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Fold, tear, glue, and sew

>> Thursday, March 31, 2011

I recently taught a two-day bookmaking workshop at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, and I wanted to share a few photos from the class.  Aside from casually teaching a few friends how to make some simple book structures, this was my first time teaching a class and everything went incredibly well.  

Before the class, I talked my husband and our friend into being guinea pigs for me as I practiced teaching the four binding structures I was planning to teach in the class and got a feel for how long it would take my students to make their own books.  I also cut down all of the bookboard, bookcloth, decorative paper, and leather ahead of time that we would need in the class.  This was a smart move because it saved a ton of time during the actual class, and allowed us to dive right into the fun part without worrying too much about measurements. 

I started off the first class with a little show-and-tell.  I brought in my collection of handbound books, both made by myself and other bookbinders I admire (like erinzam and minusplusminus), to inspire my students about the possibilities of bookbinding.  

Then we started creating ourselves by making two accordion books, while learning the basics of paper grain and folding and tearing paper.  The first book was a structure similar to this style, where the softcover books are assembled without adhesive or stitching.  Next, we took it a step further and created a double concertina book with a hard cover, like this

Day two of the class focused on sewn structures.  First we made a simple one-signature pamphlet book to get the sewing basics down.  Then we made Italian long-stitch books with leather covers, which were certainly more complicated but also more rewarding when completed.  You can see examples of my students' books in the photos directly above and below.  I've heard from several students who have continued to make a few books since the class, including one who just learned the Coptic stitch!  It was so much fun for me to introduce some new people to the world of handbound books.  


First craft show of the season

>> Thursday, March 24, 2011

I woke up Monday morning to find an acceptance e-mail in my inbox for The Handmade Market.  I'm so excited to try out a new show, and I think this will be just the motivation I need to really kick my bookmaking into high gear.  Plus, this will be my first out-of-state show, and I'm looking forward to meet some new people and see some new artwork. 

The Handmade Market will take place on Saturday, April 23 in Raleigh, NC.  They have a round-up of the participating designers on their website, and it looks like I'll be in great company.  The show organizers are going to be putting together an artist spotlight series on their blog leading up to the event.  I can't wait to read more about the work of my fellow designers, and to meet them in person next month. 


Rusty but trusty

>> Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I've been on a roll making Italian longstitch books lately.  My goal for February was to focus on making these leather journals, as well as photo albums.  But once I got started with the longstitch books, I just couldn't seem to stop.  

I made some with rich brown leather (like this book), and more recently with butter yellow and bright teal leather covers, but my favorite has been this rustic orange suede.  I can't seem to get enough of the gorgeous color (especially when paired with mint green thread) or the soft texture.  And I think the journal looks especially lovely paired with all of the "rusty but trusty" items in the treasury below. 


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