Friday, April 30, 2010

going around in circles

Over the past couple of weeks I've been binding circular book forms... I've already shown you the first 2 created from 1984 World Book encyclopaedia Year Books... now I've moved on to some world book Childcraft Annuals

I had a set of these as a youngen.... and I LOVED them.... I spent hours devouring their contents.... I loved 'the green kingdom', 'about me' (with the great acetate overlays of my inner gizzards.... yummo) and 'look again' (oodles of art reproductions... I think this was possibly my first look at great arty works). As I've been pulling some old volumes apart I've been amazed at how so many of the book's contents have worked their way into my subconscious.... its really been quite a freaky trip down memory lane!

sooo I suppose I should show you what I've been doing with/to them hmmmm?

volume 15 - 'guide for parents'... bound as a simple circle.... the diameter of this is approx 35cm

volume 14 'about me' - (part one) also bound as a small circle - diameter is about 12cm

here are all my itty bitty sections arranged ready for binding a second circular structure

and here are the two 'books' together.... one enclosing the other....

I loved the serendipitous realisation that the 'about me' volume had an abundance of baby-puke yellow pages - that I think look fabulous all together on the spine. And that I had just enough of these yellow sections to encircle the initial small booklet.... don't you love it when a (non) plan comes together?

that yellow spine - up close and personal

well - I'm on to some other volumes now - binding up 'the green kingdom'.... I'll show you how it goes when I get it finished!


  1. Ronnie, I do love these fabulous creations you devise. I gave away our set of the World Book but I do have my old set of Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopaedia, which I love way too much to cut up. When I was about 5 I found the remains of one very damaged volume that had belonged to my Dad. It started at about page 1350 and I innocently assumed that it must have been a HUGE book to have so many pages in one volume. I pestered my parents until they bought me the set (only child, easy to do) and was amazed to find there were 10 volumes, not a giant one as I hoped and expected. Anyway, I am enjoying your circular books very much. Keep the photos coming.

  2. oh thanks carol

    I love your tale of the Mees encyclopaedias

    its a funny thing - the more I bring out and play with my collected books, they more I hear these type of stories (mind you no one else has admitted to imagining a giant-i-normous single encyclopaedic volume - what a hoot!)

    and talking of my monster collection - I really should share some pics of parts of it - I'm sure it would entertain most booky folk enormously. I'm not sure but I suspect I have 3 sets of Mees.... and no I haven't taken to them with my trusty knife... yet (wink)

  3. What I want to know is how on earth you manage to complete the binding on the one where the binding is on the inside of the circle! They're beautiful, Ronnie.

  4. hee hee - the 'secret' is - a combination of little fingers and a whole lot of swearing!

  5. Like Sara, I wondered that...I thought perhaps you very carefully (swearfully?) turned it inside-out, as in turning pieced collars and such when sewing.
    However you do it, I love it!

  6. your books are fantastic. such a simple idea, if hard to execute, but very clean and clear.. Well done.... one day im going to be driving up the highway and I'll see them creeping out of your driveway...can't wait!!

  7. thanks everyone - its so kind of you to drop a note....

    and no di - I can't turn the small 'books' inside out for the closing stitches (the inside diameter is too small) so it is a case of much swearing and a small amount of blood (ouch got a finger), sweat (30 minutes and 50 attempts later) and tears (ouch)

    ps 'ida' if you don't watch out one day these books will venture out to the highway... and roll on down to your town!

  8. Hi Ronnie,
    Like the others, I love your circular books. The simple form, the association with the World Books, the idea of knowledge going around and around and transforming, mutating, so that each of us has our own particular world view yet at the same time, not so different really...and like so many artworks that appear simple, actually quite a technical challenge.
    Are these works for your masters? If so, one day when you get up to it, I'd love to read some of your writing about your work (I know, I'm a nerd, but I can't help it!)

  9. oh thanks amanda for your lovely comments.... I really appreciate everyone taking the time to write here.

    I'm not sure if these funny little things will end up as part my final MFA works (I'm not sure if I'll end up converting this MFA year into PhD... and what that may mean... heck I'm not sure I'll SURVIVE the whole ordeal!)

    In many respects these works are meditations as opposed to final pieces in their own right.... they keep my fingers working so that hopefully my brain will work!

    and talking work - ooooo golly I find any writing (be it for HDR study or other) such hard work.... it takes me FOREVER to finish anything.... I'd be happy to share some of my older and newer written bits and bobs with you amanda (we just need to work out how...)

    I am in the process of creating a dedicated blogsite for my research project... where I thought I may deposit written stuff and arty stuff for invited readers (my supervisor, monash others and friends) to access - but at present I'm its only reader!


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx