The War Machine

Objects As History Week 8


After completing all my research, it was finally time to begin the crafting part of my foldout. I purchased two different kinds of tinted handmade paper for my project. Both of them with yellowish tints, so that the paper looked aged. I first made a prototype booklet, to see how I wanted it to fold out and which page went where. I thought it was necessary since I didn’t want a normal accordion style foldout.

Referring to this, I spread out the first sheet of handmade paper. Measuring and cutting out A5 panels was tricky, since it had to be scored on every fold and the final outcome had to end up in A5. I then assigned a page to every kind of chariot, and the final middle stretch of paper for the timeline.

Here’s where the second paper came in. I used this to draw individual chariots on, and then cut it out and burn the edges. I also tinted the edges of the base paper using brown alcohol ink and a sponge, which helped add a distressed effect. I then stuck the chariot cut-outs to the main pages. I’ve tried to draw the chariots in the style of the original artworks/sculptures that I found them in. I thought this would give a sense of authenticity to every panel, and represent the culture of that civilisation better.

I kept the content simple to read, and made a box next to each chariot to represent who sits/stands inside (since this differs for every civilisation). Instead of writing the location, I drew out the map of that section, and marked important cities of the civilisation in question. This exercise really helped me understand where exactly a civilisation was located, what it’s present day counterpart was, and why a specific chariot was used there.

I then dipped a brush in some brown paint, and pulled a straight line across the inside of the foldout. This became my timeline. I realized that its not the easiest thing to decide a proper scale for a timeline according to space given. Because one section of the timeline has one or two civilisations, and then suddenly several civilisations spring up around the world, and it becomes cramped up! (That’s what my timeline looks like. You’ll see.)

Lastly, the cover page. I loved ‘The War Machine’ as the title for my project, because the chariot really was one of the most mechanical things ancient civilisations could come up with during their time, and its their equivalent of a huge tank or a cyborg. I chose a button with a clock design on it, and stitched it on the cover(That’s the first time I’ve ever stitched a button). I attached a string which could be wound around this button, serving as a way to ‘close’ the booklet. I liked this because wounding out the thread required a clockwise/anti-clockwise motion, almost like turning back time before you could open the booklet.

I used an Old English font for some faux calligraphy in the titles, and used a page from a very old encyclopaedia, having the world map on it, as part of my cover page. I took inspiration from a lot of scrapbooking and junk journal videos, to understand how to imitate the ‘old’ aesthetic and the kind of elements I could use in my booklet to make it look old, instead of just pouring coffee over the whole thing.

And finally, here is my final booklet!

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