Thursday, April 08, 2010

Of the making of many books there is no end . . .

. . . and much study is a weariness of spirit.  That's what it says in Ecclesiastes 12: 12 in the Bible, and it means writing books, not constructing them.  Studying the construction of books is no weariness to me, completely the opposite in fact.  It lifts my spirits pretty high!  But there has been a making of many, as the following pix show!  My favourite bit is the stitching, but of course there is a lot to do before that, deciding on size, sorting pages and how to do the cover, cutting or tearing all that to suit.  I like to do my own colouring of materials, and for all these books have used cereal packet card, either painted directly or covered with painted paper.  I've sliced up A4 sheets of paper for the signatures, in half lengthwise for the first one.  The black acrylic paint covers the printed side of the card, and the flower is printed on with interference paint, which shows its colour nicely on the black.  The spine has slits, and each signature is stitched to the cover individually.
This one has painted card for the cover and is stitched like the first one, but with holes, not slits.  The beads were added separately using buttonhole stitch.  It is A5 size.
Another A5, typical longstitch, using perlé thread, with a painted paper glued over the card cover.
These 2 and the small orange one following, use the side strips of a large corn flakes packet.  waste not, want not.  I usually discard these, or cut them up to wrap threads round, but had the sudden idea to use them for covers.  I had to trim the paper to fit for the pages, so wasted a small amount there.  Until I realised the offcuts could be used to make templates for punching holes!
These covers are all coloured by scribbling on oil pastel, including metallic ones, then putting a watercolour wash over.
For a contrast, this pale cover is the backing board of a pad of handmade Indian paper, bought from Oxfam long ago.  It has a sort of purple middle, with paper backing, which split on the folds.  Which proved interesting as there are glimpses of the purple in the cracks!  Thick linen thread for stitching.
In the previous 3 pix I've experimented with the stitching, working out different patterns, using cross stitch and sort of herringbone.  Below is another basic longstitch, with added beads and a paper lined cover with linocut prints in acrylic with an ink wash over.
Here's another cover waiting for some pages, but not the painted signatures.  Those will go for an open spine book so the colours can be seen.
So that has kept me out of mischief.  I have in fact started a series of workshops in my home, with up to 6 people coming for two and a half hour sessions fortnightly.  I cal it 'informal book making' as a prpoer bookbinder would probably have a fit at the lack of precision.  But that's my style, and I am happy with the huge enjoyment I get from doing it, and sharing it with other people.


Nikki Comer said...

How cute - This is truly innovative.

Nikki Comer said...

Liked your post. Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.