I don’t really know where the last four weeks went that passed since my last blogpost. I worked on finishing the scrolls, making the tubes for them, planning/making boxes to hold all together, and in between added more details to the model. On pretty much all fronts I encountered problems that kept me from progressing as fast as I had wished I would. But still, it feels like it has been only one week. Let’s see:
In my last blog post you saw me attaching panel after panel to the scroll. That worked well as such. However, when I wanted to attach the next panel to one of them, I realized that the print toward the edge of the paper had gone blurry. If I could, I would have turned around and bit my own bottom (a German saying, no idea whether it makes sense to you ;-)): I had worked extra slowly when printing the individual panels explicitely to exclude this sort of mistake. It happened a couple of times, and I had been sure enough that I had caught them all. But apparently I hadn’t, so what to do? It was impossible to take off the offending panel without leaving traces. I had to cut it off somewhere, but where? Close to the middle to replace the large panel by two small ones? Maybe that would have been best. But after giving it some thought I decided to cut off only the last column of text and put in a small, neatly printed bit. You can see the portion in the photo. I think it is reasonable repair for a book like that, and not a fault as such. But of course it is no longer suitable to be one of the two posh copies in the edition. For a book where the paper for it alone had cost me almost £50 it is just awful that this part isn’t perfect.
I pondered saving the remaining, still unattached panels and starting over with a new scroll. That would have meant tossing the larger part of this copy, though. And moreover, I didn’t have any more of the paper to work with. So I decided to go through with it, and the resulting scroll is now marked as a “reading copy”. Which is a good thing to have in any case. But that leaves me the duty to make another scroll. But, remember, I don’t have any more of the paper.
Originally, my plan was to make two copies to go with the two models, and then only bother with the rest of the edition at a later time. But well, if I have to order more paper now, I’d better buy all the stock I need for the edition, or so I thought. That meant deciding -roughly- on an edition size. But when I contacted John Purcell to order the Dosabiki Masa Shi which I am using, it turned out they have less than I need. Less than I need to make even two copies, although it would make one book. And thus started the search for a replacement paper. Maybe I could make one more with Dosabiki paper, and the rest of the edition with something else, possibly a bit less expensive. Of course at John Purcell they offered to order more of the paper from the manufacturer, but this being a handmade paper and since a considerate amount of time has passed since they ordered the last batch, they warned me repeatedly that the paper might look very different from what I have now. They have been wonderful, I must say: After several emails back and forth my free paper samples reached me the next day. However -unfortunately- none of them looked like a suitable replacement. They were either too thin or too thick, too yellow or too fragile, or plainly too expensive. I also contacted other places to ask for the paper (with a bad conscience after the people at John Purcell had tried their best to be helpful), without satisfying success.
I ordered more sample sheets from different places, and thus am back in the place where I spent a lot of time almost exactly a year ago (and that’s rather frustrating).
I am still not quite decided on how to proceed. I am swaying between one of the papers which are more creme in colour, one that is very high white (almost has a blue-ish tint), and asking John Purcell to order the Dosabiki from Japan for me. I am also undecided of whether I want to have the paper they still have in stock, but I am determined to decide by Monday.
In any case, I currently have two scrolls finished, one marked “reading copy” the other good to go. Progress bar at 50%.
The tubular case
All the time while working, I was writing instructions to myself to make sure that when I later made more copies of the edition, I would do them in the same way. Also, that way it was easier to track down mistakes. I don’t regret this at all. – But it took some time too, of course.
My initial plan was to first line the tube for the scroll’s case on the inside, then cover the caps, and then cover the outside (such that the outside lining paper would be sitting on top of the tabs that connect the top with the main body of the tube.
After lining the first tube, when I came back the next day, the physics of paper pull had managed to distort that tube badly. So that made me realize a) that I had to now line the body first after all, and b) that the next time I will cover both inside and outside right away to prevent any uneven warp. Luckily, physics worked well for me and my first tube trial, and the pull of both inside and outside liner cancelled each other out, and I ended up with a straight tube again. Phew.
In the following picture you get an idea how distorted the tube was. – Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take a snap before lining was in place. But at least this is a pic before the paper on the outside dried and pulled
To attach the second cap, I have to put in the scroll first, of course. Small weights for a bar-bell came in especially handy here. The scroll is resting on a glass, because the dowel is sticking out from the bottom cap.
While I had enough of this lining paper for these two tubes, and probably have enough for the third one, I realized that my stock is uncomfortably low – and tried to order more of it. Or something similar. Without success so far. At least it isn’t such an important bit this time, although I just don’t like the thought of making the tubes differently for different copies. Can time spent on locating materials be lost? – I guess it can.
Also I an discarted all previous attempts at designing cover art for the tube.
Progress bar at 20%
Before last weekend, I had the idea to make a box as is here in my plans marked as “variant B”. – Currently I am looking at a variety of options. What I had in mind then was to make a nice slim simple box for the scroll. I would make – at least that was my thinking – the same box for all copies in the edition. And with the number 1 and 2 would come a larger box which would hold both the model and this smaller box.
So to start anywhere, I started with this box. The following picture shows me with a selection of strips of masking tape. I like to attach them to me before putting them on the cardboard (to temporarily hold the box together while the glue is setting) because that way they are close at hand and loose a bit of their tack.
From there is all went South. The boxes look harmless enough in the photo above. However, they are 4mm too short. – twice the thickness of my board. Anyone who has ever made boxes will know now what was my mistake. Also, because I was going to use a mainly white fabric as a covering material, I wanted to line the box with a white paper first. – I should definitely have done that before assembling the panels. Another fail. And then I made a model for the big box that didn’t work, and so I went back to the draughting table. Some of you might have read my questions to the book arts list (asking for literature on drop-wall boxes). This resulted in the gathering of literature which I now want to work through before starting another attempt:
You can see two piles of books in the picture above, the left (next to the toger-striped press) is actually the literature on making boxes. At the other end of the table are all the other books which I purchased in the last couple of weeks and still want to read. Maybe I’ll write reviews here if I ever find the time to work through the pile. Progress on making a box: 0%.
With my progress on the model I am actually quite happy. I added small pieces and bits: The wall mounted disinfectant dispensers were finished, boxes of latex gloves, “wooden” boxes for the room which in the original were hiding installations pieces, and lights and sockets added to the wall on which the bed is located.
Despite the progress, my list of things I still want to add seems to be growing fast than the list of things I already made. Progress bar seems to hold steady at 89%.
Thank you so much for reading until here, this has been an awfully long blogpost 🙂 And thus I will try to cut myself short now, and won’t rant on political issues, or tell you about my new niece and my new nephew, for both of which I made crochet toys. Bad news again on the photo-sharing side: ipernity (the site which hosts all the images you see on this blog) announced that they will shut down their servers any day. (And thus I spent more time than expected on downloading and saving my data.) So if you can’t see any photos here, it might be due to their server being shut. I guess I’ll move all my data back to Flickr 🙁 But I have not yet investigated all my option. Anyway, I wasn’t going to talk about all this, maybe in a new blogpost not so far away.