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Clock Altered Book

Cindy Tonkin - November 7, 2022

I have had scraps of attention available to me over the past few weeks, because I took on an “impossible” task at work. Altered books are good for these times because:

  • they take up a small space
  • each page becomes a work
  • they are low stakes, no need to get preciouis
  • when i look back on old ones I’ve altered I’m always surprised by one or two pages.

Before creating this altered book I reviewed a good dozen or more of the altered books I’ve done in the past, looking for common themes and ideas. Follow this link to find more of them.

Somewhere I have the list, and here’s my memory of it:

  • a quality of throughness
  • a through line (offered by the book or developed, often late in the process)
  • strong colours and lovely contrasts
  • collage and colouring in and various types of colour-application methods

This particular book has been in my shelf since Auntie Sue gave it to me more than 20 years ago. i always considered it “too good” to use, so i bit the bullet finally and launched in.

It had poorly contrasting black and white illustrations and images, along with some (probably) faded photographs. Of clocks, since the book is called Clocks.

I began with removing extra pages, so that it would still sit in the cover ok when i collaged in images. I took a cereal bowl and traced rounded cut out, put in some strong blocks of colour. I started at the end, because often i know by the end what a book is about, and this one i was clear on from the start.

Some of the original black and white photos have survived, coloured in or retouched. I have a large stash of images and colours I’ve removed from magazines as wide-ranging as Donna Hay and National Geographic over the years (again most of which i salvaged more than 15 years ago). Several pages were done and re done, but preserving the “throughness”. I still have some coloured images of clocks left, but this one is done.

Here is the video of the insides:

Clocks: the Altered book

And some still images.

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