Lately, I’ve been attempting to clean up my studio; a most daunting task at times. I have projects in progress and scores of completed small watercolor or gouache pieces laying about. Often these are samples or demonstration pieces for classes I’ve been teaching recently (and not so recently). I decided to try to archive and store these little works where they can still be accessed and enjoyed. Thus, the accordion book/folio.
The accordion book came into my radar during a class I taught a couple of years ago, Experimental Landscapes. We used watercolor paper in strips longer than they are wide to create some pretty fun, free form paintings. And, since its a fairly interactive process, you tend to make ALOT of them. One thing I suggested and demonstrated for displaying these landscapes was to make an accordion book out of them. We got all crafty in developing the front and back covers, and I think things went fairly well. One student wrote to me after that she LOVED the accordion book/folio concept as it allowed her to collage onto the folded pages the many other little paintings she’s made over time. Huzzah, I thought….a convert!
On that note, I’ve been making accordion books, with a very nifty technique of using one single full sized sheet of watercolor paper. By folding and cutting and folding some more you can get a little booklet….all ready for gluing to fun DIY covers. Add ribbon, twine, or elastic and you are good to go. The beauty of this design is that both sides of the full sheet are available, presenting surfaces for direct painting or for adhering in those little masterpieces looking for a home.