Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Art of the Book Exhibit

So the "Art of the Book" exhibit is happening at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, in Rochester, NY. They accepted a couple of my books for the show. Ongoing til Jan 8th if you're in that area. A copy of the program is available online. Looks like I'm in some very good company in this exhibit.

Friday, September 02, 2016

365 Bindings

Here is a list of all the bindings I posted during my 365 bindings in 455 days project. This should make it a little easier to find individual posts!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Nonesuch Art of Paper Awards Exhibit

The Nonesuch Art of Paper Awards Exhibit is coming up next month. It opens on August 20, 2016 in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia at Main & Station. One of my very own marbled papers has been selected for inclusion in the exhibition of finilists! So that is exciting. Based on the online catalogue of submissions, the array of submissions is grand and impressive. There is also quite a range of techniques and mediums since the scope is so broad - including all manner of art of paper, of course. Details about the upcoming exhibit can be seen here, showing in Nova Scotia beginning on August 20, and later moving to Montreal on September 23.

I was doing some marbling just over the past few days, actually, and tried a few different surfaces, like old vinyl... tricky, but apparently possible.

Here also is part of a large sheet of paper that I did - which I was very pleased with. This pattern is very difficult to achieve - for me, anyway.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chinese Thread Book Workshop

Next month I will be conducting a workshop about the Chinese Thread Book, also called Zhen Xian Bao. The workshop will be at The Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio and there is still time to register if you want to join me. August 13 and 14.

The Chinese Thread book is part of a rather obscure Chinese folk art tradition that was practiced in some rural areas of China, and may still be found if you look carefully. Women used these books primarily to keep their sewing supplies (threads, needles, patterns, swatches, etc), and any other bits of paper, photographs, etc that needed saving. My work on these is based on the information collected by Ruth Smith, who introduced the world to this dying craft after she did primary research on these folded books while visiting China. Smith identified a number of variations on the thread book structure and with quite a lot of variation in the number of boxes. This is one that I made, shown here in a video to give you an idea of how it works.

I have made a number of these in different sizes and using different structures. In the workshop, we'll be making one similar to the one in the video and we will look at traditional decorations and spend some time adorning our thread books appropriately.

For the workshop we will have a variety of Chinese fabrics and interesting papers to use. I have also seen photos of authentic Zhen Xian Bao that use things like old coins as decoration, so I also have a batch of old Chinese coins for the workshop participants to use if an authentic look is desired. Workshop registration can be done online at The Morgan Conservatory.

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Studio

I briefly mentioned, at some point, that I had moved into a new studio. That was 8 or 9 months ago. I still use the studio in my house for some things, but the bookbinding mostly happens in the new location. I thought it was about time that I shared a couple of pictures. So, taken from two different angles, this is most of it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Spring Workshops

It seems that I really took a leave of absence since my last post. After so much blogging during the previous year, it was easy to take a break! I have not been taking any breaks from working, though. I conducted several workshops at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design during the past couple months, actually. It was lots of fun and the students did some lovely work. Some of the students were returning with varying levels of experience, and some were entirely new to bookbinding and/or marbling.

I conducted five sessions for one group, so it was a very good introduction to bookbinding for the newbies but also included new things for some returning students as well. I believe everyone completed seven or eight books over the five classes.

We made a couple different pamphlet stitches with paper covers (B-L) and a hardcover pamphlet (T-L); multi-needle chain stitch binding (T-R); and a hardcover album (B-R).

We also made hardcover concertinas (T-L) and chopstick notebooks (T-R). In another session, some students made the Japanese account book (B-L), and during a 2-day weekend workshop, I had a different group making books with the Criss Cross Binding, aka the Secret Belgian Binding (B-R).

There was also a weekend spent teaching the wonderful art of Ebru paper marbling.

