Monday, March 30, 2009

Paper for Marbling

Over the past couple weeks, I have tested several different papers for marbling. I thought I would share the results. I was using acrylic marbling paints on a carrageenan base for all my tests. First of all, all the papers I usually have on hand were terrible, such as: Strathmore Drawing paper 400 & 300 series, Strathmore Charcoal paper, Canson Biggie Art papers, and several others. With most of these papers, very little paint would stay on the paper - I would just begin to rinse off the size and the colours would start fading. I tried to do less or more gentle rinsing on a few sheets, which preserved the colours better, but the paints are still rubbing off after the sheets have dried. Frustrating. Not good. But I did find a few papers that work wonderfully. 1. Japanese calligraphy paper from Yasutomo & co. 2. Hilroy Studio Sketch Book, "for pencil and colour markers" 3. Color & Co Art Paper for Kids, "Drawing & Painting" 60lb paper 4. White Kraft paper rolls 5. Canson MiTeintes - I got mixed results with these papers, sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn't I asked around trying to find out why so many papers are unsuitable for marbling. It seems that most paper is treated to such a great extent to make it acid free, then buffered and polished and shined and whitened or whatever... the paper just becomes unsuitable. Really, I don't know enough about paper making or the processes used by these various companies to know any specific reasons. I just know which papers worked for me. In the list of good papers, numbers 1 & 3 were also the best papers for Suminagashi marbling.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Edible Books 2009

Everyone is invited to Edible Books 2009 with BEST! Every year on April 1st, the Edible Book festival is held in various locations around the world. Anyone can hold and event and register with the main organization ( This year I've initiated a virtual Edible Book festival with BEST, the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. We are inviting participation from anyone who is interested, you do not need to be a member of the team to join the fun. All the details are posted here: Entries can be submitted any time before April 1st. Photos are starting to appear here in our Flickr group - where you can also upload your photos when your book is ready! I've been looking through some of online galleries from previous events and found a couple new favorites. Frankenstein is one of my favorite books already, and now it's also one of my favorite edible books! This is from the Loganberry Books website, their 2004 event.

Pita Pan! Another great one. I found this example on the website for the Hong Kong edible book festival, from their 2007 event.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day

Today I was disappointed to realize that I had such a poor selection of green items available in my shops. Obviously I have not been planning ahead very well. But there have been lots of green things pass through my studio in the past couple years, so I collected a bunch of photos to show by way of the Flickr badge.

Now that I've been fighting with the Flickr badge for an hour, I've decided it is the least versatile badge of its kind! After tweaking the code, I have it sitting there somewhat happily. But it will not, it just will NOT align to the top. Why does it insist on sitting down there? Perhaps this is a combined Blogger/Flickr problem becasue I'm also using a table to format this post and that is not Blogger's favorite thing. Anyway, what bugs me the most about the badge, is that the photos can only be displayed in a single line - either in a column or a row. I really wanted to do a 3x3 grid... it would have been easier to just make one from scratch but after investing an hour a couple hours into the badge, I will leave it! Happy green day :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

A few updates

Let's see, what did I do this week? MyHandboundBooks now has its own life on Facebook. All the cool kids are doing it. You can become a fan of MyHandboundBooks: Flashlight Worthy Earlier this week, I prepared a reading list for Flashlight Worthy Books, if you are looking for suggestions. There are lots of great suggestions on this website:
   !  !  !     -PL
And I booked my flight to Michigan for PBI 2009!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Underwater linocut

I recently made an underwater lino cut, well, it is an underwater scene, of course I didn't make it underwater... And I used it on the cover of these notebooks. I found some fun single section sewings in Keith Smith's book "1, 2, & 3 Section Bindings" and these notebooks are made using a modified version of a sewing he describes. I've also used some of my other linocuts for making notebook covers too. I used another sewing from Smith's book for the bright orange & pink notebooks and the brown & black ones. The little pink notebooks have a simple 3-hole pamphlet binding.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What colour is this?

When I add new journals to my Etsy shop, I try to include colour descriptors that are meaningful, using words that might help people envision the colours accurately in spite of the unreliability of computer monitors around the world. So the leather isn't just brown, it is dark chocolate. Or it is not just green, it is jade. That sort of thing. Now. I have this leather. It is kinda beige or maybe sand. But it has darker areas. It is sorta distressed but not really. I can't think of any clever colour descriptors. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Art of the Book '08

There are not many opportunities to visit book art exhibits around here, but the travelling exhibit for The Art of the Book '08 stopped by for a while and I was able to get there before they packed up last week. This juried exhibition marked the 25th anniversary of the The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.

Check the Exhbition Schedule to see if it will be coming to your town.

Check the online exhibit on the CBBAG website.

Of course they wouldn't let me fondle the books or take pictures of them. And many were in protective cases so I couldn't drool on them either. I particularly like the books from Erin Ciulla, Paul Johnson, Mira Coviensky, Cathy Berg, Don Taylor, Anna Embree, Robin Muller, Helga Hobday and the papers of Judith Welbourn and Robert Wu and lots more... I meant to just list a few... but of course they are all terrific. Check it out.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

More marbling

When Nick was doing his demonstration the other day, I was also doing some more marbling. Still having some problems finding the right paper. Lots of papers are treated with certain chemicals to make them archival, acid-free, etc. All these things can make bad marbling paper... silly me, I thought that I could put alum on just about any paper and that would make it work. Not quite! Back when marbling was being developed the papers were wonderfully unrefined in comparison, much better for marbling! Anyway. There are still some papers that will work... until they change their recipes... so the paint isn't sliding off every sheet I try. Some of my results from last week...