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Bookbinding: A New Project for 2013

I LOVE books - all books - and always have.  It is probably the reason that I gravitated to sketchbook/visual journal art when I was getting close to retirement. 

I decided to recycle orphan books when I couldn't find watercolor sketchbooks that I loved.  After several years I broke down and took a weekend class to learn how to make a traditional cased-in book - cover and all.  In the last 5 years I expanded my bookbinding adventures, sometimes from information online, other times from projects with my friends Pat and Gwen.  But I still hadn't explored some of the oldest and most common bookbinding methods.

This year I plan to do a little research on specific bookbinding methods and to practice making books exploring some of the variations.  I have reference books here in my personal library and there are many websites and videos available - making this a good DIY project.  

The book project for January was coptic stitch bookbinding and so far I made two books using two different variations of the method. 

Book 1:  I made the cover using bookcloth I made from fabric I painted, and filled it with my favorite watercolor paper.  The bug was painted in a class by Judy Coates Perez using Tsukineko ink thickened with aloe vera.  The back cover was made with fabric I made testing a new batch of procion MX stock solutions.




Book 2: I also made a smaller book, using decorative paper for the book covers, and card stock for the pages.  I am using this book to collect all of the information about coptic stitching that I want to remember and to document the methods that I used. 




Plan for February:  Long Stitch with leather wrap covers. 

A tutorial for recycling orphan books, and all of my prior projects can be seen in the Bookbinding Category in the right column on my blog.


Great start. Looks like you'll be doing okay. Looks like you're having fun.

I'm pulling up a seat, Shirley. What a lovely project to follow. Your bug book is great, particularly distinctive and gorgeous. I haven't attempted coptic stitching yet but have the books and have watched the video. I made my first case bound sketchbook the other day and am itching to do another. Biggest problem is, that unlike you, I'm not a great filler of sketchbooks so I really don't need any more. I just love making them. Our next lot of American students are starting to arrive in town so hopefully I'll satisfy my bookbinding urges with them.

Two wonderful pieces ! Looking forward to your next steps and techniques !

Great project, Shirley. I too love making books, but I am not in need of anymore sketchbooks for quite awhile so I will just follow your journey.

Some make books and others make books with a real artistic touch. Absolutely think that your covers are outstanding. Please tell me more about the Tsukineko and aloe vera combination. Thanks

Looks like a fun project indeed! I am not a big fan of bugs, but that's one cool looking green bug! ^^

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