Workshop season seems to be over now. I have no more workshops planned until August when I will be at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland teaching a workshop on the Chinese Thread Book. In addition to making a thread book, we will also be learning a bit about its history and its variations. Check back for information on Fall workshops at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marbled book pages, for a change of pace

At one time, I could not intentionally disassemble or destroy a book of any kind; however, I have gradually come to the conclusion that not all books need to be saved for eternity. So, now I do not mind re-purposing some of those books because the materials can certainly be used for other interesting things.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

365 Books is a lot of books

I still have most of the books that I presented here as part of my 365 Books in 455 days project. Now I am trying to consolidate the storage since they were all over the place. Even trying to find them all proved quite a challenge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book #365

Altered Book

I am breaking the rules again for the last book. Today's book is not a binding exactly, this is an altered book, called Blood, Sweat, & Tears: 365 Bindings. I cut the basic shape of the textblock (well, my Dad and his jigsaw cut it) and then I made three sealed compartments in the textblock where those blood, sweat, and tears are now saved. It was hard to save those things literally; so, I used bookbinding materials to represent them. The blood is a collection of little red leather circles. The sweat is curls of blotter paper. The tears are thin strips of silver stamping foil.

So that's it. The end of my 365 bindings project, which is now called the 365 Bindings in 455 Days project!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book #364

Secret Ledger of Albizzi

I made another model of a 14th Century stationary binding for today. This is based on the Secret Ledger and Memorial Book that belonged to Pepo Albizzi. I was able to examine a model of this binding and get notes about it from Barb Korbel a few years ago, so I think I managed a decent model based on that information.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Book #363

Single Needle Coptic 2

I also found this alternate small 'C' coptic binding in Smith's Exposed Spine Sewings. It is rather different than other coptic-ish stitches that I have used and I really like it. The cover is made using a page from an old book, and it's a picture of a painting by Claude Lorrain. Particularly nice to do this friendly binding following yesterday's torturous book.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book #362

Cords & Continuous Support

So, here is one from Smith's book Exposed Spine Sewings. Oi. In the instructions, Smith should add something like, "Go ahead, try this one, I dare you." It was painful to make and when I first completed the sewing, I hated it. I decided that I would try to save it by adding all those strips of leather that are woven into the spine parallel to the sewing cords. After that, I didn't hate it as much.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Book #361

Shooting Star

Shooting Star stitch on Andrea's moon paper. This is yet another 3-section sewing from Smith's book (1, 2 and 3-section Sewings). I have used a lot of the techniques from that book for my 365 bindings, but I actually did not use all of them - believe it or not!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Book #360

Islamic Box Binding

One more Islamic binding to add to the list. I had this on my list from the very beginning and just finally tried it this week. Szirmai makes small mention of it in his book and it took me some time to track down more information - although there is not a lot of information about it (in English anyway) and not a lot of surviving evidence to examine either. Nonetheless, this is what I came up with based on what I could discover.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book #359

Islamic Binding 4

Today's binding is an Islamic structure known as the full leather chahargoshe, with a hard cover. I showed a soft cover very of this previously. This binding is characterized by the narrow leather edge all around the decorative paper on the cover - probably fabric is more traditional but for this one, I used some of my Ebru for the decorative element.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book #358

Butterfly Stroke

I found another 3-section binding in Smith's book that I had never done before and here it is. If you are comparing, my result looks rather different than Smith's model in his book, but I think it is just that my sewing holes are farther apart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book #357

Piano-hinged Collapsible Star

The structure of today's book is another one that Hedi Kyle devised for using the piano hinge technique to attach the folded textblock and two separate cover sheets. I had this technique on my list, from very early in my 365 bindings endeavor but messed it up several times; however, after some experimentation, I think I finally got it to come together as intended. There are instructions for this structure in Keith Smith's book, Non-adhesive Binding Vol 1.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Book #356

Ethiopian Binding

Today's binding is an Ethiopian binding. The signatures are bound with an unsupported chain stitch, and although many of these wooden books were left uncovered, some were covered partially or fully in leather. The split braid leather headband was another traditional feature; this was my first time making them. I was so pleased with the split braids that I photographed them before attaching them to the book.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Book #355

Distribuzioni, feste e mandati 31

This is the last binding that I have to show from my models of Langwe's Limp Bindings from the Vatican Library. It was another tricky one that was originally two distinct textblocks that were bound independently and later combined into a single volume.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book #354

Stamp. Pal. IV 957

Another of the limp bindings examined in Limp Bindings from the Vatican Library. This model is based on a bound thesis that was written in the 1520s.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book #353

Arch. Chig. 631

Another limp binding based on the research of Monica Langwe and this one is modelled after a financial records book from the 1690s. It was a tricky one to emulate since there are two distinct textblocks inside, bound separately then combined.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book #352


Today's binding is a basic (albeit awkward) herringbone stitch on double cords with a kettle stitch change-over, used as an exposed binding.

