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Smidgen Dollop Dash

Cindy Tonkin - June 26, 2023

This piece was inspired by a random link i followed to an article called “How Much is a Smidgen“.

I kinda just liked the terms.

I altered Sacred Places in North America which i found in the street and brought home, mostly for its slim spine and square format, thinking it would make a nice book to alter (which it did).

I had just finished the several weeks long labour of making Sports Cars work, and was determined to do something easier on me.

My favourite thing with altered book is creating some kind of “throughness”, and so i found 50 terms in the article, organised them by vowel, and set off to make that work on the 57 pages I had left in the book. The original book had many more, but i had to account for filling the book with collaged in pages. As it turned out i didn’t count on the woolies bags i used for the kraft paper being thicker than the original book pages and being on both sides of the page – i.e. when i got through the o’s I pretty much had filled the book.

I hadn’t thought through the reversal of the letters – i, o, u work fine, but a and e don’t so much. I cut the letters out from the pages first, then created a cricut template which fit. Mandy was good enough to suggest that a backwards a isn’t that much of a big deal: here is dram, with a backwards a.

Fortunately my current strategy is that every book is a maquette, right, so i just pulled out the extra pages (which leaves a little vacuum in the second last page where the other pages were. The best laid plans of mice and book artists… The image above shows the tarlatan of the spine where i removed more than 20 pages i planned to leave in.

I still have some measurements to work with and i may take up this idea again, but for now, this one is done. I photographed my working document where I categorised by vowel so i can remember them all.

The other enhancement i made due to “reader” feedback: i defined each measurement on the side of each page (because people kept asking how much a rood was). i am comfortable with not knowing, having read the article, but now when i need to know, the answer is there.

Video below, and more images below that.

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