This blog has moved! Please visit my new website:

A photo album personalized for a man

>> Sunday, October 30, 2011

Purple handmade book for men

I like to think of my books as being appealing to men and women alike, but for the most part, when I've worked with men on custom books, they're usually as gifts for women. I've put more attention lately to making masculine books, sometimes making leather and rustic paper choices with guys in mind.

For this book, JT knew what he wanted for himself, and a simple discussion led to his photo album. He knew right away what colors he wanted: maroon and dark purple. He also wanted black pages. I think the trio of colors work well together.

For the size, he wanted to fit 8x10 prints, which required me to make this book larger than my standard, which usually fit 4x6 and 5x7 prints. The pages in this book are 12x12, just like a standard scrapbook. After pondering various ideas for the personalized front cover, JT kept it simple, opting to use his name.

Black pages handbound book

Purple handmade book for men


Nashville's first annual handmade book festival

>> Friday, October 21, 2011

Handmade & Bound 2011 at Watkins College in Nashville

I have only lived in Nashville for about three months, but I am already loving my new home.  One of the highlights of my time here has certainly been Handmade & Bound.  Earlier this month, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film hosted their first annual book arts and zine festival.  It is so refreshing to live in a city with such a vibrant arts community, not to mention the thriving book arts community as well. 

There were so many incredible vendors at this event, and thankfully my husband Tony was willing to man my booth throughout the day so I had a chance to explore everyone else's tables.  But I think what amazed me the most was how many people attended the festival.  The halls of Watkins College were packed throughout the day with people of all ages who came to learn more about handmade books.  The show also got some great press: check out this article from Nashville Scene and this one from The Tennessean.  

Handmade & Bound 2011 at Watkins College in Nashville

These first three photos are from The Gilded Leaf Bindery booth.  Bob Roberts specializes in restoration and fine bookbinding, and his display was quite impressive.  Even his set of tools was photo-worthy.  You can view more of Bob's work on his blog, facebook page, and etsy shop.  

The books below were made by Lesley Patterson-Marx.  She uses such interesting materials in her work, like vintage wallpaper, locally dyed fabric, old stamps and envelopes, and even harmonicas.  You can view a few more detailed photos of her work, as well as as well as quite a few other photos, in this album on my facebook page.  Lesley will also be exhibiting at Artclectic this weekend, which I am really looking forward to checking out. 

The festival also featured letterpress printing and handmade paper. Festival visitors could print their own shopping bag at the Goldsmith Press booth (left) and purchase paper made by Claudia Lee of Liberty Paper (right).  I've always loved handmade paper, but even since I started making my own paper again I've been a little obsessed.  Claudia's array of gorgeous, colorful papers were breathtaking.  I couldn't help but post even more pictures of her paper on my facebook page.  

Handmade & Bound 2011 at Watkins College in Nashville

Jennifer Knowles-McQuistion of Brown Dog Bindery demonstrated how wooden books are carved, burned, and bound.  Below she's working on a Coptic bound book with wooden covers, and she had some of her gorgeous books for sale at her booth.  Jennifer also taught a miniature pop-up book workshop during the day, which I attended.  

I also took another workshop taught by Kim Jones called Findings & Bindings, where we made a journal using a variety of found papers like maps, paper from a player piano, old encyclopedias, and junk mail envelopes.

Brown Dog Binder Jennifer McQuistion

The photos below are from my own booth.  I was displaying a variety of journals, sketchbooks, photo albums, and artists' books.  My most popular books at this show were my Italian longstitch books made with leather and suede covers.  While some of the leather I use for these books is new, a lot of it is reclaimed.  My little red suede books are made from an upcycled pair of pants, and some of the other bits of leather came from a woman in Chicago who makes handmade shoes.  I'll be binding many more leather books up in the upcoming months to prepare for my holiday art shows and to sell at some local retail shops.  

Nashville bookbinder at Handmade & Bound

I still have a few of these Handmade & Bound buttons hanging around in my studio.  They're a welcome reminder of a fantastic weekend, and I can't wait until next year's festival. 

Handmade and Bound Nashville


Guest post: Above the fold

>> Monday, October 3, 2011

Thanks to Katie's lessons and patience, hers were not the only books on display at the linenlaid&felt booth during the Handmade & Bound show at Watkins College this past weekend. Titled the "Husband's Corner," I showed off my newsprint books, bound in the Italian long-stitch style and featuring my favorite clippings from Sunday editions of The New York Times from 2010.

Before the show, I'd only made these books for myself and a few friends. I first got the idea when Katie made me a book from pages of Italian newspapers during her study abroad program. As a devoted reader of the Sunday edition, all these years later, I began to save page spreads.

The process for creating the books is pretty specific. In most cases, I repeatedly fold the news page in half, then tear it, and repeat until I arrive at the size seen here. This means that each sheet for the book is one-eighth of a page. Many articles and photos and spreads end up being torn into separate sheets, ultimately allowing me to juxtapose the clippings in interesting ways. On some occasions, when I didn't want to cut something in half, I would toss out the "system" and purposefully select a portion of a page to make one of my little sheets. As I answered one fair-goer on Saturday: Yes, the pages are carefully selected. Because of the style that I chose, there is a "center spread" in each signature. I put my best clippings there.

I assembled about 15 sheets per signature, and there are five signatures in each book. The covers are a cardstock that Katie and I both really like. I used simple brads and thread for enclosures.

I often found myself clipping sports and travel stories because of the amazing photography, infographics, and maps that come from those sections. Other favorites included an obituary on a tuba player, a feature on a bail bondsman for celebrities, all sorts of World Cup graphics, and a text-only movie poster for "Black Swan" ("WICKED, PYSCHO-SEXUAL THRILLER"). I tried to include all of the little things in the paper too, like the wedding announcements, the chess column, and corrections. I also selected pages with friends in mind, snagging particular baseball coaches and pop stars for their books.

At this point, I still have two books that haven't sold. But I've been saving the 2011 Sunday editions as well, and plan to bind those in the new year. I also have a special little collection of Supreme Court articles and graphics for a smaller book. And I've been thinking about some wide-format styles that could use the entire width of the broadsheet spread. A wide shape will allow me to show off the front page, as well as the six-column photos that often grace the section fronts. After all, I do call these books "Above the Fold," so I may be able to do a bit more justice to the big impact put out by the paper.


  © Blogger templates Shiny by 2008

Back to TOP