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March 9, 2012

The Museum of Modern Art Print Studio Ended Today

I am very sad that the Print Studio ended today.  It was an amazing resource for artists/visitors and each of us felt that it was the perfect environment for artistic play.  The Reanimation Library provided the inspiration.  The images that were available in the 35+ shelves of books stimulated so many ideas and the copiers, scanners, and computers with Photoshop software permitted artists to experiment in many different ways. 

I made my eighth 8-page pamphlet book on Monday - this one entitled The Mystique of the Alphabet.  On Wednesday I decided that it was time to do some drawing - and made a book with figure illustrations for me to draw.  On Thursday I added collages to the altered book that I started in the workshop they had several weeks ago.  New friends were made and I shall miss them as we begin withdrawal and catch up on the rest of our life.

Here are the pages from my book entitled "Draw Me."

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February 8, 2012

Watercolor Sketchbook Tutorial

I recently posted a 4 part tutorial on making watercolor sketchbooks from old books - recycling of orphan books to give them a new life. 

The tutorial is in 4 parts, in order to cover the procedure in depth.  Rice Freeman-Zachery did a Q and A with me about bookbinding and making my sketchbooks, and I now realize that it would be nice to have one blog post with links to all 4 sections of the tutorial.

Making a Watercolor Sketchbook:

Introduction to Tutorial:  Selecting a good book to recycle.

Part 1:  Removing the old page block, tearing down watercolor paper and making new signatures.

Part 2:  Creating the new page block.

Part 3:  Casing in - gluing the new page block into the old book cover.

There is a bookbinding category in the column on the right side of the blog page, under the Archives list.  All of my watercolor sketchbooks, recycled and made with original covers (including book cloth covers I made), are tagged in that category.

 

 

February 7, 2012

MoMA Print Studio and Another Collage Book

I spent the afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio again today,  

When I arrived, I selected six books from the Reanimation Library, and made some color copies of interesting photos and illustrations.  At that moment I had no specific creative ideas, except to make another small pamphlet book.  While I was looking at my copies, a paper mask ink drawing from Joseph Leeming's book, Fun With Paper, made me think of Venice - and I was inspired to make a book using colors and images that remind me of our visits.

The books I pulled,  making an average of 3 copies per book, were:  Hornung's Handbook of Designs and DevicesTalk With Your Hands, Interior Design, Stage Make-up, The Printed Picture, and Fun With Paper.  The images that I used from last time were from the book The Story of Writing.  It amazes me that such random and quickly chosen illustrations/photos can inspire creative ideas on such a different topic.

I had enough random images to use when I combined these copies and I happily tore paper and glued it in place for the next two hours.  The only new image I copied while working was the photo of Venice on the last page and that came from a book entitled Around the World in 2,000 Pictures.  

I used ink, stamps and watercolor pencils over the images after everything was glued in place and stitched the two folios together using linen thread and a pamphlet stitch.

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January 31, 2012

An Afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio

The Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with two upcoming exhibits  (Print/Out and Printin'), set up a Print Studio in the Education Building.  I spent the afternoon there yesterday and made a small collage book.

The "heart of the Print Studio" is a collection of books known as the Reanimation Library.  It is fascinating and well worth reading about the development of the collection and its permanent home in Brooklyn.  It was developed as a resource for all artists, regardless of their medium. 

When I arrived, I met my friend Judy and had a little tour of the Print Studio.  Here is an overhead photo of the space, with the Reanimation Library on the back wall, copiers, scanners, and computers in the back corner, and work tables for visitors supplied with a variety of art tools and paper.

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I don't have much experience with collage and wanted to make one during the afternoon.  One of the staff said, "Why don't you make a book?  We haven't had anyone do that yet."  I browsed books on the shelves and pulled 6 that had interesting illustrations and photos, and was immediately drawn to one called The Story of Writing.  I love text mixed with images and made some copies of great alphabets from the book.  I then made a few copies from a Science text called Pathways in Science:  The Next Generation and settled down to "play."

I folded 2 folios and added images that appealed to me for the front cover.  I really intended to make this a book about text and writing.  Pages 2 and 3 were from the frontpiece of the science book - a wonderful bookplate for assigning the book to students and the title page with the stamp for the Reanimation Library on the title page.  I was still interested in pursuing the theme of language and writing - and the next thing I knew, I was making a book about human reproduction and the inheritence of genetic traits.  I was very much in the zone and channeling in a unique way.  Fascinating what our brains do if left to wander!

