Collaboration in a Constellation

Some time ago, I embroidered the constellation of Scorpio in a combination of glow-in-the-dark machine thread and holographic machine thread, with silver metallic machine thread connecting the stars, because sometimes you just want to make something aggressively shiny. That’s some stiff-backed velvet there, of the sort used in displays. Not sure what the technical term is or how it came to be in my possession.

I sent it to a friend who binds books, because I haven’t seen many embroidered book covers – my grandmother until recently made embroidered slip covers for blanks for me – and wondered if there was something about embroidering a piece of cloth that makes it impossible to bookbind with it.

Anyway, that turns out not to be the case.

Notes from my esteemed collaborator:

using iron-on adhesive and tissue paper, i turned it into bookcloth. the book is 4” x 5”—small, but heavy because of how thick the pages are. the end pages are black cardstock with silver metallic sharpie borders. there are 150 white cardstock pages, edged in silver metallic sharpie, and a black ribbon bookmark featuring a glittery metal star charm.

As I believe I mentioned before, there are few feelings quite so satisfying as seeing someone take a piece of your work and incorporate it into a piece of their work, producing a collaborative product that’s more exciting than anything either of you could have done on your own, whether that’s writing a comic script or embroidering a book cover.

Being an evolutionarily-minded person I can only assume that’s a neurological adaptation designed to help a highly social species work together to ensure the success of larger projects and thus the heightened survival rate of the genes of the species.

Still feels good though.


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