Research and Development – Pocket Globes

I’ve been making miniature pocket globes for years. The real antique ones look like this:

pocket globe

pocket globe

pocket globe

. . .and mine look like this:

pocket globe

pocket globe

Today I decided to try an actual historical pocket globe. I made two, one in a cylindrical cardstock box, and one in a hollow sphere:

cardstock box

cardstock box

This one was pretty straightforward. I had to re-learn a basic rule – “Start from the inside and work out.” The first one I tried got too small for the globe pretty fast (this is the third try, I think). This accounts for the little ribbon sticking out of the side. It’s necessary to pull the globe out of the box.

The hollow sphere was a bit more complex:

hollow sphere

I tried one with terrestrial globe gores on paper glued to a piece of cardstock, and formed it over the wooden bead.

lining the sphere

I fastened the gores together with narrow strips of paper, burnished the seams, and lightly sanded it.

two halves

two halves

. . .then tried a second, neater one, with a celestial map gore lining:

second try

. . .and decorated the outside:

finished one

The only trouble is that the two halves won’t stay together. I’ll have to add a hinge and clasp. It looks something like a Faberge hand-grenade, huh? More and smaller (and better, we hope) authentic pocket globes tomorrow!

A Progress Report

Well, I’ve got to admit that new book ideas are thin on the ground. I had to abandon the Dewey decimal system pop-up for trademark reasons (who knew?) and I’m still waiting for the next blockbuster to turn up. While I wait, though, I’ve made a strange little piece – am alchemist’s satchel:

Alchemy Satchel

Alchemy Satchel

Alchemy Satchel

Alchemy Satchel

The Books

The Books

The Books

The Books

Satchel Details

Satchel Details

Unloading The Books

Unloading The Books

Pretty cute huh? I’ve never actually seen anything like this in history, but so what? And I loved using my little 1/12 guy as a model! He may turn up more frequently – but if I start making little costumes for him, lock me up.

Do The Dewey!

I’ve got a wild idea: a pop-up book about the Dewey decimal system. I’m not looking directly at it, but am casually wandering toward it sideways, whistling, so as not to startle it. So I’m beginning with form, not content.

I’m starting with a Turkish map fold, made famous in miniature books by Joy Serwylo, here found on the wonderful Green Chair Press blog

.

Here’s mine:

A Turkish Map Fold

A Turkish Map Fold

I want to glue one side of it to a page so that I can use the page itself as well as the outside of the fold for graphics:

Pop-up, Step One

Pop-up, Step One

Pop-up, Step Two

Pop-up, Step Two

But I also want the fold to stay flat until the reader opens it. The fold will not want to do this, so I have to figure out some mechanism to both hold down the fold and open it and make it stay open:

Tab

Tab

Tab Deployed

Tab Deployed

This is something I haven’t figured out yet. The interior of the fold will be bursting with an outrageous amount of cute and imaginative stuff about the Dewey decimal system (to be designed later).

It’s still amazing to me how thinking about mechanics leads me to designing content. All I had at the beginning of the evening was a vague  idea about the Dewey decimal system and pictures of the ideas in each class popping up out of the page. Now I know that I’ll put the class contents on the page/outer fold area and use some of the many interior folds to base pop-ups on. Maybe, unless I get a better idea later. . .

Out With The Old

I’m releasing several of Bo Press’s weaker producers from their contracts at the end of 2015. If you’d like a copy, each picture links to its page on the Bo Press website.

End-Of-The-Year!

Bo Press has been in business for nine years now, so it’s time for “The Ninth Year of the Bo Press”

This one's for Sonia!

This one’s for Sonia!

Endpapers

Endpapers

Title Page

Title Page

The Waldseemuller Map

The Waldseemuller Map

Go see more pictures, and maybe make a bid, here Or here.  Or here . . .

 

It’s Christmas In October!

Jim Brogan, of the Microbibliophile, asked me if I was going to make a Christmas book this year, as I’ve done in the past. I started to object that it was a long time till December 25, but then realized that wasn’t quite true. He has a long lead time for publishing the Microbib, and if I was going to get a Christmas book in the next issue, I’d better get moving.

So this might be my fastest book yet. My first thought was of Christmas cookies, because my mind just naturally tends that way, then I remembered a fun part of my childhood: making trees from old Sears catalogs.

I think this was something I did in the Girl Scouts, because none of the men I know remember doing this, but it was a good way to occupy crazed kids in the run-up to Christmas morning. You took the thousand-page, ten pound fall catalog and started folding each page diagonally, like a big dog-ear, till the top of the page was parallel with the spine. Repeat 1000 times,and you got what some pretentious people are now calling ‘book art’:

I combined these two ideas, and got this:

First Steps

First Steps

And it turned out like this:

Finished

Finished

I’ll decide how to package it tomorrow. I think I’ll put it in a slipcase, unfolded, so the buyer can do her own folding. Maybe a little gold star to put on top?

