How do you find a dragon?

The Complete Bookmaker

I started a course at Hot Bed Press in Salford last month called 'The Complete Bookmaker', and apart from sounding like some kind of gambler's anonymous group, it is brilliant!

Finding the grain of paper before folding

Week number 1 was all about folding paper to make the book structures. The paper and I spent some time getting acquainted, and in a nutshell, you are rolling the paper in your hands to find the the natural way the paper wants to fold. Folding one way will give you quite a bit of resistance where as the other way, the paper will just flop in that direction-this is the grain.

Maps and narrative

The great thing about folded books (such as beak books or maze books) is that you can guide a reader around a narrative, mapping the way through the content to an eventual resolution, just like in short stories, or poetry.

Trek to a dragon's cave

For our home work we had to produce another book like one of the prototypes we made in our session. For my book, I trawled through my sketch books to find some inky drawings I made a few years ago during an obsession with dragons. I used a water bomb structure for this homework, as it felt less like a map to me and more like something you crawl inside of, like a dragon's lair. I also wrote a Haiku (or at least I think it's a Haiku - a pattern of 5 7 5 in syllables to make 17 in total).

Waterbomb book.

Waterbomb book.

Trek to dragon's cave 
In craggiest rocks that stack 
Like Warriors or Monks

Dragon cave.

Dragon cave.

The concept for the water bomb book is this: as you crawl inside the cave, you are met with a dragon who speaks the Haiku to you.

I chose a Haiku because the structure seemed to fit the drawing and book style, although I think the Haiku is Japanese and the water bomb structure is Chinese. I fear this makes me a bit ignorant, or a bit racist or both. Sorry East Asia, I guess I just love all your culture. Please excuse me if I fuse it together, as I can't possibly be expected to chose between the subtle differences. Think of me as a walking Tampopo, where a person can order a Nasi Goreng and a Pad Thai all under the same roof.

Happy bookmaking and scribbling!