Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book #59


There have been many types of scrolls throughout history and across cultures. I already presented an example of a Japanese handscroll a few weeks ago, but thought I might explore a few other formats as well. The most basic scroll is simply a piece of paper or parchment that has been rolled up. Usually reserved for shorter works and commonly referred to as a roll rather than a scroll.

The photo above shows my work, entitled "A ship in a bottle." The bottle contains an example of a simple roll. The roll is printed with a picture of a schooner ship (Lovely Nelly) on which my ancestors arrived in the New World along with a brief genealogy.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Book #58

Unsupported Blanket Stitch

I bound this blank book using an exposed spine, unsupported blanket stitch. This unsupported binding is best with a small book, not many signatures.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book #57

Smith's Braided Spine

Keith Smith's 3-section sewing to create this braided spine, is one of my favorites from his books. On this particular example, I had six sections, so I just repeated the pattern to create the two columns of braids.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book #56

Jacob's Ladder

The technique used to make this structure, called Jacob's Ladder, is also used for children's toys and for making trick box lids and other items. But it does make an interesting book format too. It can be opened like a traditional codex, or like an accordion, or it can be displayed flat. And if you are holding it and drop the pages down, you can make them flip over each other and climb down the ladder.

Creating Handmade Books by Alisa Golden includes directions for making this structure.

My jacob's ladder book in action:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book #55

Slot and Tab binding

This slot and tab binding involves no sewing and no adhesives, just cutting slots and tabs into each sheet and inserting one sheet into the next. This binding is explained in one of Alisa Golden's books.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book #54

Hollow Tube Binding

This book was made with a hollow tube binding. Incorporating a hollow tube as part of the spine lining creates an effective opening action.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Book #53

Nag Hammadi Codex

I made this in the style of the Nag Hammadi books. The collection of books known as the Nag Hammadi Library are some of the earliest known manuscripts in codex format and were probably produced during the 2nd Century AD in Egypt.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book #52

Teabag Book

Little notebooks made from teabag wrappers and boxes, in the shape of a teabag. I saw this idea in Creating Handmade Books by Alisa Golden.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book #51

Mexican Inquisition Trial Manuscripts

I had an opportunity to take a workshop conducted by Gillian Boal a few years ago. She had studied the structure of the bound trial manuscripts that were produced during the Mexican Inquisition. This is my replica of one of those manuscripts. All the documents from a trial were bound together at the end of the trial and various pieces of evidence were included by binding them permanently into the book. My replica includes some little extra bits of paper, a small booklet, a feather, a noose, and a leather amulet with mysterious contents, all bound in among the pages.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book #50

Palm Leaf Book

I made this book using the structure of the traditional Indian palm leaf books. It contains the text of "The Ancient Sage" by Tennyson.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book #49


Today's book is an example of a book made using the cartonnage technique, where the stiff cover is created by pasting several layers of paper (or papyrus, as it would have been originally). This is a model that I made in a class with Gary Frost a few years ago.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book #48

Another Tacket Binding

This is an example of another binding using tackets. Here the textblock and covers were created separately, then the textblock was tacketed to the cover.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book #47


For this little journal, I just used three long tackets to bind the signatures directly through the cover.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book #46

Link & Longstitch Combo

This is a recently completed project, using a combination of link stitch and long stitch for the exposed binding.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Book #45

Origami Heart Book

Happy Valentine's Day! Today's book is an origami heart that folds up to have this little bookish bit sticking out the front!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book #44

Side-by-each Heart book

I made this heart-shaped book several years ago for a book swap. I often dust off the photos around this time of year. As you can see, it is bound down the middle with the cover opening on both sides. So there are really two books, side-by-side. I don't know if binding a set of pages down the middle to create two books like this has a special name - I have not seen any other examples of it, actually. If any passing readers know of a name for such a thing, please leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book #43

Single Sheet Coptic
Single sheet coptic bindings are explored extensively by Keith Smith in his book Smith's book, "Sewing Single Sheets". My book shown here, called Knots, is an example of a coptic stitch sewn across the spine. The pages are made of book board so a single sheet sewing was needed. Knots includes diagrams for tying a variety of knots; rope is included for practicing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book #42

Twined Binding

My attempt at the intricate twined binding sewing. The "twined binding" was devised by Roberta Lavadour and she explains it in detail in The Bonefolder, Vol 4 No 2.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book #41

Piano Hinge Binding

I made a piano hinge binding for today. This is another binding structure devised by Hedi Kyle.

There are piano hinge instructions in Playing With Paper by Helen Hiebert.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Book #40


After the scroll, the accordion structure emerged in an attempt to make lengthy texts more accessible. Rather than unrolling a whole scroll to find some detail at the end of the text, the reader could just flip through the folds of the accordion to find the text they needed. Accordion books are still very popular for artists and there are many ways to elaborate the structure. This example shown here, Trees, is the most basic accordion: just a long strip of paper that has been folded into equal sections.

A note on the content of this particular book:
I made this book a couple years ago in a workshop about page design. The page size was determined by a musical interval (diminished 5th). The position of each text box was determined by the application of Villard de Honnecourt's diagram across each spread. The text is a list of the trees of Michigan (since I was in Michigan at the time), using their latin names. The trees are hand-drawn, branching out from the valley folds.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Book #39

Islamic Binding 1

This is an Islamic binding that I made. I believe that it is called chahargoshe, with a soft cover. The covers and spine piece are constructed separately and this style is typically characterized by the four narrow leather edges surrounding a more decorative material on the cover. Hand-sewn Islamic endbands too, of course.

It is certainly possible that I have the name wrong. If someone more knowledgeable knows a more accurate name for this type of binding, please leave me a comment.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Book #38

Darting Packed Stitch

I made this limp leather journal using one of Keith Smith's sewing techniques that I really like. He calls this a "darting packed stitch."

Friday, February 06, 2015

Book #37

Split Board Binding
These are both the same structure. It's a split board binding, and more specifically, I think it would be called a "library-style split board binding".

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Book #36

Kochōsō Binding

Today's book is made using a Japanese kochōsō binding, also known as the butterfly binding. The cover is made using a sheet of my own Suminagashi marbling.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Book #35

Bradel Binding

This is an example of a Bradel binding, or a German case binding with a vellum spine.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Book #33

V-Fold Pop-Up
Today is Groundhog Day and my local prognosticating rodent saw his shadow and ran back into his burrow so we are likely to have another six weeks of winter. Of course, we would probably have at least that much more winter anyway, so I suppose Shubenacadie Sam's prediction is probably quite accurate this year.

Today's book isn't really a binding technique; it is an example of one particular pop-up book structure called the V-fold, demonstrated in this little video.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Book #32

Kikko toji

This is the fourth common variant of the yotsume toji binding patterns. This is the kikko toji or tortoise shell pattern.

(Apologies for the quality of this photo. I didn't get a chance to take the photo until evening and the lack of natural light is evident.)