for an arty adventure! Next SYP event announcement coming soon…