Friday, May 29, 2009

Structure and Action in Codex Binding

The third class I had at PBI was with Gary Frost and we covered a lot of material and worked on three different historic bookbinding models. We started with a simple struture called the Cartonnage and Free Leaf, which produced the smaller booklets shown above, which are not sewn. The second project was a sewn board structure, which is a wonderful style for edition binding - the one shown above bearing the label "Post-Digital Bookbinding".

The third book was a wooden board binding, which is based on a 16th Century struture. The textblock is sewn onto split alum tawd thongs. It is a drawn on board structure, so the thongs are laced into the wooden board covers.

The hardest part was drilling and chisling the slots in these hard oak boards. But it was worth the effort. The spine is lined with vellum and it is tucked under the boards on the sides and pasted to the inside of the covers - creating a wonderfully satisfying opening action!

The last thing we had time for, was pasting leather along the spine and wrapping it up with string like so,

This photo shows my book on the left, which I decided to cover only partially with the leather. I opted to leave the top third of the spine exposed so that I can always see the work that I did on the spine. The other book, by another member of the class, has a full spine covering. The strings were left on there for a day, then removed. So the raised bands across the spine are nicely emphasized as a result. I still have to turn in the leather at the end - it isn't meant to flap loose like this but we ran out of time at PBI. I'm back home now, so hopefully I'll get this finished soon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Binding Dimensions: Shape, Size & Structure

I have also just finished a class with Gabrielle Fox here at PBI, where we made a couple of books using a sewn binding. The first was made with a handmade paper cover and the second with a hardcover.

This book with the paper cover has blank pages and is sewn onto linen tapes, which are then laced in at the spine. The tapes have to be anchored, so I used buttons on there to make the anchor a bit more decorative.

The hardcover book has been sewn the same as the first book then we added a hollow tube on the spine and cased it into a hardcover, resulting in a very classic-looking hardcover book. This is actually a printed book of poetry by Reid Bush, called What We Know and it was printed by Larkspur Press. I decided to go with a full cloth covering, and I added a raised bird in flight on the front to reflect the imagery of the title poem.

One more class to complete!

Friday, May 22, 2009

This is a book, but maybe not a codex

The first class I started here at PBI was titled "This is a book (but maybe not a Codex)" and the instructor was Bill Drendle. The objective of the class was to use book forms and content differently than might be expected, disregarding restrictions of a traditional codex.

He presented us with found books and comic books, stamps, found papers and objects of all kinds in an attempt to inspire us. We made rebus books using pictures and text, as well as books containing lists and found dialog. In the end, I made five "books".

This concertina structure was made to accommodate a list, and I had decided to go with a list of alternative subcultures so the materials and imagery were thus influenced.

Another very simple structure he showed us, is this round book made with circles. In my example here, all the circles bear the same image and it sits on a base so you can spin it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

PBI and Ox Bow

Yesterday, I arrived in Michigan to attend Paper and Book Intensive at Ox Bow. This is a 10 day program with about 70 other book and paper people. Each participant takes three different "intense" classes. I have the great fortune of having William Drendel, Gabrielle Fox, and Gary Frost instructing my three sessions. A description of the classes is available here on the PBI website. Ox Bow School of the Arts is located near Saugagtuck and just beside an ox bow lagoon. This afternoon, I finally found some other Canadians on campus!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Travel Journals

As the summer approaches, I start thinking that I should make some travel journals for my Etsy shop. I suppose any journal can be used as a travel journal, but I made a few recently that are more specifically designed for this purpose. These are not very big and they have a simple strap to tie on the front, so if you tuck anything inside, the strap should keep all your loose bits safe in there. I backed the leather with pages from a road atlas. The pages in these journals are four different kinds of paper: unlined white cotton paper, lined notebook paper, cream Strathmore charcoal drawing paper, and a section of unlined coloured paper at that back. Also at the back, I've included a set of pockets made from cardstock so that ticket stubs and other mementos can be tucked away safely. Available on Etsy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Over and Over and Over

It is unusual for me to make a whole bunch of books that are all the same. Even the few "editions" that I've done have never been more than a few. I am now, though, working on an edition of thirty. Quite an adjustment to switch myself into a kind of assembly-line production mode. So far...

The signatures as they were when I got them from the print shop:

Sewn with endpapers, and backed:

Boards cut and sanded (by hand, i might add, i do not have a board cutter):

Some of the cases:


The whole thing is now on hold, though. I will be heading off to PBI soon so this set of books will have to wait for me. When I get back, I'll be taking the cases to have some text embossed on the spines...then after that, I'll put them together and eventually they will all have their own Japanese-style wrap-around cases too...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

More envelope patterns

After I mentioned my collection of envelope security patterns, I happily discovered that my fascination is not unusual. Apparently lots of people are drawn to envelope security patters, collecting them and/or making things with them. I've even turned my mother into a collector since she is now saving them for me! On Flickr, there is an entire pool dedicated to Security Patterns. If you have pictures, you could add them to this pool. There is also a great collection of pictures in a set called "Security Envelope Project" where she collected envelopes to make buttons. I got a photo from Joycelyn ( showing a collection of envelopes she has been saving. Judy, who reads my blog, showed me some things she has been making with security patterns. She mentioned that the collaged birds in her work are a tribute to her late Grandmother who used to call her blue parakeets, her little bluebirds of happines. That's certainly a wonderful use of envelope papers! Judy, thanks for allowing me to share these pictures. Fellow B.E.S.T member, OliveArt, has been using envelope security patterns too. She combines the different security patterns to make new patterns. These books also have envelopes for the pages! I recently purchased this set of buttons from Janick, of Neawear on Etsy. This is not very typical of Janick's work (she does fabulous wall art!), but I found these little envelope buttons buried in her shop so I grabbed them. Some other things I've seen on Etsy: Matchbook notebooks by girlindustries Alphabet magnets by bloodandgold Gift tags by swirlyarts Wrist cuff by bettydeath Let me know if you have envelope security pattern collections or art projects that you want to share. I'd love to see pictures!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jumble of odds and ends

In addition to my own jumble of odds and ends, my Dad recenly presented me with some stuff he had. What am I doing with all this? I had everything spread out here trying to get it all cleaned up to make it suitable for more steamjunk, er, I mean, steampunk books, of course. As you can see, I've got quite a supply of odds and ends...considering each book uses only a couple bits, this stuff will keep me going for a while. Here are a few new ones - I particularly like the one with the old telephone piece on the front.