At the very end of my "art play," I opened the 3rd book I brought from the shelves, The Atlas of Human Anatomy, and copied a pregnant uterus for one final collage.  At the end I sketched a human figure and cell, some genetic symbols, and added watercolor pencil and stamps.    

Here are the pages of my finished pamphlet stitched booklet. 

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January 25, 2012

Making a Watercolor Sketchbook - Part 3

In this final section we will glue the page block into the old book cover.  I struggled with this some, and then was told about a simpler, almost foolproof method for "casing-in," as it is called.

You will need to remove your page block from under the weights, and get the following supplies together:  a book about the same thickness as your new book (i.e. your page block in the old cover), your old book cover + signatures, PVA glue, glue brush, and wax paper.

These will be the steps, but there is also a link below to a terrific video that will demonstrate the process.   My friend Jana found the video online and it changed my way of "casing-in."  I included these written instructions in case the video isn't available when you need it.  But I want you to watch the video, because the method is much easier than anything I learned before.

Casing In the Page Block 

Read the instructions and then watch the video link included right after the instructions. 

1.  Lay out a piece of wax paper to put your book cover on to keep the covers clean. 

2.  On it, place your book (close) on the right, and a similar size book (closed) touching it on the left.  Your book should have the signatures nestled right uo against the inside of the spine, and equidistant from the top and bottom edges of the book.

3.  Open your book, and insert a clean piece of wax paper between the two front end papers, extending out 1-2 inches beyond the edges of the pages.  This is to protect your book when you are applying glue.

4.  With your front book cover open and resting on the other book, rapidly apply PVA glue all over the wrong side of the front end paper.  Glue down the flap of mull, if you glued the spine) in the process.  Make sure to cover it all in a thin layer.

5.  Carefully remove the piece of wax paper.  Then push your book up tight against the other book, with your, book cover open.  Check the position of your page block to make sure it hasn't shifted.

6.  And then just quickly close your book cover over the glued end paper, and add a little weight to make sure the cover has attached to the glue on the end paper.

7.  You may open the book just a little to make sure the end paper is in position, but opening it further will stretch the damp paper.

8.  Turn the book over and repeat the process on the back side.

9.  Wrap your book in wax paper to protect it, and put the finished book under weights at least overnight. 

The Video Link

http://www.tjbookarts.com/videos.htm

It is 7 1/2 minutes long and the last 3 1/2 minutes will show you how to "case-in" your book, gluing the end papers to the inside of the the covers. 

In the first half you will see a book cover made from book board and paper, and then the same cover after fabric is applied.  But there is not enough information to replicate the process. 

The important part comes right after that - the easiest way I've seen to finish your book!  Watch it several times and then make your book!

I couldn't photograph this process because the glue dries too quickly.  But I do have photos below of my finished book.

The Finished Book     (Total Cost:  approximately $18 with small amounts of glue, thread)

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Inside the Front Cover

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The Old Title Page

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The Asymmetrically Folded Extra Piece of Watercolor Paper.  I will probably put contact information on this flap - and dates of our trip.

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The Other Part of the Small Paper - One Page Later.  It is always hard to remember where the two halves of a folio are actually placed within a signature.  The photo page that you see behind it on the right is the other half of the title page in Signature #1. 

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Several Photo Pages of Venice That I Wanted to be Part of My Book:

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I still have a little bit of a gap between my signatures - but I can live with this.  There will always be a next time and practice does really help!

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 I hope that this tutorial is useful to artists who want to make their own watercolor sketchbooks.  I have recycled many books for travel and figure drawing practice.  And I have also made 24 watercolor sketchbooks for my daily journals and I now make the fabric that I use as bookcloth for the covers. 

Here are a few of the more recent watercolor sketchbooks.

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HAPPY BOOKBINDING!

Please contact me through the "comments" section at anytime if you have questions.  I will receive them as email.  I'd also love to know if you found this tutorial helpful.

I have a Bookbinding Category on the right side of my blog if you are interested in other books I've made.

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