 

Had I But Known . . .

A couple of years ago I had the notion to make an Art Book. I took as my subject that ominous phrase beloved of old-fashioned romance novelists, “Had I but known.” I collected as many as I could find, and I made a single copy of this:

Had I But Known

Had I But Known

Had I But Known

Had I But Known

Contents

Contents

HIBK, as it’s familiarly known, was a fun little project, and some of the best box-making I’ve ever done. Unfortunately, it fell victim to my own inexperience when I included it with some other pieces I entrusted to a book arts store in Salt Lake City. The bookstore seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, and it serves me right for trying to sell anything on commission.

But no good idea goes to waste! I decide to resurrect HIBK as a miniature book:

Had I But Known

Had I But Known

Had I But Known

Had I But Known

Endpapers

Endpapers

A Page

A Page

It’s bound in a Japanese chiyogami paper printed with a stormy sea and crashing waves.You just know that nearby is a young woman in a 19th century nightgown running away from an enormous house with a single light in a window.  I’ll put it up on the website tomorrow.

 

Not Completely Useless

I haven’t been completely on vacation, just almost. I did make a bunch of decorative blank books, for strewing about your ancient library or your workshop or laboratory, if you’re a miniature alchemist or wizard:

Decorator Books

Decorator Books

I made three large ones:

Big Ones

Big Ones

. . .and five small ones:

Small Ones

Small Ones

smred

 

smdkbrown

smblack

smbrown

which I much prefer. Miniaturists are like journalists, who are the opposite of writers in that they write worse when they have time. Our work is better the smaller it is.

The Doldrums

Don’t get me wrong – Southern California is a great place to live. I’m about fifty miles due east of L.A., just far enough to think I can go into the city for dinner or shows, but just far enough out to say, “Nah”, and not feel guilty.

The down side to this is that I’m equidistant from L.A. and the desert, and this time of year our temperatures skew eastward. We’ve been at 104 for a few days now, and it won’t get much better till the second week of October. I’ll just repeat that for emphasis: the second week in October. So I don’t often go out and play, but stay in and try to find things to do that don’t involve Outdoors.

I make things – things that I’m not sure I’ll ever sell, things I’ve always wanted to try, things that I know will end in tears before bedtime. Everybody is on vacation, so I don’t get the thrill of seeing a piece going to a new home; it’s just for me. It’s the silly season here at Bo Press World Headquarters.

So far I’ve made this:

Gold Pocket Globe

Gold Pocket Globe

. . .and this:

Mahogany and Shagreen Pocket Globe

Mahogany and Shagreen Pocket Globe

. . .and this:

Lost Books Shelf

Lost Books Shelf

I actually made this for Jim Brogan to take to The MBS Conclave, but sadly it didn’t sell.

And this:

The Lower Nile Special Edition

The Lower Nile Special Edition

The Lower Nile Special Edition

The Lower Nile Special Edition

with which I’m very pleased. I used to do a lot of this kind of thing – fancy presentations of my maps and books. I’d forgotten how much fun it is. Make more!

PS – Prue Batten’s new book Tobias is in pre-order at Amazon!!! Go get it!

 

I Love IGMA!

The International Guild of Miniature Artisans is having its annual show this weekend, and boy, do I wish I were there!I went to the Guild show several years ago and had the time of my life. If the trip weren’t such a schlep, I’d go every year, but I dislike travel so much it would take an earthquake to get me out of the house (just kidding, California!).

A few days ago, I posted my first piece (one of the new cartographer’s trunks) on the IGMA Facebook page, and got all sorts of wonderful comments.

Cartographer's Trunk

Cartographer’s Trunk

And the latest Vampire Hunter’s Trunk got even more:

Vampire Hunter's Trunk

Vampire Hunter’s Trunk

So I’ve started a new Tropical Explorer’s Trunk:

Explorer's Trunk Beginning

Explorer’s Trunk Beginning

The top half will flip over to reveal:

 

Explorer's Trunk Opened

Explorer’s Trunk Opened

Interior

Interior

Leather For Binding

Leather For Binding

This will be my first leather trunk, inspired by a pair of old leather gloves I bought on eBay. The leather was so thin and pliable I couldn’t resist.

First Layer

First Layer

So Far

So Far

I don’t seem to have gotten a good shot of the outer leather, but there are straps and corners of tanned chicken skin that look like dragon hide. I’ll make the books to go in the upper compartment and the desk stuff to go in the lower one tomorrow, but today I’m going to celebrate being retired and go to the mall!