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

Monday, April 11, 2016

Prototype progress, Oct 2015

Last October, in preparation for NACIS 2015, I began to search for the materials to use in the final edition. My original prototype was built entirely with scrap material. I tried a new paper, a cloth for the book cover, and a paper to line the cover.

My first tests on the laser cutter used a Canson drawing paper that I happened to have lying around. I bought a heavyweight watercolor paper to test, and noticed two unforeseen problems with the result. First, the laser cuts caused a more significant yellowing of the watercolor paper. Second, the paper has a distinct texture on each side, which is visible as it alternates from page to page due to my book's structure. I found the alternating texture distracting and I wasn't happy with the yellow staining.

Testing laser cuts on a Strathmore cold press heavyweight watercolor paper 

Leaving those paper tests aside, I returned to the hard-cover prototype to try some new materials for the cover. The previous iteration of the prototype was simply covered in plain brown paper and had no lining.
I chose a grey linen cloth to cover the book. After actually trying this, I felt that the rough texture of the linen clashed with the sleek laser cuts. While I want my book cloth to have a varied texture, the linen wasn't quite right.

Grey linen
Re-covering the prototype in cloth

Finally, I tried a bright blue cardstock to line the cover of the book. Because Crater Lake is known for its vivid color, I really wanted to incorporate a bright blue into the design. After trying this out, however, I found that the cardstock's thickness impedes the hinges of the cover. Aesthetically, I also felt that the material was too flat and that its color drew attention away from the shape of the lake, which should be the visual focus.

Lining the prototype in a bright blue cardstock
Left to right: original, first prototype, second laser test

It was progress, though not in the way that I had hoped. Instead of finalizing some of my materials, I learned a bit more about what I really want, and I realized that selecting materials will be a significant challenge as I move forward.

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