bathymetric /ba-thi-ˈme-trik/ of or relating to measurements of the depths of oceans or lakes
What's this all about? ...Here's an introduction to this blog and here's a 30-second overview of the book itself

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A New Version

I'm now developing what I call the 'production prototype' of the book-- that is, a version that I can produce repeatedly, consistently and efficiently. I'm re-working aspects of the book's structure and design, always with the heart and soul of the piece in mind: the 3D relief model. 

Looking at the original (handmade) version, here's what I'm modifying:  

1) Cutting method

I need the production version to be machine - cut, rather than cut by hand. There are probably dozens of ways to put holes in paper, including CNC routers, die cutting, digitally-controlled blade cutters, and so on. At this point, I feel that the laser cutter is a great option for me. Thanks to Sector67, I have access to the machine without having to buy it or maintain it myself, and I have great support for learning to use it and troubleshooting.

My laser cutter tests turned out great, and this method should allow me to cut several copies at once.

2) Binding

The hand-made version of the book was bound with a Japanese stab binding, in which holes are punched through the entire stack of pages and a cord is stitched through the holes and around the edges to secure the stack.

The problem with the stab binding is that it restricts my thick, stiff pages and prevents them from flipping open nicely like a book.

I used the stab binding with the original because it was built as a stack of single sheets. I now have the option to re-structure the piece as a stack of folded sheets (folios) and change the binding to allow the book to easily open flat.

I tried out a Coptic Stitch binding today, which allows the book to open completely flat, and it seems to do a good job of keeping each page tightly aligned in the stack. That's essential because keeping the relief model properly aligned is the binding's most important job! 

3) Cover 

I would like to incorporate a hard cover to protect the delicate pages.

4) Content? 

I feel that the book has untapped potential for communicating concept, and what it's lacking is something to keep the reader turning the pages. I think it could tell a story... A story about looking deeper, seeing below the surface, and being captivated by nature's infinite intricacy; about seeing what was unseen, whether through the multibeam scanner that my bathymetric data came from, or through a microscope or a telescope; and about cultivating the sense of wonder that Rachel Carson wrote about, which can foster environmental stewardship.

My next steps include:
  • explore printing methods
  • select a source for buying paper
  • decide on structure and materials for the cover
  • design content

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