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that ridiculous pop up book that i won't shut up about was accepted into a show that opens TODAY.

anyone in portland, go to 23 Sandy Gallery to see all the amazing pop up books!
for everyone else, there's an online catalog with images of evey book.

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i spent this past saturday making a little house for my ridiculous pop up book about rats. it was pretty fun bc, as usual, i didn't start with a very clear idea of what i was going to make and how. i eventually ended up with a basic 5-sided box with an L-shaped drawer that pulls out. the drawer is made from three interlocking pieces of board, which will hopefully help it maintain integrity under stress better than if it was being held together with glue.

in keeping with the tasteful, understated color palette of the book itself, the box is BRIGHT ORANGE.




4 photos under here )
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i made my first pop up book! it was something of an adventure (bc i had zero idea what i was doing) but i'm actually kind of pleased with the way it turned out! i've found that it's easier to motivate myself into semi-scary learning experiences like this when i have some sort of concrete deadline or goal, so i've been finding calls-for-entries to make new work for. last month's masks and naked women tangle is another example of me doing this sort of thing to myself.


(links to the project at my website gallery)

this is a picture book of pen-and-ink drawings with two pop up spreads, three cutouts, and a central 3D box structure with moving layers. it tells the story of a little girl who gets kidnapped by rats after her father's death. the concept of the Rattenkönig (a group of rats who get knotted together at the tail while burrowed together underground) is used as a visual metaphor for the grief experience and the search for connectedness out of absence.

keen observers will notice i'm still attempting to use pink as a "gloomy" color, with questionable effectiveness. but this project marks the most ambitious palette i've attempted yet (four whole colors! and none of them black!) so maybe i can be forgiven for keeping my favorite around as a security blanket as i tiptoe out of monochrome.

...and just in case i tricked anyone for a second into thinking i know what i'm doing, i'm including some sketchbook scans to show my design process in all its baffled panic. the first half is me thinking way too deeply into the conceptual structure of the narrative, and the second half is mostly me realizing i haven't the first clue how to build the thing i've just designed. i learned so much in the last 48hrs of this project.

9 sketchbok spreads under here )
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just restocked my etsy shop with more blank books. buy them! they're ridiculous, and good for writing and drawing in. =)

each book is made with my own special blend of whimsy and obsessive attention to detail, using a variety of fine decorative papers, 4ply linen thread, 50lb acid-free canson sketch paper, and the covers of ridiculous old paperbacks from the bargain bins at the library used booksale.

peruse the books in my ETSY shop

--any friends of mine living in nashville, just contact me directly if you see one you want. we can settle up outside the bounds of etsy.
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
i made this book a while ago as a present for a friend, but only got around to making the box and actually giving it to her last week.

it's a bilingual (English/German) editon of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis/Die Verwandlung (spellchecking a language i don't speak was hilarious, btw), with a double-spine variation on the tape binding from the massive tutorial i recently posted. each bookblock is illustrated with six beetles (under the cut) printed onto fiber paper. it's technically part of an edition of three, but so far this is the only copy that actually exists.

thumbnail links to the project at my website gallery.



beetles under here )
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the exposed tape binding in 140 easy steps - a photo-tutorial by molly brooks

a few people expressed an interest in getting a photo-tutorial for the binding technique i used on this project, so i thought i’d give it a shot!

(thumbnail above links to the tutorial at my website)

the technique is an open-spine tape binding with each tape mounted into both boards. i learned it at school in honest-to-god bookbinding 101, and it's my favorite. it's a bit more labor-intensive than coptic, but not much more difficult, and quite a bit sturdier. it's less likely to fray with heavy use, but it still gives you the flexibility at the spine that you get with coptic and other exposed spine bindings, so it will lie flat and close around a pen and double over itself like a legal pad and pretty much put up with all the abuse a coptic will, with even less risk of falling apart.


i didn't invent any of the techniques pictured here, and i'm certainly no bookbinding expert or teacher, but i hope i've managed to describe the process in a way that makes sense to someone who hasn't encountered it before. it's the first time i've ever attempted a tutorial, so i'd appreciate feedback on its quality!
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i just recently finished a bookbinding project for the same wonderful client who commissioned the book of Emerson poetry. this one is a collection of quotations, illustrated throughout with tiny flowers in red watercolor ink (about 500 of them, all told- yowza).

this is also both the widest and (fortunately) the best exposed-tape binding i've ever done-- i'd worried that the stitching would get a bit wonky given the thirty or so signatures between the covers, but it turned out super regular and not wiggly at all! =) evidence mounts that i do my most exacting work in a frothy panic.

thumbnail links to the project at my website gallery.



