The swap book has finally reached its recipient, and I can reveal the last details. Sending it off was more stressful than originally planned. After I wrote here that I would send the book off soon, I pressed the pages over night, and when I set off to assemble the book some of the pages looked like this:
(These white parts are not reflections but torn paper.) So I quickly made 5 of the 12 pages anew. I am not sure yet what exactly went wrong. It is clear that the acrylic transfer was much more sticky then I planned, and maybe the paint was just not thoroughly dry when I folded the pages. Well, but as I said, the book has reached Cathryn now, and apparently in a good condition. On the photo at the top you can already see how it looks like when closed. The lace ribbons are both attached to the back cover. They are wrapped around the book in opposite directions and tied on the front to close the book.
Fully extended the books is about 1,80m or 6 feet long. When extended, the flaps can be opened to reveal more content, usually signifying untold pieces of the story and the inner voice and memory of the main character:
I already described that I created the backgrounds with acrylics. For me it was the first time using these for something different than paste paper, so I don’t think I am in the position to tell anyone news about the techniques here.
To get the text on the pages, I printed it with a pigment ink printer onto thin Thai paper (15g/sm) and glued that to the page. Some images were attached in a similar way.
For the images I sometimes also used an acrylic transfer: Printed the picture with toner to ordinary office paper, put acrylic medium on a glass plate, lay down the picture face down, and let it dry. Then the paper gets gentry rubbed off with sponge and water, and let to dry. After that you have a thin acrylic sheet on the glass that is see through, carries the picture, and can get added to the background by applying another layer of acrylic medium.
The story is only a rough outline of what was first supposed to be a short story, then developed into something that would have led to a novel if it had ever been finished. Too many persons, too complicated set-off, after 30 pages still nothing had happened… After another futile attempt to make this into a short story, I decided to more or less use just the skeleton of the story. I hope the extreme scarceness of the story telling, the essential, unemotional facts almost in a sort of list add to the horror of what is going on. The murder is never really mentioned. I wonder whether it becomes clear at all what happened that one night. But I hope the unsaid adds to the tension.