I am currently pondering how to add text to my nightmare boxes. It is another one of those projects of which I thought I would finish it in just a week and now I have been working on it for much longer. The project started out rather straightforward:
The first trials consisted of just the text written on paper, adorned with images from an medieval manuskript, folded in a labyrinth accordion style and inserted in the box. The plan was to completely print them on my pigment inkjet printer, decorate the boxes, – done easily and fast. But I became more and more dissatisfied with the look of the writing and the exact positioning on the paper, and the paper as a medium while I was preparing for the printrun.
The first modification was to write the text with a goose feather. Although not completely convinced of my caligraphy skills, I liked this “more medieval” look. A sample of scanned, and layered over the existing document.
The next modification was printing on parchment rather than paper. The printing itself worked surprisingly well. But a variety of other difficulties came up: While looking cool, the folding was not so easy, and the resulting textblock was rather thick, and had a rather tight fit in the box. The folded sheet had two spreads that were hidden, and therefore did not carry any text. Thinking of how to reduce bulk, I realized that the structure of the labyrinth accordion was not only too bulky, but generally not so very well chosen. It is great if you want both a text that can be leafed through, but also use the backsides that, once the structure is unfolded, give an additional something. – I had made it such that if you undid the labyrinth, you could see one of the creatures completely, together with brief information about the spell. But the image was not that spectacular, and it was not that much of a revelation I even had made sure that this informational text was readable while still folded.
So now I though of using a simple accordion structure instead. Or maybe a scroll, or maybe… Giving up this initial idea, the project opened up to a variety of options. Not quite decided what to do, I settled on making the boxes first.
Out of a whim I decided to fill them with found objects and let pieces of wood “grow out” of the boxes. That felt very right at the moment, I was not sure where exactly I was going.
I still like the boxes as such, but I am struggling to create a coherent something.
The past week I have pondered numerous possibilties of how to add the text and create a book, and I have not given up any of them. The main choice I will have to make is whether the text belongs into the box or whether the box is an addition to something the book with the spell. – I pondered for example making the box the cover of the book; making another box that holds both, the box and the book; putting both in a leather pouch; putting the text into the box such that it pops out when the box is opened; putting a book in the bottom of the box; using the wood as a dowel for a scroll…
It seems I have not found quite the right thing yet. Today I played with the idea of putting the text, written on a scroll, into a leather pouch. This in turn I wanted to fix to the side of the box. I reduced this more and more and ended up with some kind of napkin ring construction and a scroll to go into the box again. But somehow this still doesn’t seem completely right.
Probably I will have to gain more clarity of how the whole thing should work and function before I can decide on how to put in text. Or maybe I just need to take a break with them.