Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 11: Book Land

Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
   One of this artist's favorite places is the Carnegie Public Library in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Between 1883 and 1929 businessman Andrew Carnegie funded 2509 public libraries all over the world. More than 1500 were built in the United States, with the largest number built in the areas where he lived and did business,  around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Carnegie opened the Oakland branch in 1895. His commitment to sharing the wealth of knowledge found in books to all people, regardless of financial standing, is undoubtably one of the most altruistic acts committed by the rich and powerful of that time. The impact of books and their significance on culture and society is the basis of this week's book-of-the-week, a board game titled, Book Land.

Fun in a box!
   The objective of Book Land is to make the most books and put them in your library. Housed in a cigar-style box (a nod to the cigar-smoking Mr. Carnegie), the game includes a four-panel board with watercolor illustrations; a die; a second cigar box with directions for making 5 different styles of handmade books, bookmaking terminology, and the game rules; a multi-compartment tray with book making tools and examples of the books; and a map of the first floor of the Carnegie Public Library in Pittsburgh.

Everything, all pulled out of the box
Books and tools... inside the tray
a box of buttons inside the tray are the board tokens...
A variety of handmade decorative papers were used to make the game: pastepaper, collograph prints, marbled paper, Japanese prints, and even handmade Japanese kimono fabric was used to make bookcloth.

all the sample books around the tray
   The colorful poster board cover of each set of book making directions was letterpress printed with the title and a quote using the Pearl letterpress at Paperbuttons Press.  Fonts used were 24-point Bookman, 12-point Sans serif, and 14-point Oldstyle Italian Italic. Directions for the individual books were originally written by this artist for her book arts classes and printed on the Epson inkjet printer. The books that can be made are: Accordion, Concertina, & Japanese Stab Binding; Cross-Hatch Longstitch on Leather; Multi-needle Coptic with Headband; and Case Bound book with French-Link Binding. To play the game, all one has to do is roll the die and then when one lands on a certain color tile, make the book that is in that color folder. If a player lands on a white tile... too bad, that person doesn't get to make any book at all...

the folders of book-making directions
  When this artist first wished to make her own artist's books in 2001,  she went to the Carnegie Public Library in Pittsburgh. She searched the card catalog and looked up the topic book making, but all of the books listed were about how to gamble. After some thought, she looked up the topic book binding and found numerous books about how to make handmade books. Now, with this handy game, Book Land, anyone can make their own books, just by playing!

Map of Carnegie Public Library

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