Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Making of "Vitamin Sea"

Artist Book "Vitamin Sea" in progress by Toni Hartill

The making of "Vitamin Sea" was a lengthy process requiring lots of problem solving and experimentation. Initial ideas came about as a result of a sense of play 
and perhaps a bit of a sense of humour...


The possibilities are endless! 
The hard part is making a choice and cutting into my stash 
of lovely textures and images. Its surprising (perhaps not) how long this process can take 
as it involves A LOT of dithering and fiddling with tiny details. 

Each diorama is made up of multiple pieces cut to fit the tin cans
and layered with tiny spacers. Fitting everything back in to the tins and gluing the pieces in place requires some needle-nose tweezers, a fair bit of patience... and strong specs!

Lining the inside of the "Cover"

 Perhaps this is like the End Papers of a book?
I used an old chart and overprinted it with various lino texture plates.


Creating the "Cover" Image

My initial inspiration for this "book" was the series of dioramas created in the food tins. 
I chose 7 tins to represent 7 days, or a week in time, to reference a daily log or diary of events.
I then wanted them to be contained in something so decided on the idea of a larger tin that they would stack inside of, hence the tube which acts as the cover of the book.
I therefore decided I wanted the cover to look like an old tin label extolling the virtues of its contents.

Carving the lino

Testing & Transferring to the 2nd Block

Carving the 2nd Block


Testing & Registration 

At about this point I went to Spain for a month so I wisely left my future self 
some very clear instructions about where I was up to.
My future, jet-lagged self was very grateful that I had!


After some very unsuccessful experiments with drypoint 
I decided to use solar-plate to create the smaller text.

Testing Colour Combinations

Mixing Ink & Printing

  Labels for the Tins

Ready for Assembling the Cover

All the components are finally ready...
Now comes the scary bit! (Hence the spare prints!)

Firstly covering the outside... this involved several steps 
and a truck load of patience to avoid a gluey mess...
and LOTS of clamps.

All trussed up like Tom Kitten!

Ends folded in and glued in securely.

Last step: Gluing the map lining INSIDE the tube.

Things almost got really messy trying to get glue ONLY where it needed to be 
and NOT where it most definitely was NOT needed! 

Phew! All done!
Just the small matter of photographing it...
which of course became a whole day affair 
and included making stop motion movies!

To view final photos and "movies"
please visit my earlier blogpost here.

This "book" is exhibited as part of the  
PCANZ "Thinking_Unfolding" artist book exhibition 
which will travel to venues around New Zealand over the next 2 years.
Visit the PCANZ website to keep up to date with the latest venues.
Thanks for visiting!