It was awkward because rather than using normal cords, I cut thin strips of leather for the cords which are not round. The herringbone effect would be more evident if the cords were actually cords.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Book #351

Pearl Binding

The pearl binding is described by Smith in his book Exposed Spine Sewings and he credits Betsy Palmer Eldridge for showing this to him. It is a very solid binding and makes the book block feel really secure - in comparison to some exposed spine bindings anyway.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book #350

Arch. Cap. S. Pietro, Ricordi 11

Today's binding is another model of an historical record book (from the 1500s) described by Langwe in her book Limp Bindings from the Vatican Library.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book #349

Broken Herringbone

I have returned to Smith's 3-section sewings for today's book. This particular book also features my first attempt at batik, which I backed with cloth so I could use it as book cloth.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Book #348

Group Gathered Lap-group

Today's book completes the set of four of different flat support stitching techniques that I learned from Bookbinding for Book Artists. This one looks nice as an exposed binding with the stitches gathered in groups of three.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book #347

Flat Through Support

This is the third book in my current set of four. This time the flat support is actually pierced and sewn through. The appearance is a bit like a split tape, but this is much simpler.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Book #346

Flat Lap Loop

Continuing on the theme of the previous book, this binding is also used when sewing on flat supports. This time, the thread loops around the sewing support on the outside of the signatures.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Book #345

Flat Loop

Today's book and the three subsequent bindings that I have ready, are all techniques used when sewing on flat supports. These techniques are discussed in Smith's book Bookbinding for Book Artists and he gives credit to Betsy Palmer Eldridge for teaching him. The first one that I am showing today is called just flat loop and the thread loops around the sewing supports - creating a double thickness of thread on the inside of each signature. It provides the benefit of adding swell when you need it, and it locks the thread in place at each support as well.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Book #344

Arch. Cap. S. Pietro, Quietanze 15

Another model based on a book examined by Langwe. A very nice structure with a raised cord sewing and endbands, tacketed to an outer parchment cover - although I used paper for my cover.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Book #343

Stamp. Pal. V 1149

Today's book is bound on double raised leather cords and tacketed to a cover wrapper. This is modeled on one of the books examined in Limp Bindings from the Vatican Library.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Book #342

Stamp. Pal. V 1852

Back to my efforts of recreating the bindings examined in Langwe's book Limp Bindings from the Vatican Library. Today's model is based on a book from 1564 that had its signatures sewn directly to a parchment cover using this very tricky method that is supposed to have a tidy little bead chain formed along the top and bottom of each set of stitches - I tried but the technique looks much better on the original.

Also, it is World Book Day! A good thing to celebrate.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Book #341

Exposed Spine Board Binding

This is a tidy binding that I learned from one of Keith Smith's books (Vol V). The exposed board is only visible inside the book.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Book #340

Bound Concertina, unsupported

I had an example of a bound concertina with a supported sewing just a short time ago (Book 332) and this is now the follow-up book using the same idea of sewing signatures to the mountains of the concertina, but this time with no spine support.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Book #339

Tied Tapes

Today's binding is a standard 'sewn on tapes' variety, but then bound to the case by tying the sewing supports through the spine piece. This particular example has recycled leather on the cover and matching leather sewing supports. There are a lot of examples and variations of this technique in Laplantz' book, "Cover to Cover".

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Book #338

French Doors

This is called a French Door structure. There are two spines and two covers, opening in opposite directions. In this particular example, I also have overlapping pages.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book #337

Hidden Stab Binding with
One-piece Z-fold Cover

The title of this one is probably all the description needed for today's binding.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Book #336

Panel Book

This book I made for today uses another structure devised by Hedi Kyle. It is an accordion that has a (apparent) floating panel at each of the mountain peaks. Perfect for displaying these illustrations that I salvaged from a discarded book which depict the very dated antics of Freddie and Flossie Bobbsey -- each with a helpful and descriptive caption, like, "Freddie was busy emptying ashtrays."