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December 9, 2014

Toulouse-Lautrec and I - a Hand-Bound Book

I made a book of my figure drawings for my end of semester FIT bookbinding project and will present it to the class tomorrow evening.  The Museum of Modern Art currently has a Toulouse-Lautrec Print exhibit and I sketched a figure from one of his prints during my first visit.  That drawing became the illustration that is embedded in my book cover.  The book cloth is hand-dyed fabric that I made.

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The book is 24 pages long and contains a mixture of Toulouse-Lautrec quotes and 14 of my drawings.  The drawings were done during two MoMA drawing sessions during which actress models were dressed in café society clothes with props  Each session was 90 minutes and each of these drawings were not much more than 5 minute poses. 

The session started with an introduction to Toulouse-Lautrec and a combination of contour drawings and gesture drawings for warm up.  After each of the 5 minute poses, the museum educator walked around with a few of our drawings and made comments.  I already posted some of my drawings from the first drawing session.  These are from the second session. 

 

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I'm thrilled with my book and the Basic Bookbinding class that I took this semester.  I was a self-taught bookbinder and learned so many tips from a professional. 

October 28, 2014

Mid-Semester in My Bookbinding Class

We made 5 books in class so far this semester, learning basic skills as we made each one of them.  Tomorrow our mid-semester project is due and for this we needed to make a book, using any of our techniques,  with added autobiographical content. 

The first 3 books were previously posted. 

This is Book 4:  A Pamphlet Book in Boards.  I used plain black book cloth for the cover and my wild, previously created, paste paper for the end papers. 

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Book 5:  A Quarter Round Hard Back Book With 10 Signatures.  This was a completely new binding for me and I always wondered how it was done.  The cover is made of black book cloth and my paste paper.

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Mid-Semester Project:  My Great Great Great Great Grandmother was kidnaped by the Delaware Indians in 1757 in Lancaster Pennsylvania during the French Indian War and then returned to her family in 1764 as part of the peace treaty and return of the captives negotiated by Lt.-Colonel Henry Bouquet.   There is good documentation of the kidnapping from Ben Franklin's newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette.  I saw and touched the newspaper in the the Rare Book Room of the New York Public Library.  And there is a handwritten list of captives who were returned to Fort Pitt and her full name appears on it.  The list is maintained at the William L. Clements Rare Book Library at the University of Michigan.  I always wanted to write the story for my grandchildren and used this assignment to do that.

My hardback book is 40 pages of text with 11 illustrations which are copies of paintings, maps, and lists. 

The Cover:  With a copy of a painting called the Prize, by John Buxton.  I had a lovely email exchange with the artist and I'm thrilled that I could put his painting on the cover.

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The Title Page:  Who Was Christina Wampler

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One of the pages - with text and an embedded copy of another painting - One Mile to Bushy Run Station by Robert Griffing.

 

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This book was finished just in time for my oldest grandson, Henry, to read it as his 6th grade class reaches the French-Indian War in American History.  It isn't perfect, but it was a labor of love!   

   

October 7, 2014

We Are Going to Paris!

I made a recycled book from a $2.00 used book as my travel sketchbook and showed it previously in a blog post.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/09/making_a_travel_sketchbook_for.php 

 

I've done some preliminary drawing/painting etc before we begin and wanted to add those pages to my blog now.  I love "trip anticipation" and these steps make the upcoming trip even more fun.

 

Here is the cover of the book - and it has 32 pages of varying size watercolor folios mixed with some original pages of Atget's B and W photos.

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I sketched and painted a vintage Paris Metro sign in the Scupture Garden at MoMA this summer and decided to print it out and collage it for the title page of the sketchbook.  I will add my identifying and contact information here. 

This is a small page and the word Paris is actually cut-out letters at the edge of the next page.

 

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This is Page 2 - and contains Mickey - the Sendak traveler I put in all of my overseas travel sketchbooks.  The two squares are part of the 2" paintings I do - one for each day of our trip.   

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Here is page 3 with the cut-away Paris Letters and some more 2" squares for drawing. 

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Page 4 is a scanned and collaged map of the center of Paris.  I love maps and even still have one with all of our walks from our first 2 week trip there many, many years ago outlined in marker. 

