General Updates: Ruled Worlds, Soul Song, Project Message in a Bottle, Thread, and End of Business Year

The state of page two about four weeks ago.

Checking the archives, I see it has been four weeks since I gave you the last update on my work, the book soul song to be precise. I was already then complaining that progress was slow. Well, the title of the blog suggests that part of this web-journal are stories about the walls into which I tend to ram my head every now and then, and so I decided to give you an update on this project, although it does not really deserve that name.
Since the last update, I first changed page two, and then changed it back to how it was before. While this might represent some type of inner progress, it doesn’t look like it, and I must say, it also doesn’t feel like it. I have started to work on the next page, made a couple of sketches both of image and of words, and have dismissed it all so far. This was essentially the state of progress two or three weeks ago, and since then the project has been lying around. Is it abandoned?

page 2 and three of soul song
added a green background and some letters to page two. Then didn’t like how it looked beside page three, and painted it over again.

I am not so sure about that. It happens to me and my projects, that when it gets too tough, when real thought is needed, that so much else comes up that things just get forgotten. Maybe the initial drive and idea were just not strong enough to carry the book through. I sometimes wonder whether it is a weakness of concept of those books (and thus good that they don’t get finished), or maybe just a matter of lack of stamina. I am not sure yet that is really is abandoned. It is still lying on top of my worksurface, and I spent some time “feeling” the project before turning to other work. I have not completely come out of touch with the initial idea yet. I am not so sure that it will survive the break I am going to take for Christmas, though.

detail of surface I

Ruled Worlds, I still work on those. Which quite big enthusiasm. I have been trying out a lot: different methods of cutting the rather small shadow figures that walk the surfaces, different ways of “folding” the surfaces, and also experimented with painting them differently. I consider three of them done so far. I have the general idea, that the two sides of this surface are inhabited by people with a different mindset. So far they have family scenes and playing children on one side, and different people with fire-weapons on the other side, soldiers, gunmen. It remains unclear whether they protect or threaten the life on the other side. I struggle with giving a summery of what I want to express with these surfaces. The general idea is that “the world” someone lives in has thin walls. But there is not the one story a surface tells. It is a story of freedom, or a story of being enclosed, I want to tell different stories for the different characters on the surface, expressed in their posture and their location on the surface.

detail of surface II

But I am not so sure that this concept comes across. There are more vague ideas that I have about these pieces, but I cannot express everything coherently yet. That makes me a little itchy. Also I am not sure at all where I am headed with this. When I started out, I thought I might add some text onto paper later, which I would then knot to the skewers that form the surface. But I don’t see that coming anymore. Therefore I struggle to call them books. Well, I guess they are not books. I am surprised about myself, that I find it hard to accept that I am making something that will not be a book. But something keeps me going. And I am looking forward to seeing where I will end up.

detail of surface II

I spent some time and effort, trying to make photos of the three surfaces that I consider done. But I find it very hard. This at least they have in common with books: It seems impossible to show all there is in just one photo.

surface III
detail of surface III

And then there is also the project message in a bottle: After an especially nice finder’s story, with a 11 year old girl finding my ghost story in a bottle on a hike during a camping vacation, I made another eight bottles, ready to dispatch.

On other news, I just received a new order of the French Lin Câblé. You can find the listing here. I hope it is not too confusing. I would appreciate your feedback. If you want to order some thread before Christmas, you gotta hurry up: I am going to close my shop tomorrow for a Christmas vacation.