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February 12, 2010

More Bookbinding Adventures

I just finished making my second watercolor journal using book cloth that I made from dye painted fabric (procion MX dyes and corn dextrin resist).  The first one can be seen here.  This 6 X 8"book is made using 140 lb Fabriano soft press watercolor paper and consists of 6 signatures with two folios in each.  I'm thrilled to complete another one.

The Book Cover - made with blue and purple dyes.

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The End Papers

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 Australian Reversed Piano Hinge Journal

I made a second watercolor journal this week - using Gwen Diehn's instructions for a sketchbook with removeable pages.  EDM Members can access these instructions in a file on the message board.  This looked like a fun technique to know - even though I like working in journals that can be numbered and stored on a shelf.

Exterior of 5 X 7.5" Book:  Made with Fabriano Artistico (8 folios in 4 signatures) and TexLibris bookcloth.

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Open Book - showing the spine:  The watercolor paper was used as end papers to insert the page block into the cover, so only one of the folios in each of those two signatures are removeable.

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The Concertina and Flat Hinge: 

There is supposed to be a peper hinge which goes through the concertina tunnels to hold each folio in place.  I just happened to be in the New York Garment District, and saw the perfect size "bones" to use instead.  Here is a photo showing the bone passing through 3 concertina tunnels and fixing the folio.  Each folio makes 4 pages in the book.

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January 23, 2010

Another Bookbinding Adventure

I use watercolor journals for my daily sketchbooks/visual journals and for the last 18 months I used books I made with commercial bookcloth on the covers.  This year, while experimenting with corn dextrin resist, I created pieces of fabric that I thought would make fun book covers for my art journals and remembered a blog entry about "paper-backing fabric as book cloth" by Roz Stendahl.  I made 4 different pieces of cloth to try and decided to make a completely experimental journal - one that I wouldn't grieve over if it didn't meet my expectations.

I used Fabriano Artitico to make my watercolor journals with 140 lb soft press paper that was grain long - and could use full sheets to make books that were approximately 5.5" X 7.5".  I love this size because it fits comfortably into a small leather backpack, is portrait format, and  and the pages are just big enough for my drawings.  However, last year Fabriano Artistico paper was changed to grain short and I could no longer make that size book from 1 1/2 sheets and with 2 full sheets, there was considerable waste.  So this experimental book was redesigned to be 7.5" wide and 7.3" high.  I never worked in a square format, so this was a perfect time to try it.

I followed Roz's instructions precisely (I thought), but was unable to glue (PVA) the fabric to the Thai mulberry paper without bubbles.  I allowed it to dry and then carefully peeled it off and then tried option #2.  In her blog entry Roz describes book cloth made by someone in her classes using Stitch Witchery as the fusible.  I used Wonder Under (another polyamide) in machine applique since it was marketed in 1986 - and remembered a scientific study done by Drs. Evenson and Crews, of the International Quilt Study Center, at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, in which they studied "selected quilting products containing adhesives" (Quilters Newsletter, March 2004). Stitch Witchery and Wonder Under were comparable in their lightfastness tests and artifical aging experiments - both were proved acceptable for quilts intended as heirlooms to last less than 100 years.  At 100 years of artificial aging, there was slight yellowing.  Since I have no guarantee that my family won't put my sketchbooks in terminal storage considerably before 100 years, I considered this an acceptable risk! 

Here are photos and a journal page celebrating my new, beloved, watercolor journal.  The fabric was made with green and blue procion MX dyes and corn dextrin resist to make the squiggly lines.  It was then ironed onto the paper using Wonder Under and handled just like book cloth to make my journal cover.  I'm in love!! 

Book Front:

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Book Back:

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Standing Book - the dark green is the metallic end paper

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My Happy, Happy Journal Page:

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May 1, 2009

Bookbinding

I fell in love with the concept of recycling old, "ready for the garbage", books.  Most of the ones I've used cost $1.00 and were on the cart that was ready for disposal.  This gives them a completely new life and provides me with a fun watercolor journal to use for daily sketches.  I recycled 7 books, previously posting a detailed set of instructions and photos on my blog,and then took a short bookbinding workshop to make my own watercolor journals including the book cover.

Here are all of my blog posts re: both recycled and non-recycled books I made:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/bookbinding/

Here are my instructions for recycling my books:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/03/recycling_an_old_book_as_a_wat.php

I used my Michaelangelo Sonnet book for figure drawing practice, and then one called Painting Made Easy.  Last month I made my 8th recycled book as my 3rd volume for figure drawing practice and this one is called The Illustrator

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I use a 5 hole, modified coptic stitch to stitch the signatures together and then glue the spine using paper and mull - a technique I learned in my bookbinding workshop.  But there are still small gaps using 140 lb watercolor paper that I can't avoid, although they are so much smaller that I don't cover them with strips of the endpapers as I did previously. 

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When using book covers from old books, you have a fixed size for the pages and some waste watercolor paper.  I decided to use the waste piece for the first pages of my new recycled books and used these slightly smaller pages for some 90 second figure drawing using Pose Maniacs.

I love the freedom of selecting a size for my watercolor journals when I make my own covers, but as a book lover, I also really love searching for a book with an appropriate title and/or theme and giving it a new life and prominent place on my bookshelf.

September 2, 2008

Watercolor Journals

I enjoy recycling old books as watercolor journals, but took a workshop in June so I could also make cased-in journals of a standard size.  The journal we made in the workshop is bigger than the ones I like for my daily sketchbook.  I currently use a large Moleskine watercolor book, but really don't like the landscape format.  However, I like the size and wanted to see if I could make a similar size journal in a portrait format.

 I used 140 lb Fabriano Artistico extra-bright soft press watercolor paper.  Each book contains 6 signatures - 2 folios per signature.  The finished books are 5.5 inches by 7.5 inches.  Here are photos of the covers, the end papers of one of the books, and the watercolor paper. 

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June 23, 2008

Product of my Bookbinding Class

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Last weekend I took a book binding class, specifically to learn how to make my own journal covers.  I love recycling books and will probably still continue to use old book covers, but I'm trying to be more versatile as I search for the perfect watercolor journal.

I took the class with Mindy Beloff, at her New York City studio called Studio on the Square.  There were two pupils so we received wonderful individual attention.  This is the front of the 11" by 7" journal.  The indentation on the front can be used to apply a label - or remain as a design element.  The end papers (shown below) are beautiful, hand marblized paper.  There are 4 signatures, each with two folios of Arches 140 lb CP watercolor paper.  My recycled books, and instructions for making them, can be accessed by looking at the bookbinding category on the right hand side of the blog home page.

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