Evolution of the Journal
As of Christmas last year, I have been making journals by the masses. I began making them for myself from cereal boxes and graph paper. Then, I experimented with cardboard (my favorite material EVER) and watercolored paper. It was an expensive way to dye the paper, so I used leftover coffee from Daddy’s to-go mug for quite a bit of time.
Even today, I’m experimenting with different materials and processes. The only thing I don’t plan on evolving is binding. I think sewing signatures in is the most economical way – the signatures can be removed and new ones sewn in their place.
My most treasured journal was custom made and sold to a good friend of mine, Erin. I named it “Voyage de la Vie” in honor of a poem she had written before I made the journal. I drew inspiration from her description of life and death – how “we breathe in colors” between the two events.
I continued creating for myself; journals made from DVD cases and favorite books of mine. It seems almost morbid to cut up a book, but I find its memory lasts longer when reincarnated into a new book.
Currently, I am maintaining a ledger’s memory (dating back to the 1960s) by imitating the age. I spent two days hand-dyeing individually cut pieces of paper for the signatures with chai tea bags. The newspaper needed a heavier dye – I used black coffee. My windows were filled with mini clothes lines, paper drying in the sun. Once, I sat back and watched the sun shine through the pages for half an hour. I’m convinced part of the creative process is admiring your own work.
Usually, I would adhere paper with E6000 or the good ‘ole glue stick, but Mod Podge was more appealing for this project. Mod Podge is pricey for what it is (or what I think it is), so I retreated to mixing boiling water with Elmer’s glue.
It worked spectacularly.
Yesterday, I sewed in the signatures and secured a pocket inside. Today, I’ll finally use my new charcoal and sketch geometrically warped buildings on the front. Who knew homemade Mod Podge was such a good charcoal seal?