20 Ways to See Whiteface

Whiteface Mountain rises up from the valley floor and stands boldly alone.  It can be seen for many miles around with it's ski trails, avalanche slide marks on the rock and a weaving highway to the top.  It so dominates the other mountains nearby it that ones eye's cannot help taking it in when it is within view, to see what it looks like at that moment.

My daughter Corrine use to call it Snow White Mountain and I marveled at her vision of the world, seen only as a four year old could.  I saw clouds swirl around the mountain, sun sets  behind the mountain and moon glow over the mountain.  I came to never see the mountain the same way twice and that led me to thinking about life and the world in general.  Why did I also have to see the world the same way twice, or even somebody that I know?

I began to fantasize in my sketchbook.  I drew boxes and put down my ideas.  How about Whiteface Mountain as part of a bonsai tree landscape?  Or remember that time I saw a plane with it's vapor trail seeming to rise up right off of Whiteface, and what if you could slice into the mountain with a giant knife and see what it was made of?

So I decided to draw the images in ink, scan them onto the computer and print them on an ink jet printer.  This is what I did to get the images into the book.  The reproduction quality is excellent and I had them printed onto Arches Text Wove paper.

Since the images were going to be in black and white  I knew this book would be a good candidate for entry into the juried art show called "Black and White" at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.  I set myself a deadline to have a copy ready by then.  The book began a year ago with the actual drawings taking the final six weeks of time.  I was stumped on a cover and I actually had no idea what it was to be until I began decorating paper.  I put myself into a creative mood and trusted in my instinct.  I visualized a time when the book was finished and I was very pleased with it, I noticed the feel of the book and the over all feeling inside of me.  I began mixing my own paint using a corn starch pudding (10 parts water to 1 part corn starch, heated to boiling), I include Modge Podge (a waterbase sealer, glue), and then acrylic paints.  I paint this mixture onto 80 lb. permalife paper, let it dry, then stamp and sprinkle white paint on it.

To put the book together I rip sheets of the 100% cotton Arches Text Wove paper into my actual book sheet size.  Feed each one through the printer  checking the quality, then fold all thirteen sheets along with a piece of Japanese paper for the end sheet and a piece of iris cloth which will attach the signature to the binders boards.  Then with linen thread I sew all those pieces together and create the signature of this book.

Glue is applied to the iris cloth and a cover board is pressed into it.  When both boards are attached I glue another piece of iris cloth as the hinge and I attach this to the boards.

The paste paint decorated cover is glued and attached then the corners and edges are folded over.

The end paper is glued and the cover is folded over onto it.  The book is put under weight for about 12 hours and then I rip a piece of paper that was made by me into a shape reminiscent of the Mountain, this is glued to the cover and again put under weight for several hours.

"20 Ways to See Whiteface" is a book entirely made by me.  From conception to completion it has been fascinating to see the idea form and grow, twist and turn.  Just as fascinating are my new perceptions of the world and knowing that I now can view people, places and things with a new eye that searches out a new way to see.

Thanks for taking this tour.

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