Sunday, December 30, 2012

Word Carnival

   It's the last week of 2012 and I've had a wonderful time marking each week with a newly finished book-of-the-week. The year has flown by but somehow is fuller because of the physical nature of the books... sitting on the shelf in the studio, scattered about the house, and in the hands of friends and relatives. The year is now recorded by these 52 books. That is why, for this last week,  I've chosen not to make a traditional book, but a game.  A game can be played over and over again... shared with friends and relatives.. it can become a tradition. In our family there is a tradition of playing a board/card game called Tripoli. We also play Bingo, Scrabble, Poker, and Monopoly... We're a family who loves games! The book-of-the-week for week 52 is titled Word Carnival. I didn't make up this game, but have combined two existing games, Scrabble and Tripoli, and added several variations.. with which my family has helped.
The gatefold coverboards of Word Carnival
A vibrant blue-green intaglio print covers the outer surface of the cover. Two copper pennies and a strand of waxed linen serve as closures for the gatefold coverboards.  The pennies allude to the pennies used to ante into the game and the  determination of the ultimate winner.

    Open the gatefold 'doors' to see a second set of panels covered in an intaglio print of a pretty rose garden. The back side of the opened panels is covered in orange pastepaper and the labels for 6 of the 'carnival booth' sections: Blank, JLX&Z, Match, 5-letter Word, 6-letter Word, 7-letter Word. To know what these sections are about, you must get the game! But for a hint, play the game Tripoli.

   When all 4 panels are opened, the gridded board is seen. This is where the words get spelled.. just like the game Scrabble. And so there are tile letters... and pennies... and everybody puts a penny in each of the sections (the Carnival booths), and takes turns spelling words from the letter tiles they get.. And if a word has a certain criteria.. like 4 letters, then the first person to play a word with 4 letters wins all the pennies in that section! Just like at the Carnival! Isn't that fun?!

Before we start, the board is clear and the sections are empty of pennies..

But in playing the game my family and I realized the original game was missing something... the words had way too many criteria that weren't being noticed.. There ARE so many cool words! So we created a section for foreign words, a section for palindromes, a section for words with 3 letters the same, a section for words of a theme,.. and we haven't stopped thinking of new criteria... we ARE running out of pennies though.

A game nearly over.. the pennies get won from the "booths" along the side..

What word criteria would you add to our game? Perhaps you should make up your own game?

  Thank you for following this year-long rambling of artist books.  I hope it has inspired you in creating your own books and with your own voice. An exhibit of the 104 books of the 2012 Book-of-the Week Challenge made by Jenny Mahaffey and Kathy Steinsberger will be shown at Pullen Art Center, 105 Pullen Rd, Raleigh, NC from Jan 2-31, 2013. An opening reception will be held from 6-8pm Thursday, January, 17, 2013.

   And finally, I have decided to continue the Book-a-Week challenge in 2013. How could I quit?! but will limit myself to creating books based on the stiff leaf binding. It you would like to join me, please do so!

See you next week,