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April 19, 2019

Bookbinding 101 - Long Stitch Leather Books

I am sharing my knowledge of bookbinding with a friend, and this month we each made 3 leather long stitch books.  I only made two previously, in 2013, and we had to work out many of the details re: making a jig and then punching the leather.  I bought 8 pieces of shoe leather scraps for about $1 each and only had used 2.  We split the other 6 and each made 3 books.  The maximal size possible was 7" high.

I used Mohawk 24lb extra-white paper that I purchased on sale at Talas - 100  sheets for $5 - and was delighted that the only pen out of a combination of ballpoints and drawing pens that bled through the paper was a Sharpie.    They were 8 X 10" and grain short.

These are my 3 books:

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These are the spines - photographed while wedged between 2 bricks wrapped in plastic as bookbinding weights.

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March 22, 2019

Making a Coptic Watercolor Sketchbook

My major reason for making books is to have a watercolor sketchbook that meets my needs, and isn't expensive to make.  I make cased in books with dyed fabric covers for my standard watercolor sketchbooks, but this month my bookbinding student and I made Coptic books.  They also open flat.

I made this book with a single sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press paper (3 signatures with 2 folios for a total of 24 pages) and a paste paper cover.  It is approx. 7.5 inches square and watercolor can be used on the front and back of each page. The paste paper was made with a corn starch recipe and inexpensive acrylic paint.  The end paper is a piece of decorative paper in a similar color.  The stitching was done with 3 ply linen thread.  

Coptic Book

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I chose this stitching method because there are two loops of thread through each cover hole, and the last signature and the front cover are sewn on separately.

Inside

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End Paper

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We used a large awl to make the holes and it was hard to punch through the cover binder boards.  I'd love to know how easy it is to punch holes into Lineco 0.067 binders board with a Japanese screw punch - and what size punch is best.  This is only my 4th Coptic book in 5 years, so I haven't invested in one.

March 10, 2019

Flag Book for Samples of My Paste Paper

In 2013 I challenged myself to make a different book structure each month, and in March of that year made a Flag Book of my Paste Paper Samples.  While looking at the Facebook page today I saw another flag book with flags of paste paper.  So I'm reposting mine on my blog.
  
Flag books were introduced in the 1970s by Hedi Kyle and it is said to be the "most influential structure in the world of contemporary bookmaking."  I personally love to see the flags flutter into place as the book is opened and the spine is extended.
 
I took a one day Paste Paper class with Lynn Gall at the Center for Book Arts and decided to use pieces of my paste papers to make the flag book - covers, end papers, and flags.  Now I will have a book of samples to play with because I decided that I loved making paste papers for bookbinding!!
 
 
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February 22, 2019

Bookbinding and a New Watercolor Sketchbook

Once each month I meet with a friend to teach her bookbinding.  She makes wonderful books and I have a new one for myself at the end of the day.  This month we made a cased in-book with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico soft press paper - 6 signatures with two folios each.  The cover for my book was made with fabric fused to 45gm mulberry paper.  It is a monoprint that I made with thickened Procion MX dyes. 

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We made the end papers with Canson MiTientes paper - which is readily available in many colors.

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Ten years ago I couldn't find sketchbooks with good watercolor paper and began this journey.  Now, although Moleskine and Stillman and Birn sell watercolor sketchbooks, I still love making these and have a wonderful shelf full of many color sketchbooks. 

 

January 26, 2019

Making a Watercolor Accordion Sketchbook

Accordion Sketchbook with Fabriano Artistico 140lb Soft Press paper:  I made 3 of these and used them for sketching during NYC Urban Sketchers meetings when weather permitted.  This is one of those three.

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I am teaching a friend from NYC USK how to make books and last week, in lesson 4 - (first 3 lessons: pamphlet book, double pamphlet book, recycled book) we made accordion books using Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press watercolor paper.  We tore two 8" strips from a 22 X 30"sheet of paper and glued them together with a 1/2" flap.  The pages are 8"H x 7" W for a full length of 56".  I used paste paper I made previously to cover the binders board that I made while she was following along.

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