After thinking about what information to include, what format to choose, whether to use illustrations or not, I decided on a final way to display my story. I have chosen not to use any illustrations as I want the book to be quite small and I feel it would overwhelm the text. Following the letterpress workshop, it’s something I’d have loved to have included, but with the number of pages in my book and the size, it wouldn’t be easy to achieve in the week we have had to complete the book. I love the effect of letterpress and the general aesthetic, so it’s something I have tried to replicate (digitally, of course!).
I started by highlighting important text, important passages of text or quotes, and figuring out how many pages I would need. I had decided not to follow the tutorials we were given in the handmade book workshop with Sarah Edmonds, and create something unique. I drew out some of the more important motifs from the story, (for example the bees, the beehive, the balloon itself) and chose to use one of these as the actual book itself.
The page size and shape would be based on this motif. After some thought, I realised that the balloon would be the best one to follow through with as it gave the most amount of room to include text on each page in a uniform position.
I printed out some text initially to gauge the size that I’d need to move forward with. After printing out some text that I’d be using, I tried to space this out accordingly so that I’d then be able to cut this out into balloon shapes and then bind these balloon pages together.
Initially the spacing I’d chosen had not been enough room, as I layered a template over the text and there was not enough space between the pieces of text to allow them to be cut out. I printed the text out again on A4 paper, this time allowing for more room between the text. After doing this and applying the template, I had left enough room for the text to be cut out.
I cut out each of the balloons trying to ensure that they were all even, because despite using the template balloon I couldn’t get them all uniform but I guess that’s the charm of a handmade book! After arranging each page into the correct order, I had decided to bind them in way that I had been thinking of but wasn’t sure if it would work. I punched a small hole in each of the pages and had chosen to bind them using a keyring… I didn’t know how this would end up but I’m really pleased with the outcome! I also wanted a more sturdy method of holding the book together when it is not being held, and I managed to find some wooden pegs with an acorn motif on them (like the oak tree from the story itself) and used this to hold together the book. I’m really pleased with the final outcome, but I think had I had more time to complete the book I would have used letterpress to imprint the pages with the text.