Tuesday 24 July 2012

Playing right into my hands

The first thing on my list of Things To Do With The Girls In The Summer Holidays was to go to the beach for a picnic.  We did that yesterday and it was lovely.  Today we went to the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland to make sculptural books with artist Ellen Henderson.  We didn't know what to expect, but my arty eldest had found these on the Web and was very excited.  When we got there, it turned out that the sculptural books in question are made out of one sheet of A4 paper, à la mini-books.  Then it was me who was very excited.

To make a sculptural book, you fold a piece of paper into 16 and make 3 cuts.  The cuts are shown by the red lines:
Then starting at one end (bottom left-hand corner, for example) you fold the little resulting pages concertina style.  Next, stick a small piece of card on the top and on the bottom as covers.  Then you can open it out flat again to draw and/or write on one side or both sides:
The reason, I think, that it is called a sculptural book is because you can open it up in lots of different ways to look like different sculptures.  Your words or pictures look different each time.

These remind me of mini-books and also of Aztec Codices.  It would be a nice way to illustrate poems in the foreign language, as that is a form of text that lends itself to a more abstract presentation.  Maybe you could put one word on each of the 16 sections and then see what they say when the sculptural book is arranged in different ways.

Any other ideas?


  1. I don't understand what you mean by, "Next, stick a small piece of card on the top and on the bottom as covers." Can you explain?

  2. Hello Anonymous, if you look at the photo of the book spread out flat, you can see the two covers in the two top corners. When it's folded back up again, the covers will be on the top and on the bottom, with the rest of the book in the middle like a sandwich.