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The Pages of Psyche
Major: Graphic Information Technology (UX)
Genre/Medium: Book Art, Book, Glue, Exacto Knife, Marker
About the work: For this third project, I wanted to create something familiar and grounded almost like comfort. The power of words and the depth of a book reaches far into the pool of our knowledge and emotions. At first, I was hoping to use Psyche documents and research papers to create art. Not only did I find it difficult to bind printer paper, but it did not visually portray the emotion I wished for.
Within the pages of books, we discover more of the world, and therefore, ourselves. We imagine amazing environments, characters, and stories in fiction and recall history and iconic figures in non-fiction. Our hopes, dreams, and potential are within the pages of books, and so I wanted to honor Psyche by putting it in one. The book I chose is called “The (Very) Short History of Life on Earth” by Henry Gee. This is the book I decided on because, with the information gathered from Psyche, it will fill in gaps in the history of Earth.
On the left side, Psyche is represented by it’s two main craters carved within the layered pages. On the right side, the satellite is represented and outlined with cascading pages to the back of the book.
As for creating this piece, I used the book, watered-down Elmer’s glue, a paintbrush, an old credit card, an exact-o knife, a pencil, and a black marker. Starting at the back of the book I would pour glue onto a paper plate, dip my paintbrush in a cup of water and mix it. Once the consistency was like yogurt, I would brush it onto a page, turn the next page over, smooth it out with the old credit card, then glue the next page. I glued 3 pages at a time from the back all the way to the front so the pages would lay naturally and not distort. Once all pages had dried, I split the pages in half and put a heavy weight on them so they would lay flat when fully opened. From there I would lightly sketch with a pencil on the pages and then cut. Once cut, I could draw within the confines of the cut pages and create dimension. For the craters, I would draw a circle, cut, trace the circle I had just cut on the page underneath, cut, and continue until they got smaller and smaller.
This project brought me a lot of joy, but it also made me really pay attention to what I was doing. Once you cut it’s done and trying to tape or glue something back together never looks the same after. So making sure the layering of my sketches was correct was first, then making sure I cut carefully was second. This piece made me really proud to be perfectly honest, and I felt very bound to it (no pun intended).