Altered Book: Thumbelina

Memory is a funny thing. As I began to write this blog post I suddenly remembered a song from my childhood about Thumbelina sung by Danny Kay. I haven’t thought about it in ages, and it certainly didn’t occur to me while I was working on this book.

Altered Book Thumbelina-5

The Thumbelina book is the fifth and final fairy tale altered book I have made for the show at Seymour Gallery. I was inspired by the imagery of a tiny figure in a flower and wanted to make something three-dimensional from paper. The figure inside the flower pictured here, is a photograph of my friend Siobhan curled up and pretending to rest.

Altered Book Thumbelina-3

Altered Book Thumbelina-2

In the story of Thumbelina there are many animals she encounters on her adventures, and I chose to reference only two of these. A mouse gives her shelter in her time of need, and she rescues the swallow who eventually rescues her in return. I cut the swallow from an old bird field guide, and made the mouse as an original paper cut painted with brown acrylic paint.

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Altered Book Thumbelina-7

The leaves were also hand-cut from paper and added to fill out the composition. I’m not one hundred percent happy with this book but I am out of time to make it better. The part I really want to do over is the flower because it’s rather clunky, but once it was glued in there was no going back. I think it’s a case of liking pieces of this composition more than the whole thing.

Altered Book Thumbelina-4

Altered Book Thumbelina

There is one week to go before the show opens at Seymour Art Gallery. Details here in case you missed it.

Materials used: book, green card stock, pink card stock, paper bird, tissue paper, acrylic paint, white glue, and gel medium.