There’s a pile of polymer clay that I’ve wanted to incorporate into art-book making for a while. My previous experiments with polymer clay pages and coptic bindings will not see the light of day. Making new work for the September exhibition, Reading Between the Lines, provided inspiration to try polymer clay again.
The Book of Eringi
I liked the idea of having a realistic front and concertina pages. I tried first with a shiitake shape but the sculpture was too top heavy. Eringi proved an idea shape for the concertina format I had in mind.
Pop Up Mushrooms
I have a bunch of small tins I planned to make into mini-sewing kits, but they ended up being made into a type of book, instead. I covered the lid with a thin layer of polymer clay and then sculpted mushrooms to go on top. My favourite challenge with polymer clay is mixing the clay until I get the right color. The pop-out mushrooms are hand-painted using watercolour
Glow in the Dark
It’s the same method as Pop-Out Mushrooms. The glow in the dark polymer clay actually glows in the dark! That was really exciting. I have some glow in the dark paint but haven’t decided what kind of content and how I want to design the pages yet.
Other Projects and Ideas
I started another book in the shape of a shiitake to do in the same format as the eringi. It didn’t work as the stem wasn’t thick enough and it kept falling over. I found an old hymnal book with pages falling out so I took the cover and attached the shiitake. I still haven’t figured out the content of The Shiitake Hymnal. I have another couple of ideas of layered images and cut outs that I want to try. I’ll post those when I get more done on them.
What kind of mushroom book would you like to see?
I’m thinking about taking the serialized story in MaiNichi Mushroom, “The Great Mushroom Detective: The Case of the Golden Mushroom,” and making it into a tunnel book. Here is a test page from the second installment of the story.
I finally finished the first issue of Mai Nichi Mushroom, your monthly guide to your daily mushroom life!
I’m thrilled with how it looks and how the content came together. I’m quite fond of the effect of the print on craft paper. The white background is digital, pre-printing. A5 (148mm× 210mm or 5.83″× 8.27″) ended up being the Goldilocks size for this project–not too big, not too small. It’s surprising how having only eight pages can be both a good limit and a tough challenging. At first there are too many ideas, then after revising there is not enough content, then suddenly, there is not enough space! The other surprise was how many times I had to reprint because I kept finding typos after I thought I caught all those rascals.
One of the interesting things since starting this project is how many people I’ve met who’ve actually been mushroom hunting or are members of mycological societies. It’s like a people keep it a secret until the feel it’s okay to talk about it! I say let your mushroom flag fly!
I’m looking forward to issue 2 next month were I continue the story of “The Great Mushroom Detective,” get into more mushroom life, and make some more puzzles and illustrations. I’m also hope to keep meeting more mushroom fans.
I haven’t decided where to sell Mai Nichi Mushroom yet. If you are interested in a copy please email norinoristudio at gmail.com.
I’ve almost got the cover completed. I want to add a fox behind the mushrooms or looking up at them as if they are gigantic. I used the illustration I posted about yesterday. I scanned the sketch and then applied the dark strokes filter to a copied layer of the sketch and reduced the opacity to see some of the sketch underneath.
Still having font issues. I gave up on looking for cute fonts in Japanese. I used Hiragino Gothic Standard, rasterized it and played with the edges. I just wanted a softer, more playful look for the kanji. I’m also going to change the font for Fiction Feature–it’s hard to read on the mushroom colored background.
Now that I’m doing content for 10 Types of Mushrooms, I realize I’m going to have to change it to 5 types. It’s getting pretty text heavy, and frankly, I’m getting bored. Plus I still need to write “The Great Mushroom Detective.” Games are done and put into a Photoshop file. Still thinking about how to decorate them.
My first idea is to print the zine on craft paper, but the stuff I have is quite dark. I’ll probably need to do some color adjustments for text. But it’s kind of coming together.
I’m making a zone for my husband’s birthday. It’s themed around the story of a little fox who likes to study and collect mushrooms but slightly formatted like a lifestyle magazine. Maybe it seems odd but we live in Japan. Cute is a thing here.
And because I’m like Foxy (I’m great with names, aren’t l?) I’ve also been studying up on mushrooms.
I spent three hours yesterday trying to find cute Japanese fonts. It’s an interesting but overwhelming proposition. I found some free sites but I feel nervous about downloading them. I tried to get to the font creator’s site when I could. But that virus fear doesn’t go away easily.
I’ve got three puzzles done and two illustrations. I “finished” two illustrations today. I’d like to do more with them but I think it’s time to just say enough.
I like the pencil drawing but it doesn’t really do with th playful tone of the zone.
The Foxy Mushroom Detective would be better with some more depth, shading or color but I only have time for a line drawing.