Sunday 11 November 2018

Making More Concertina Sketchbooks

This morning, I am making lots of mini-concertinas of watercolour paper, because my next residency, with York University, starts first thing Monday morning! This time I am part of a project which is researching the strategies hospitals use to try and combat cross-infection between sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis. 

We have had a couple of meetings, so I know a little more about it than I did, but I will learn plenty more as we go along. Basically, there are a few specific infections which the rest of us shake off, which people with CF can never get rid of, and which will ultimately kill them. If one CF sufferer already has something nasty, hospitals have to make sure that it's not passed on to other sufferers when they come into the hospital for their appointments.

The project is going to talk to individual patients at hospitals in Leeds, Liverpool and York, while I sketch, to discover how they feel the 'segregation' strategies work for them and what the environment feels like from their perspective.

Anyway, if you are also a sketcher, I thought you might like to have a go at making some easy mini-concertinas at home. This time I am making them from standard sheets (76cm x 55cm) rather than from a roll, which is much more straight forward. 

You start by scoring, ready for the folds. Working down the longer side of the paper, measure and lightly mark at 30.5cm and again at 61cm. Do this top and bottom, then score down right across the sheet at the two sets of marks. I have a special scoring tool, which is very handy, but a dead biro will work just as well.

Next measure along the shorter sides: mark at 22cm and again at 44cm. Now you cut along the length of the sheet at those marks, so you have 3 strips: 

Two of them will fold up to something that is close to an A5 sketchbook. The thinner strip is 'waste' as far as my residency project goes, but makes and excellent little landscape concertina book.

Now the folding. You have only scored every other fold, because they go in different directions (which would have meant scoring on different sides of the paper). So, taking your first strip, fold at the two score lines:

You create the additional folds without scoring. Gently bend the paper, to line up the two existing folds. 

When the edges are lined up, use your palm to press the fold in place, then run your finger down to firm it up. Do this again for the final fold and you have your finished concertina, with 5 facets on each side:

I have already made a cover which fits this size concertina - it was the one I made for my Australian residency, with the Centre for Transformative Work Design in Perth. I created detailed instruction for how to make the covers, when I did my initial residency with the Morgan Centre. Take a look here at how to do it. It's not difficult and, once you have it, you can use it over and over again, as long as you cut the concertinas to the same size.

Right, I'm more or less set for my residency now. Later this afternoon, I take a train to Liverpool, where I am staying overnight in a hotel, ready for an early start at the Heart and Chest Hospital in the morning. I will be sketching two different patients in the morning, then spending the afternoon sketching around areas of the hospital which have come up in the interviews. Wish me luck!

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