The Art of Simple Folds

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I recently took my second online class from Tara Axford. She is a fabulous Australian collage artist working with Fibre Arts Take Two. Tara loves to find ways to use her art and in this class she introduced a great book-The Art of the Fold by Heidi Kyle and Ulla Warhol. Using the book’s concise and well illustrated directions, I created a series of accordion books. Using this simple folded structure is a great canvas to showcase my collage art.

Three different books are featured here. The first is made with recycled kitchen towel packaging. Using the uniquely shaped bellyband chipboard parts with their built in page connectors gave this book a cool shape and nice stacked appearance. The second two books were made with a medium weight mixed media paper. Using my own paper allowed me to choose the size and length of the book.

Recycled Packaging Book

The recycled packaging book was just the right size to showcase Artist Trading Cards. This packaging had very bold printing, so hand painted papers were glued down to cover the text. After choosing an ATC for each page from my stash, I found supporting elements to complete each section of the book. Unlike a conventional book, the full spread of an accordion book can be viewed at one time. Each page is a complete composition but it has to relate to its neighboring pages. This rigid chipboard structure allows the book to stand upright and be viewed as a panorama. Stacked, viewed page by page, or standing, this unique structure is a fun way to showcase a collection of art.

Mixed Media Paper Books

The two smaller books are made from folded mixed media paper. To add interest, I cut the upper edge in a zigzag pattern. This looks great when the book is spread out and when it’s stacked. Adding unique details makes a piece exceptional. These books were painted with acrylic gouache, then a collection of collage elements were added. Finally, stitched details were added to the upper edge for textural interest.

Accordion books are simple to construct but offer many avenues for further exploration. I want to experiments with longer books- perhaps up to 36″! Creating a book that must be cohesive when open and folded is challenging but a great way to increase my compositional skills.

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