Once I invented the Circular Flexagon Binding for “Tempus Fugit” I knew I had done my best using paper material. I needed to shake up my practice and use an unconventional medium that would allow me to make sculptural artist books.
I decided to use a translucent Polymer Clay during the lockdown because it hardens when baked in an oven and it made sense to use it while we were hunkering down.
While I was learning new clay technics I realized each piece I made was large and the clay needed a mold to keep it’s form during the hardening process. So I went on a search for props to serve as molds.
I spent months to comb the internet and I had to think “out of the box” to find them. The result is: long mid-century wooden furniture legs, soap dishes, wooden balls and wire form mesh. Once I tried to assemble all the pieces together it became clear the structure needed to be reinforced.
It was a big disappointment to have to stop my project and once again search for a way to build an inside structure. I did a cardboard prototype but I was concerned using wood would make the book too heavy. So I called my mentor John Cederquist who is a studio furniture maker. He sent me on a different quest and proposed to build each piece for the inside structure in papier mâché. “You know of papier mâché, you’re French” he said”!!!! Of course I do but I didn’t know the technic was used to make furniture.
So I guess, I’ll explore this avenue and hopefully I’ll be able to realize my vision.
Each step is a discovery that brings new ideas, requires new skills and it feels I am growing with it. Hopefully, this is the last hurdle to set a process for creating my future books with translucent Polymer Clay!
I give zoom presentations on creativity and how the concept and execution evolved into the creation of 3 of my artist books. If you are interested to have me talk to your students, collectors, members, friends feel free to contact me (link to my email).