Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Folded Scroll Photography Book...

   On my trip to China in 2002 I was first introduced to Taoism.  Its philosophy would later inform my camera work but at the time, it was the beautiful scrolls of calligraphy and ink painting that drew my eye.  I especially loved the idea that the art form could be rolled up and stored in a relatively small space.  The art and thought contained in the hanging scrolls were meant to be savored and studied for a time and then exchanged for another, often seasonally.  We in the West are so use to hanging our art on the walls of our homes permanently, never taking it down unless we are re-painting the walls and then, most often, it goes right back up in the same place.  This leads to our becoming so use to its presence that we no longer notice it let alone meditate on its meaning and place in our lives.  It is purely decorative. The Chinese story scroll - a smaller version of the hanging scroll - could be rolled out and read inch by inch.  In time this evolved into the folded scroll or what we now call the concertina or accordion book.

Book cover with hand-made paper.
   Hand-made books have always been a fascination for me and I've adapted this particular form to contain my photographs, in this case, my "good crop" of photographs from my trip to France this summer.  Unlike other book forms, it can stand on it's own, displayed on a shelf or  table.  The pages can also be turned like an ordinary book should you chose to look at it that way.  I can take it out, enjoy it for a time and then put it away.  Its small size makes it intimate and easily looked at.  Like the traditional hanging scroll, it is never constantly on view and so more appreciated when it is brought out.  The hidden benefit of this is the light sensitive prints are protected while they "rest" on my shelf.  I have many of my prints hanging in my home but in time, well, you just run out of wall space!  The folded scroll book solves that problem beautifully.  For greater protection, slip cases or small boxes can be make to hold the book and they look lovely on your book shelf.

Front six images...the book can be turned to view the other six photographs.

      Below is a YouTube video that will give you step-by-step directions for making your own  accordion book.  I used two sided tape to attach my photographs to the pages.


Have Fun! 
...and check out my Hand-Made Books for Photographers on my Pinterest site for more ideas including making your own field journals.

1 comment:

Bill DeLanney said...

great and helpful post on your site. I have been making accordion books with it's own case for sometime now. Maybe 10 or 12 different projects I've worked. Make all prints (5x5) on 13x19 sheet of epson paper and then cut and fold the strips together. Put the folio in small case and it's ready to go.So much fun to do and it's all handmade! thanks for all of your sharing.
Bill DeLanney