Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Henry & David Whirlwind Book

Been feeling a bit gloomy lately-- several of the older members of my family have died recently. It's part of life, and they all lived long, industrious, humor-filled lives, but still. Sigh. To try cheer myself up, yesterday I started digging in my vast collection of paper left from earlier projects and decided to make a whirlwind book.

I've been reading about them--apparently the whirlwind book (xuanfeng zhuang) was invented in China. Not a lot is known about this binding structure, but it may have been used for rhyming dictionaries in the Tang Dynasty (CE 618-907). It seems to have been a transitional binding between the scroll and more modern book structures.

Basically, a whirlwind binding consisted of several sheets of paper stacked together and clamped on one side between two halves of a piece of bamboo that had been split lengthwise. The book could be rolled up like a scroll for storage, or unrolled to be read.

I decided to make my own loose interpretation of the whirlwind book. Here it is, rolled up and tied in a little scroll:

And here it is unrolled:

I wanted it to have creativity as a theme, so I included two quotes. Here is a photo of the first one, by Henry David Thoreau:

The quote isn't very readable in this photo, but it says "The world is but a canvas the the imagination."
The second quote, shown here is by William Wordsworth: "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart":

The reason it's called a whirlwind book (I think) is because the papers curl when it is open. Here is a photo of the book when it is open flat:

I had thought I'd put this little book in my Etsy shop, but I've gotten quite attached to it. I might put it in the store in a few days. Or maybe I'll make another one, and keep this one.


Hilary said...

Really liked your whirlwind book - what a lovely name and a lovely idea! I loved the quotes too especially the Wordsworth one. If this one is dear to your heart then it would be best to keep it and make another for the shop - after all that should be a breeze:-)

acornmoon said...

I am so sorry to hear of your losses, it's never easy to find the right words, I am thinking of you.

I just love this book. I have been experimenting with different book structures and have made a fabric scroll but I never thought of doing it in layers. I now feel all inspired!

A few years ago I went to an Exhibition "China" at the RA in London. They had the most amazing scrolls.

Waterrose said...

How cool. Love how all the pages look torn out and ready to float in the wind.

Ciara said...

So sorry to hear of your losses. We are facing a similar loss here sometime soon I'm afraid. But when a life has been long and full it's great to celebrate too.

Thanks so much for your whirlwind book idea. As we start the summer holidays myself and the older children have decided to each make a book during the next eight weeks. They so need to have a project they can pick up whenever those fatal words 'I'm bored', rear their ugly head!

bookyeti said...

My condolences on the loss of your loved ones. Thinking of you...

Your new book is absolutely lovely.

Judith HeartSong said...

oh, this is beautiful! Keep it for you and make another. Thinking of you in this time.

On another note, because you inspire me:

moonbindery said...

Thanks so much for all your kind thoughts--very much appreciated.

I'm glad some of you found the whirlwind structure inspiring. I have been making more of them, and will post them soon.