Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 21: The Road Trip Map Game

letterpress title plate over paste paper
   The book-of-the-week for Week 21 is The Road Trip Map Game. The title plate was letterpress printed on Stonehenge paper with 24-point Goudy Oldstyle font and 18-point Crayonette font. The cover boards are covered with paste paper and silk book cloth.  Inside, the text pages are a variety of maps from Italy, France, and Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington DC, USA. Based on an unusual book structure called a harlequinade, the accordion-spine book has two horizontal rows of page sections. Each section of nested map folios was cut in half horizontally. The top sections were sewn onto the top half of the accordion spine with a 3-hole pamphlet stitch. The bottom sections were shuffled and then sewn onto the bottom half of the spine piece, resulting in the maps no longer aligned as a page. The movement and flexibility of the accordion spine is amplified by the dual horizontal rows of page sections, resulting in brief glimpses of the map areas and a wiggly floppy sort of effect when the book is opened. 

opening... array of maps

The turquoise linen sewing threads can be seen on the backside of the spine. They are tied with a knot in the valley of each section. The Mohawk heavy paper used for the spine was pressure printed on the Vandercook letterpress at Penland School of Crafts. The effect of water droplets sprinkled onto a print plate coated with oil-based inks... then transferred onto paper as it was run through the letterpress, makes the folded spine appear as if it were moving through tree-filtered sunlight. 

letterpress light drops on the spine
   Just inside the front cover are the Rules of the game... Basically the objective is to try and match the top map pages with the correct map on the bottom row of pages. This is both mentally stimulating as well as physically challenging, because the accordion folded spine tends to keep the two hemispheres from aligning. Oh well.

How to play...
 Inside the book, even though the cut sections are shuffled and sewn onto the spine so they don't align naturally... they still have a geometric sort of beauty.

maps all mixed up...

Maps matched, sort of
Harlequinade derives from the word harlequin, which means buffoon or jester. With that context for the book structure, no wonder the book is rather silly.

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