Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Spirit Books at the Arnold-Part 14

Spirit Book #96: Harmonious Rebirth is another recombination. One of our favorite family vacations spots was Percé on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada. The cradle was gathered at the beach at Au Coin Du Banc. It was originally used for Spirit Book #50 and held several small books nestled in its nooks and crannies. I aways had a feeling that one large book would be better but it wasn't until I finally decided to deal with the things that bothered me about the book for #70: Collected Solace that I put book and cradle together.

The book is made from darker Mashamba paper from Africa with lighter Resho paper from Bhutan. The edges of the pages have rolls of Mashamba encircled with gold wire and beads at the center. I loved the edges but did not like the inside of the pages. I had glued the Resho paper to the Mashamba and it looked and felt too stiff.
I thought that making separate sections and inserting them in between the existing pages would be the answer but hesitated to begin as there were 49 sections to make. I eventually braved it and was glad I did. Since I couldn't sew the sections in as the book was complete, I attached each already sewn together section with a little bit of glue, enough to hold it but not enough to make the pages stiff. The pages were patterned with small punched holes, pinpricked holes, and seed beads.

Spirit Book #96: Harmonious Rebirth is probably the most labor intensive of the Spirit Books. The making of the sections took over 50 hours. I named it rebirth for the rebirth and renewal of the initial parts and harmonious for the way the book and cradle came together.

Thanks for reading this series of posts. The last day for viewing the Spirit Books at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is Sunday, July 22. I'll be there to chat and answer questions from 1–4 PM.

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