Report on book workshop

This was a workshop to learn techniques and make product. All of our materials were provided, mostly cut to size with only a few adjustments necessary. We began on Monday making four small books, using folds and tabs with no adhesive necessary. Signatures were stitched into the book creating different patterns on each spine. This technique really interested me; it’s much better for me than using glue. I plan to explore further. In the afternoon we made a soft cover Japanese stab bound book. This is the method I’ve been using to bind my books, although I never use soft covers. The interesting part, for me, was making book cloth for the covers. At the end of the day we had five books. I normally work very slowly. Just had to finish the butterfly stitching and stitching on two of the.small books. I went home completely exhausted and crawled into bed by 8:30.


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Tuesday we began with a book with a butterfly binding. Again this is a stitch that becomes a decorative statement on the outside of the spine. Boards for the spine and covers were precut for us. We had our choice of bookcloth, endpapers, and linen thread for the stitching. Text block papers were provided precut. We folded and punched holes. In the afternoon we did origamizo, folding and dying papers. It’s an interesting process, but you never know exactly what will result. I can’t say I was happy with anything I made; maybe in time I’ll feel differently about it. I wasn’t so tired Tuesday night and was able to work on my unfinished books at home.

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Wednesday was build-a-box day. Pam provided precut, thick boards for top, bottom and sides. We had to make size adjustments on the sides, giving us the opportunity to cut the thick board. Then we chose 10 different papers to cover the box, inside and out, top and bottom. We also received instructions and materials for making a half-size box. This is one of the projects I will work on when I return from Chicago. 
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Thursday we created a bradel book: an old-style, fully bound book with a curved spine. The text block was made from watercolor paper, eight sheets cut from three full size sheets then folded and punched for stitching. The book has that fancy tape on the edges of the spine, heavy board covers and beautiful end papers. It’s obviously too precious to use. This was another wipe-out day; I was very tired all day and also had afib all day, making me feel really awful. I’m still trying to figure out what sets off the afib; maybe tired had something to do with it. I doubled the meds in the evening and have been OK since. Again, I don’t really know if this is a fix or maybe a placebo effect. 


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Friday we began with some single page, folded books. You can download and print some artist designed papers here. Using the same fold we made pages for a journal in a box. The box was made from a recycled cereal box. I have all the folded papers but didn’t finish cutting and gluing; another project for when I return. We finished the day folding a blizzard book and a crown book. I didn’t do a good job folding so I have to try again. Both books really interest me.


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I was really sorry when the week ended. I loved the workshop and would happily do it again. I was hoping for a little more emphasis on technique; my craftsmanship leaves much to be desired. But I think there are no secrets; I just have to be more careful. 

3 comments

  1. Alice · June 25, 2010

    Wow! Mage was right when she mentioned to me (in a comment online) that your “book report” post could lift people out of doldrums (where I’ve been many time of late). If those pictures were of the books you created, I have to say that I find them simply amazing and beautiful. You musn’t sell yourself short about your talent and imagination.

  2. Baileyz · June 23, 2010

    Oh my what simply beautiful objects you have created. I am in awe of your projects and imagination. Exquisite stuff, indeed. Art. Please don’t make these things so beautiful that you don’t use them. They become more when you do. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  3. Grace · June 23, 2010

    Truly fascinating!

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