Donkey Man, Post the Second

It worked.

Eh – let me try that again.

IT WORKED!!

My harebrained binding scheme actually worked. Anderson’s Grimoire is no longer just an idea in my head, it’s an ACTUAL BOOK.

I’m so excited about this, it’s as if this was my first bookwork. I just finished showing it to my first third-person viewer (family doesn’t count) and she loved it. I can’t wait to share it with my class and see what they have to say.

Oh, let’s just get this over with: SQUEEEE. (Deep breath.)

Okay, now maybe I can actually write.

When I was a kid, I got very hung up on things turning out Just Right. I would design and/or engineer things in my mind, but my technical abilities never measured up to my grand schemes. Consequently, I would get extremely frustrated. We’re talking throwing things at the everloving walls frustrated. (I was a charming child.) As I grew up I learned to control my frustration, and with time I was able to flush it out of my system. Now, when I’m creating, I take a much more “zen” approach to things. If I can’t find the exact right supply, if something doesn’t fit exactly right, if I have to abandon my initial idea and try a different approach, it’s all good. It’s just the way it’s going to be, and that may – and usually does – turn out for the better. It’s a much more relaxing way to be, and my artistic impulses are glad to have the room to stretch their legs without the confining chains of perfectionism.

I went home last night and put all of the photos into each text block. Some of them were a little bit too large – they fit, but ran really close to the edge – but yeah, zen, remember?

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And finally I bit the bullet and began sewing my book together. (Did I mention that IT WORKED!!?)

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Next slide, please.

The final product. I had envisioned a wilder, fuller “mane” of fibers coming off the spine, but I’m much happier with what I ended up with:

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Detail of the binding:

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An example page spread, showing the antique spectacles (although not on the right page… wtf):

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Almost every page has an artifact. They include, in no particular order:

  • gold-filled eyeglasses
  • rusted square nail
  • woman’s kid leather glove
  • handmade lace
  • goose feathers
  • one of Anderon’s business cards
  • census record showing Anderson, wife, and two children in St. Maries, ID, in 1920
  • forged iron key
  • dried lavender

The business card and census records are scans of originals printed on aged paper. The key is a reproduction, and the feathers and lavender are contemporary. Everything else is an authentic antique from that approximate time period.

I’m experimenting with online albums so that those of you who are interested can see more and larger photos – even read the text, I think. Click on the little box below to check it out. If you don’t see a little box, or if clicking it does you no good, you are probably behind a firewall. Let me know if it works, too, okay? I haven’t tested it.

Donkey Man

I really think I pulled this off. The creepiness, the primitive quality – everything is just like I imagined it, only better. It’s very tactile, very time-controlled.

If you have the time – and I know it’s not the same, but I’m here and you’re there – go to the album and read the book (hopefully the pics are large enough) and let me know what you think. One caveat: I’m past “that point,” so if you catch a typo or something just don’t tell me. 🙂 The text is deliberately messy – I chose the rottenest functional typewriter I could for that purpose.

And, lest we forget: SQUEEEE.  

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