Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brown paper bags

We use way too much of everything and throw away most of it. So I try to find a use for some of that stuff that normally gets tossed aside. One of the things I have been saving is paper bags.

I also save the board from the back of sketchbooks, so I combined that with the paper bags and made some little notebooks with a chain stitch binding.

They are a million miles from archival, I know that; but, they are just notebooks for scribbling grocery lists or other simple things and I don't think they need to outlive me!

Here's a shot of the spines - as requested!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Girdle Books

Another project that I was working on in the last few months, was making a few more Girdle Book journals. I have made some before and each time, I tweak the process a bit. As always with the girdle books that I make, I'm not technically binding these like they would have been done historically - I'm playing the 'artistic license card' with a lot of the details. You can read a bit more about this structure in an earlier post. This time I sewed my own endbands which, I think, is a nice touch. This is how it looks after the text blocks are ready with endbands completed.

Some of them looked better than others in the end, here are a couple of the better ones up close.

I wanted to use my own marbled papers for the endpapers too so the endbands were made to coordinated with them.

I used leather for the coverings and added either metal corners or raised bands and each one has a clasp.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year's Resolution and Tea-stained Paper

Happy New Year to all my blog readers! I have just decided that my New Year's Resolution is to post more regularly here on my blog - no less than once per week. I used to be able to manage a weekly post but last year was slack; so, I resolve to do better this year!

I'll try to catch up by posting some things that I meant to post last year. There were several projects where I took pictures with the intention of sharing them here on the blog - but never got around to it. One such project was my first attempt at tea-staining paper - the results were quite good. I realize that introducing tea will make the paper non-archival but I wanted some old-looking paper and this seemed the best way to achieve the effect.

This is how I did it...

I made some strong tea and put it in a shallow pan. I crumpled the pages and tossed them into the tea. I did not fully submerge the paper.

I removed the papers, flattened them a bit, and laid them out to dry.

When they were all dry, I had a stack of paper like this,

Which I put into the press, and got this:

I used this paper to make some thick signatures - here they are on top of some regular signatures made from the same paper (unstained).

I used the thick sections to make some journals in the style of the Nag Hammadi books. I've discussed this book style before so you can read more about the history in some of my earlier posts.

One of these with the stained paper was included in the December BEST book swap and another is pictured here. I think the old-looking paper was exactly right for these journals.

If you have any suggestions for improvements to my tea-staining process, please leave a comment and tell me about it.