To round off January, here’s a bookart project: Twelve Gifts as a kinetic piece of art. If the time for resolutions or intentions has passed you by (yes me too) then this is a touchy-feely reminder of the simple things we can give, all through the year.
- Stiff paper
- Spare paper for notes and practice
- A pen and a pencil
- Scissors or a scalpel
- Thread – I’m using bookbinding linen – wool or thick cotton would work as well
- A stick or metal clothes hanger
- Shells or beads or buttons
Step by step:
1. Draw twelve feathers. Look in a reference book, or search online, for inspiration. Simple outlines work best. Stylised or zoologically accurate? You choose. My lines are very wobbly, and that’s ok.
2. Carefully cut out the feather shapes. I used a scalpel so that the sheet of silhouettes could be used for something else maybe.
3. On the spare paper, write a list of all the things that you can give this year. My thoughts included: Smiles, Time, Ideas, Books, Platefuls, Cups, Surprises, Skills, Letters, Hugs, Light and Love.
4. Either print out your words and cut round them, or use a rubber-stamp alphabet, or simply hand write each gift – one for each feather, for each month of the year.
5. Optional: Lightly score a line down the centre of the feather with the non-sharp side of your scalpel. Gently give the feather some shape by bending the sides towards you, as if forming a page in a book.
6. Depending on the length, using your needle, prick two or four holes on the centre crease of each feather.
7. Arrange the twelve feathers in the order in which they’ll be displayed. You could have three rows of four, or four rows of three, or two rows of six…
8. Once you’ve decided on the format, lay the stick or hanger above, and cut thread to size, leaving plenty extra at each end.
9. Attach one length of thread to the stick (with a reef knot) and then thread the needle.
10. Taking care to stitch in the right order, sew through each feather, sliding them up the thread, into position.
11. Weigh down the end of the thread by adding a shell or button or bead.
12. Hang in the light where you can see it, perhaps above a radiator so that the feathers dance in the warm air.
Wishing you happy drawing, cutting and gifting!