A palm book inspired artists' book

Published on 25 April 2023 at 21:04

Lots more information I found about sevens

When I started finding out more about the history of books and different forms I came across palm books for the first time. This coincided nicely with me having picked up a pack of 5×8″ index cards for a pound from a charity shop without any idea of what I would do with them. I knew I wanted to make something that included lots of the plentiful information I had been gathering about the number 7 and putting it in a form inspired by the palm books seemed like a good experiment to contribute another element to my (forty nine years is) Seven Times Seven artists' books project.




The palm leaf books I had seen were made from long rectangles of (yep) palm leaves which where stacked on top of each other and bound with one or two strings thread through each leaf. These books then seemed to be encased in hard covers or stored in a box.

o make my book I first gathered together the random pieces of information I had found into a spreadsheet so I could sort them easily. I classified them according to subject matter – easier for some pieces than others. Ending up with over 100 pieces of information and 8 groups I had a sort out, got it down to 7 groups and selected 7 things to include from each group. Continuing with using 7 as a constraint I then put each of the 49 things into 7 words each. Hence, 7x7x7. I colour coded the groups as follows –

Red – Miscellaneous/trivia
Orange – Classical (Roman/Greek)
Yellow – Hinduism
Green – Folklore/other religions
Light blue – Christianity
Dark blue – Judaism
Purple – Islamic

I decided I wanted a nice thick stack of cards and 49 wasn’t really enough so added a further 49, each of which would have 7 represented in different ways, whether symbolically or in other languages.

I found a box of just the right size to house the cards, punched holes in them so as they could be strung together and put them in place.  


See more of this book and others in the project.


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