Monday, October 24, 2011

Printing in Kentville

As I mentioned, the bookbinding workshop was part of the annual Wayzgoose at Gaspereau Press. They are primarily concerned with printing, of course, and following the workshop there was an open house at their shop. They had several presses functioning and were allowing visitors to print keepsake posters and such.

Wood engraver, George Walker was visiting and helping visitors print a poster using this incredible 1830s Planten press. First of all, we had the poster's text printed on a Vandercook in another room. Then we brought the poster to George and he helped us print Marshall's picture in the middle - from one of George's wood block carvings.

George Walker operating the press

And my finished poster, here on the right, with the wood carving printed in the middle. George Walker is a fabulous wood engraver. There were many of his works on display and he also did an illustrated talk in the evening about printmaking.

They were also helping visitors to make little notebooks with our names on them. First we cast our name in lead. This is done on a Ludlow Type Caster - very old and very big, but very effective machine! I was at the Wayzgoose last year too and they cast my son's name and printed it on little cards. Great idea this year to take it a step farther.

So as you can see, we used that lead cast (a slug, is it called a slug?) on a Parlor Press to print the notebook cover and then it was stitched into a quick pamphlet.

The offset printer was also running, printing off posters for people. They were also making paper during this event. They have a small Hollander beater and they were beating denim jeans to make the pulp and pulling sheets of gorgeous blue paper. At first the entire facility doesn't seem very big, but they had a lot of things happening on Saturday afternoon! Many of their books were on display, including those with George Walker's gorgeous wood engravings. They also had their annual offcut paper sale... so, of course, I stocked up.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bookbinding workshop in Kentville

Yesterday, Gaspereau Press held their 12th annual Wayzgoose in Kentville, Nova Scotia. As part of the event, they were offering a bookbinding workshop with Ruth Legge, a local conservator and bookbinder who I'd heard of but never met. I was looking forward to meeting her and taking part in the class. So I left home early and drove to Kentville for a 9am start.

It was a 10-person workshop, just the right size. Ruth provided a kit for each person, with pre-cut materials. This is a great time-saver, of course, when someone else does all that fiddly work in advance! We each made a blank book, with a basic case binding structure. Mine has six signatures sewn with a French link stitch and kettle stitch, sewn without supports. And, although I've done a tonne of case bindings over the years, I still learned many things from Ruth.

My finished book

First of all, I don't think I'd ever made a case binding with a paper spine before. She also showed me a new way of turning in corners, very simple and effective. The way she planned the placement of the cover boards and spine liner onto the spine covering, also different and very effective. She quickly mentioned her method of making wheat paste - which included an extra step that I'm going to try next time. I also learned about a Quebec paper marbler, Lucie Lapierre, whose marbled papers we were using on our books. There were a number of other little tidbits that I picked up as well; all great information. It was perfect way to spend the morning!

Everyone's books in the press

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unfinished Project #3

This unfinished project turned into 14 books. Several months ago I started to make these. I prepared all the pages and then got busy with orders and other projects and all those prepared pages were moved onto the shelf of unfinished projects. But here they are, finally.

Fourteen small hardcover journals with mixed papers for the pages. Each book is colour coordinated, so the purple book has a mixture of papers that includes lots of purple, and the blue book has a mixture of papers that includes lots of blue, etc. You get the idea. And I decided to use Japanese Chiyogami on all the covers. Most of the spines are book cloth, but a few are actually leather. Hardcover pamphlet structure; I love making these.

It will take a while to photograph each book individually for Etsy, but I did get a couple of them added to my shop today.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Giveaway Winner!

Thank you, everyone, who left a comment for the Thanksgiving Giveaway. There were 110 comments! I can't tell where everyone is from, but just from the comments that included their location, I can see that I had comments from 9 different countries! Including Canada, USA, Denmark, India, Spain, Greece, UK, Belgium, and Netherlands - and there were probably people from other countries who didn't identify their location. I'm so glad that this little bit of Canadian Thanksgiving could be shared with so many people from all over the world.

Even more remarkable... the randomly selected winner (commment #9) lives right here in Nova Scotia, the same Canadian province as me. How unlikely is that?!

To select the winner, I used a random number generator at

So, congratulations to Nancy! Your new monthly planner will be en route tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unfinished Project #2

Several months ago, I stained a LOT of paper with tea. I had enough to make ten journals. So I sewed all the textblocks and then rounded and backed all of them. I started on the covers and finished seven then ran out of the leather I was using for the covers. So the three extra textblocks were put on the shelf of unfinished projects to be dealt with later.

Now they are finished! Not the same as the first seven since my cover material changed, but these turned out nice, nonetheless.

As usual, available on Etsy.
Another unfinished project is finished!
I've already started working on the next one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unfinished Project #1

I have shelves full of unfinished projects! Sound familiar? With a bit of extra time this weekend, I decided to finish some of them.

About a year ago, I made several books for someone who needed them to be a particular size and style. They all had plain covers made from Saint-Armand paper - here's a stack of the blue ones from that project:

There were also some done in red, navy, brown, and green.

While I was making these books, I made three covers that were the wrong size. Remember, measure twice, cut once! It's good advice. If I'd been more careful, I wouldn't have had three covers that didn't fit the contents. But - I did. I laid the extra covers on the shelf with the intention of using them for something... later. Later finally happened. It was awkward getting started, since normally I made the textblock first and then make a cover to fit it. This time, I was working from the other direction - the covers were ready and I had to make a textblock to fit into them.

The extra covers have been transformed into three blank notebooks, and the plain covers have been spiced up with some of my hand-marbled shipping tags and labels. The covers are made with turn-ins so they are quite strong. The binding on these notebooks is the "longstitch through a slotted cover" sewing.

Available on Etsy, of course.
One unfinished project finished... many more to go.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving - Giveaway!

It's Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend! So Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks. We get to eat turkey and pie and have an extra day off from work and school. Woohoo! AND - I'm adding another bit of fun by giving away this "Acadmic Planner"! This is the last of the Academic planners that I made this year. It is a monthly format calendar, so there is a two-page spread for each month. It is set up for the current academic year - so it started in July 2011 and ends next August 2012. It also has lots of blank pages for notes, and a pocket at the back, a ribbon bookmark, and standard reference pages as found in most such calendars. It is handbound using a longstitch binding and the cover is a really nice brown cowhide leather. I will have a draw to pick a winner for this amazing prize! If you would like to get your name into the draw for a chance to win - you must leave me a comment here and either: tell me what you think is the best thing in my Etsy Shop right now! OR tell me something fun about your Thanksgiving celebrations (this is not just for those celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving - this giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere). Leave your comments before the end of day Thursday, October 13th. I'll draw the winner on Friday, October 14th.