The Map Book Completed (And Some Other Stuff)

I put the finishing touches on the map book, Finding A Way, last Sunday afternoon. Monday afternoon we did a proper photo shoot with David acting as photographer.

The pockets are sewn together in a boustrophedon variation: instead of going back and forth in the traditional manner, this book reads in a spiral. The design on the front of each pocket is a stitched version of the path through the book.

The pockets are sewn together with a spaced double buttonhole stitch and, where there is an open side due to rotating the orientation of the pockets, the edge is sewn with a spaced single buttonhole stitch.

When fully open, Finding A Way measures approximately 40 cm (16 inches) on a side. The back of the book looks like this:

Here’s the open book with some of the contents displayed:

There is a small accordion book in the first pocket (red, upper left in image above) which gives readers a little information. The text is below.

Humans have sought many ways to guide them through life: physical guides such as maps, spiritual guides such as religion.

The pockets of this book contain —in no particular order— replicas of some of the tools that humanity has used over the centuries to find paths through life. Some items here are serious and some, like the paper fortune teller, less so.

Included are simulacra of the oldest known maps made by man: a chart of the night sky over Nineveh, circa 3300 BCE, and a map of the city of Nineveh, circa 1400 BCE.

There are objects representing magic and religion, math and divination.

There are symbols of good luck and protective amulets.  If you ask the right question, the paper fortune teller may even tell you which path you should take.

Now I have to finish the remaining two copies, as well as moving on to other projects.

I did take a bit of a break from bookish activities this week, however. With an almost perfect combination of heat and moisture, we have what may be the best garden in the 42 years we have lived here. (I take no credit: David has done all the work, with occasional help from our lovely assistant, Kemuri.)

The garden is not exclusively vegetables —there are sunflowers because we like them (and for the birds), and nasturtiums because we like them and they are good in salads or as a garnish.

Now that harvest season has started in earnest, I did some garden-related work this week, mostly helping to shell peas and broad beans.

We have eaten some already, but soon there will be more burgundy beans,

and next week the basil will be ready for making pesto to be put in the freezer, and  enjoyed fresh.

Our lovely assistant, Kemuri, finds the prospect of all this garden work quite exhausting.



About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, Design, maps and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Map Book Completed (And Some Other Stuff)

  1. dinahmow says:

    The many ways of finding the way intrigue me…
    And what a productive garden! (And tired assistant 🙂 )


  2. vdbolyard says:

    have you made a map of the garden, too? the book is delightful, lively and fun.


    • Byopia Press says:

      Glad you like the book! ; ]
      My husband makes a map when he plants the garden: if one grows more than one variety of potatoes, it can be useful when you want to dig new potatoes. You can decide which kind you want and know where to find them. (When you are digging all the potatoes in the fall, it doesn’t matter so much.) It also helps in keeping track of which corn varieties are doing best when trying out new ones.


  3. wendyfe says:

    Beautitful work, Cathryn. So inspiringly thought out and executed. And the garden!! with a kitty! a little bit of heaven coming my way


  4. lcmt says:

    Marvelous, marvelous, marvelous. I love that you chose the spiral variation–it reminds me of a labyrinth. This seems to be a perfect book to walk through in a meditative mood.


    • Byopia Press says:

      The spiral is the simplest form of labyrinth. This book relates to The Persistence of Hope AKA The Wishing Star Project. Having spent more than two years recording wishes, I started recognising patterns that people follow to find their way in life. I hope the book will be a small exploration and a meditative journey for anyone who gets to ‘read’ it.

      Liked by 1 person

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