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Nicola’s Macbeth


Cindy Tonkin - August 23, 2013

My friend Nicola created a marvellous calligraphy piece many years ago.
It’s one of the witches speeches from Macbeth (Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair, through the fog and filthy air).
It was calligraphed using a piece of balsa on a long piece of plain wallpaper. And a spatter of red “Blood” added (with acrylic paint).

My quest today was to make a book of several similar pieces (she did several drafts, as calligraphers do, each perfect enough for me, but not for a calligrapher).
I made 3 different books: a long concertina (21inches x 4inches), to which I will add a hard cover in red velvet (maybe with a dagger or a broomstick as a closure?).

Then the second structure is a snake book / leperello / single sheet book: I cut the sheet (maybe 8 feet long) into a single snake and folded into a 3 inch square concertina.
The concertina stands coincidentally about 3 inches high.
I cut it to fit inside a box from a Moet and Chandon champagne bottle box. (not the red on the
Then i cut down the box to have an unevenly closing lid.
And discovered that looked like a crown or a castle (or both).
The remaining box bit looked so great I photographed them together.
The first photo is mid-cut (8 feet is a lot of 3 inch cuts!
Plans to complete this piece:
  • get a copy of Macbeth to line the inside of the crown / castle boxes
  • maybe cover the outside of the moet box (I’ll be sad to miss the red letters, but the box needs covering)
  • consider using red nail polish to make a seal or recover the lettering

The heater’s fan revealed that this piece has a “slinky”-like quality… see video here and here (26 seconds and 23 seconds).

I remembered half way through that I still had other copies of Nicola’s Macbeth to use as background! the green cutting mat is not as pretty!
The 3rd structure is similar to one I made at Sturt Summer School a few weeks ago. It’s taken from Alisa Golden’s Handmade books (100+ structures) which is my new bible.
Each page has a string through it and then the strings get tied together to make a single book.
My intention (when I’m back from holidays in a few weeks) is to:
1. finish attaching ties
2. tie the pages togeher
3. add some beads (fair and foul are photographed here)
4. cut some windows in the tower box (this piece is 6 x 3 inch pages, so they fit inside the taller tower / crown box
5. or maybe I could make some small modelling clay icons (skulls? hands? a head?) instead of (or as well as) the beads.

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