Made of Glass
Could I make a book with glass pages? It’s been done, but the examples I could find used skills I don’t have: soldering, jewelry making, specialized techniques (and materials) for transferring images to glass. I kept putting the idea aside but it kept coming back. So I finally gave it a try and the result is a six page book titled “Deep Into a Dream.”
I’d been playing around with digital techniques to echo the look of Sara Moon’s photography. I love her textures, colors and emotions. I’d had some success with combining scans of “ruined” glass negatives with various photos I’d taken and with content from other glass negatives. I liked the flow that emerged from several and began to experiment.
I printed the collages on tissue paper, sandwiched the paper between two pieces of glass and then bound the edges with tape. Tape….so many choices. I thought I’d work with foil tape and did like the adhesive qualities and malleability of both the silver and copper. But I didn’t like the look. Wrong mood. Electrical tape, duct tape, paper and glue. Nothing was just right. Having run out of other ideas, I rummaged through my small supply of washi tape. It was more adhesive than I thought it would be but nothing in my stash had the right pattern. The trouble with most of the washi available at local craft stores is that it is all terminally cute and/or colorful. Not the look I wanted. I did find one roll of a lovely muted grey. One roll – not much room for more experimentation! But the look was right so I carefully began to measure and wrap. (Be advised: measuring sticky stuff and fitting it on narrow margins is not a good time.)
The pages were done and looking good, but how to bind them together? More experimenting. I tried paper hinges with a coptic stitch, with a kettle stitch, with a Japanese stab stitch. They all worked, but the look was wrong. The paper hinges took something away from the flow of the glass pages. Then I tried a modified version of Hedi Kyle’s crown binding– but getting it deep enough to manage the thickness of the glass resulted in too much of the glass being covered. Back to the washi! And there was just enough to make hinges and a spine reinforcement.
The book isn’t perfect, but I’m pleased with it. And I’ve learned enough to try some new techniques next time. (And there will be a next time: I have three boxes of 3” glass squares my son gave me a few years ago waiting in the studio.)
See the book at the Jamestown Art Center Members’ Show. And enjoy a preview here.