Where on earth did this idea come from?
Dinosaur Fortune Teller
. . .but here’s how it started:
I wanted to add the cut-off feet to the case somehow, but it just got too weird.
A wonderful collector emailed me recently with a request for a few details to decorate her roombox dedicated to Pico della Mirandola, the wild and brilliant neo-Platonist philosopher,
whose adventures I strongly suggest you read here. Turns out he really was poisoned; it’s amazing that he lived as long as he did.
She’s given him a lover naned Tita, and I’ve made a lovely little boxed copy of Pico’s (imaginary) collection of sonnets dedicated to her:
and several other sumptuously bound Renaissance classics and maps:
I’ve also made a book stand with a book of sea monsters taken from old manuscripts: “Monstra Mari”:
I have several pieces to go, but here’s a bit more of Pico and Tita’s lovely miniature home (They seem to have acquired a pretty little golden-haired child):
The new book is out! It’s called “The Irish Triads”, and it’s a collection of a verse form/riddle/aphorism/pub game common to Ireland and Wales. Kuno Meyer, who collected and translated as many as he could find in the 19th century, describes them: “Triads occur sporadically in the literature of most other nations, and have occasionally been collected. But I am not aware that this kind of composition has ever attained the same popularity elsewhere as in Wales and Ireland, where the manufacture of triads seems at times almost to have become a sport.”
Some of them are witty, some legal, some emotional, some vengeful. A few of my favorites:
Three false sisters: ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘I dare say”.
Three silences that are better than speech: silence during instruction, silence during music, silence during preaching.
Three signs of a fop: the track of his comb in his hair, the track of his teeth in his food, the track of his stick behind him.
(I think Florence King mentions somewhere that a man with comb tracks in his hair is the scum of the earth.)
I wanted to bind it like this: on the verso side (on the left) a page with the Irish phrase, then over it (still on the verso) a translucent page with the English translation, then on the recto (on the right) the three answers. But due to mathematical difficulties with which I will not burden you, that wouldn’t work. I ended up with an extra page in every signature. So I made the best of it and cut the extraneous page down to a tab, and punched three holes in it, to continue the idea of triads. I echoed this with three raised dots on the cover, and a triskelion on the translucent paper slip band. This is known as the “I totally meant to do that!” school of craft.
Anyway, more pictures:
It’s up on the website now. I had great fun doing such a minimalist designing -I didn’t want anything of the stage Irishman about this.
It’s early days yet, but I might be working on a book about saris next.
I got back from the MBS Conclave a while ago, and I’m just now realizing what a great thing it was. Barbara Williamson is our hero: she put so much imagination and style into all her hard work that future conclaves will have to do very well to top it. I arrived a day late, and was still swept up in the general good feelings and community. I think I passed some sort of tipping point: I knew almost everybody, at least by reputation, and everybody seemed to know me. A bit like going to the Oscars and having all the movie stars chatting me up.
I made a keepsake for the goody bags all by myself this year.
. . .and got a special keepsake from Jim Brogan, who presented this version of his keepsakes to The Microbibliophile’s contributors.
Which is more than generous, since the only thing I contribute to the Microbib is telling everyone I see to subscribe to it. Here!
Next year, in Oakland, CA. So convenient for me!
I’ve been making miniature pocket globes for years. The real antique ones look like this:
. . .and mine look like this:
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:
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:
I tried one with terrestrial globe gores on paper glued to a piece of cardstock, and formed it over the wooden bead.
I fastened the gores together with narrow strips of paper, burnished the seams, and lightly sanded it.
. . .then tried a second, neater one, with a celestial map gore lining:
. . .and decorated the outside:
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!
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:
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.
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 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:
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:
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. . .
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.
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:
And it turned out like this:
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?
Bo Press Miniature Books is a publisher of miniature books in both standard (under 3" tall) and micro-miniature sizes. Pat Sweet and the Bo Press make miniature illustrated books, maps, fine art portfolios, journals, art boxes and miniature globes from 1/2" to 3". Subjects range from flying carpets to mathematics, but have common themes of curiosity, mystery, humor, and delight.