A Bit of Progress

I have been easing back into working on pieces for Square Dance — my upcoming (September) solo exhibition at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery. G is for Geography has remained on my worktable since late November, while I worked on the Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019, contributions to #areyoubookenough, and instructions for the Frank Fold. It is definitely time to get back in top gear.

The final stage of G is for Geography is the addition of ‘covers’ on the sixteen interior intersections. The covers are cut from a copy of a world map originally published sometime in the 1930s.

The image below shows (clockwise from the top) a piercing guide, a test cover, and a book board guide for drawing the squares onto the map.

I used a mechanical pencil for the square outlines as the shaft holding the lead has parallel sides, allowing me to be more consistent in drawing the outline of each square.

I selected areas of the map partly based on colour and partly based on personal connections or memories.

The sixteen cut squares:

Since I do not want fold marks on the covers, I marked the centre of each square in pencil on the back before folding.

Seven of the folded squares:

The piercing guide is designed to fit inside the folds of a cover. Fifteen of the squares will be pierced like the one shown below, then stitched in a meander pattern.

The sixteenth square will be stitched with an X to complete the alphabet. (The main body of the paper quilt has twenty-five squares and twenty-five letters.) I looked up the map Robert Louis Stephenson drew for Treasure Island to double check that my memory of red  as the colour for the X marks was correct.

I had remembered the colour, but the marks indicating buried treasure are crosses. Apparently the expression “X marks the spot” has subsumed the visual image in my memory.

In other book arts news:

If you live in Saskatchewan or somewhere nearby, you might want to attend this workshop. Susan is an excellent instructor, and the tools and materials needed to complete your binding will be provided. More information is available here.


If book illustration is one of your passions, The Public Domain Review has an article of possible interest: W. W. Denslow’s Illustrations for the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).

The article includes thirty-seven reproductions from the original edition.

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.
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