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Page 5 is one of the original Atget page folios I bound into my book.  Don't you just love the old lingerie shop? 

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Page 6 will have our itinerary, collaged over the original French text from the preceding page, with our rental apartment address.

And Page 7 has my map of Ile St. Louis - the location of our apartment.  The other places we frequent on the island will be added to this page when we arrive.   We rented an apartment on Ile De La Cite several times and were thrilled to be staying now on the other island in a 17th C. building, above a boulangerie. 

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When I'm traveling with my husband, we walk lots and just stop at places that look interesting, and in the process I do quick sketches - painting them then or later in the day.  I have no idea what the watercolor paintings will be like in this book, but I loved Koosje Koene's travel pages of what she wore that day - and what they ate that day!  When we went to Venice in 2012, I sketched and painted the clothes I brought - inspired by a very old illustration from a travel sketchbook in an exhibit at the Morgan Library.  And in Venice I did a painting of several gondoliers showing what they wore! 

 

September 19, 2014

My Fall FIT Bookbinding Class

I am taking a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Design and Communication basic bookbinding course.  Except for one 8 hour workshop on how to make a cased-in book, I am essentially a self taught bookbinder, and even studied and made a different structure each month in 2013. 

It is wonderful to have tips, ideas, and new variations from a professional bookbinder and have already made 3 small books for her to teach us basic skills.  Each book was made with copy paper, so they are only 6 X 4.25 inches.  And each has a soft cover - for which I used white Canson 2-ply Smooth Bristol Board.

This book has 10 folios and was made with a 3 hole pamphlet stitch.  After I made the book I used watercolor to paint the paper.

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The cover was cut 5 X the width of the book.  The front piece folds back on itself and then wraps around the book with the flap inserting in the double folded front cover.  I love the structure because it makes a very sturdy, inexpensive little notebook. 

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The second book is a double pamphlet book, which I've made before and have a tutorial on my blog. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/06/making_a_simple_sketchbook_the.php 

It was made with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch, and then painted. 

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Book #3 is a Flat Back Multiple Signature Book.  We used 50 sheets of copy paper and made 10 signatures.  Learning how to cut all 50 sheets at once is a skill that I will never forget!  We used a herringbone stitching pattern, which I've not seen listed in any of my bookbinding books, and then glued the spine.  

My cover was made with my last strip of the Bristol paper which I made as paste paper - on a whim - because I had a little paste left after making a new batch of paste paper.  And I made a flap just because I felt like it at that moment.

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This week I made nineteen 14 X 17" sheets of paste paper to replenish my stash and this was my favorite piece. 

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I was reluctant to start making books, even though I love books in all shapes and sizes.  But in 2005 I couldn't find 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks and eased into making them by recycling old orphan books.  

When Moleskine made their watercolor sketchbook, I tried them and really disliked the landscape format.  So I took the 2008 workshop to learn how the professionals made sturdy covers and started making my own cased-in books.  Now feel like an amateur bookbinder which brings me great pleasure.  

For anyone who is interested in seeing the many types of books I've made, scroll down the page - and on the right to the category section of my blog.    

September 4, 2014

Making a Travel Sketchbook for Paris

I love to make special travel sketchbooks for our vacations, recycling old books about the location.  I found a $2.00 damaged book of Eugene Atget photographs at the Strand bookstore in New York City.  By carefully clipping the old binding threads, I was able to preserve some of the folios, using two of them for my end papers and inserting two others amidst the watercolor paper.

The book is 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches, a perfect size for my purse or backpack.  I filled it with Fabriano Artistica 140 lb soft press watercolor paper, with some irregularly-sized pages for fun.  

 

Front Cover:

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Front End Paper:

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Back End Paper: 

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I sketched an Eiffel Tower that I will place on the title page - and then make a grid for  a daily small image, a calendar for daily events, and a map showing the location of our rented apartment.

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Several years ago I posted a 3 part  tutorial for recycling an old or damaged book as a travel sketchbook.   The book was called Italian Dreams and I made it for a trip to Venice and can be seen here.

  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

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