before starting the project, i submitted a proposal with specs, paper samples, and explanations of what i intended to do- i think it's kind of fun to see that initial design side-by-side with the finished book:



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last week i designed and made a double-sided accordion book with illustrations in ink-and-brush. it's about the codependency and combination of anonymity and self-exposure that are encouraged by emerging social media. because this is me, that's all expressed visually by tangly hair and oodles of naked women.

thumbnail links to the project at my website gallery, along with a longer explanation of my thought process.

this project has naked chicks in it.
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just restocked my etsy shop with more blank books. buy them! they're ridiculous, and good for writing and drawing in. =)

also, 50% of each sale this month is going to flood relief efforts in nashville.

each book is made with my own special blend of whimsy and obsessive attention to detail, using a variety of fine decorative papers, 4ply linen thread, 50lb acid-free canson sketch paper, and the covers of ridiculous old paperbacks from the bargain bins at the library used booksale.

peruse the books in my ETSY shop

--any friends of mine living in nashville, just contact me directly if you see one you want. we can settle up outside the bounds of etsy.
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
as a present to myself for finishing a couple commissions, i spent an afternoon designing and building a hard case for my kindle. also my first attempt at an elastic strap closure, which seems to have been successful (so far... i'll need to road test the technique a bit longer before i start using it for projects that aren't for me).

...and no, i didn't notice the irony of using old-school binding techniques to make a cover for an electronic book until i had already done it. =) not quite that self-aware.



hardbound electronic book under here )
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my little brother turned 21 this week! have i mentioned that? such an event calls for more than one present, clearly, so i didn't content myself with a little set of notebooks.

the OTHER present, that i had a ton of fun with and mostly decided to do because i knew i would, is this: an illustrated bilingual poem-book of edgar allan poe's The Raven. the english text and french translation are on the reverse sides of each page, and share cutout illustrations. thumbnail links to the project in the gallery on my website.



i also made a quicktime movie going through the book page by page- it should be embedded below...



Le Corbeau, a tour through (1:54)
bigger version of the movie (53mb)
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
my little brother turned 21 this week! to commemorate this auspicious and whiskey-soaked occasion, i made him presents!

the darling boy wants to learn french, so i made him a set of small moleskine-ish notebooks with french phrases along the top of each recto, and the pronunciation and translation at the bottom.



brother books under here )
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just added a new batch of blank books to my etsy shop. buy them! they're purse-sized, and good for writing and drawing in. =)

each book is made with my own special blend of whimsy and obsessive attention to detail, using a variety of fine decorative papers, 4ply linen thread, 50lb acid-free canson sketch paper, and the covers of ridiculous old paperbacks from the bargain bins at the library used booksale.

peruse the books in my ETSY shop

--any friends of mine living in nashville, just contact me directly if you see one you want. we can settle up outside the bounds of etsy.
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
i made this for a show at the Burien Art Gallery in Washington. nine layered panels (sort of) tell a weird little original fairytale about a frog prince, and his sister's adventures in home-surgery. my current personal project is adapting it as a graphic novel =)

it's my second carousel book ever (the first being a loving tribute to doctor who). this time i sewed the various layers together at the foredges, rather than gluing them, and i think it worked better. the images are ink+brush and rapidograph pen directly onto the paper, bc i have limited access to printmaking equipment, and i've been using nib-pen for everything recently and am sick of it.

image links to the project at my website.

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i was recently hired by a private client to make a handbound and illustrated book of Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I'm really pleased with the way the book turned out. the client's color preferences led me to a palette and combination of materials that wouldn't have occurred to me if left to my own devices, but that i think work really well together. all the illustrations are variations on the rose pattern of the brocade bookcloth, done by hand with ink & brush.

thumbnail links to the project in the bookarts section of my website.




and the image below is a page from the initial proposal i sent to the client for approval. we ended up making some slight alterations to the original plan during construction, includind getting rid of the little window on the burgandy pages -- i'd thought it would be cute, but after doing the illustrations i realized it was unnecessary and would be distracting, visually.

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anyone looking for not-quite-last-minute holiday gifts for that artist, writer, or journal-keeper in your life: i'm selling blank books on etsy! each book made with my own special blend of whimsy and obsessive attention to detail.



check them out at my etsy shop HERE!
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)


Earlier this month I was able to participate in a group exhibition of young artists, organized by Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville. I got distracted and forgot to photograph the opening, but went back last week to show some friends, and finally remembered. SO, here are photos of my work in the space! I couldn't make the photos not be bright cyan, so i made them b+w.

bad photographer )

The pieces being shown are Market Man, Sigurd/Brynhild, and The Lady or the Tiger.

January 2011

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