Thursday, February 28, 2008

Flag Books and Portland Class

Last weekend's class went really well. On day one we made hardcover concertina books covered in bookcloth with a window and a ribbon closure then in the afternoon a stab binding and an account book binding. You can see the results in the picture below. I had taken my tub of papers
and most used those for the covers of the oriental books.

On day two we did the exposed stitch books described in my last post, unfortunately I didn't get any photos of those but they all worked really well using the cloth from the upholstery samples. Before the class I'd played around with a few ideas for making book cloth, I tried pasting Korean paper on some pieces and painting the back of some with gesso but ended up settling for using the large roll of double sided tape I'd got for them from Reverse art. It took most of the day to make the exposed stitch books leaving only an hour or two for the flag book which I had planned to do. I tried to gear the workshop towards bindings that can be adapted for artist books. I used Wendy's idea of the postcards as the base and the excellent instructions given in The Bonefolder, Fall 2005.
I made up a couple of samples to show the class and I also took my 'Greetings from India' book which is a form of flag book. The first one pictured I made from postcards I had printed a couple of years ago of my book 'Dark Side of the Rose'. I love the way the book moves and particularily the view you get from above. I had some wrapping paper that matched pretty well so I used that for the backs of the cards and for decorative elements on the cover and other places.

The book below I made from free Avant cards by Jess Brown

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Notes for exposed stitch binding

I have a class this coming weekend and am in the process of writing some notes for this book which I believe originates with Keith Smith but I am using a combination of what I have learned from Rae Carlson and Jenny Pinto. I figured it would be easier to include pictures here and refer the students here. Here are the notes, the leather, fabrics and double sided tape all came from Reverse Art Truck in Ringwood, one of my favorite places to shop, though I really should try to keep away!

The loot from my latest trip.

Exposed Stitch Binding
Making your cover:-Cut 2 pieces of board 5mm higher and 2.5 mm wider than the folded pages ensuring that the grain of the board is parallel to the spine.

Cover with paper or fabric using either glue or double sided tape having one edge of your covering flush with the side of the card and the other three sides wrapped around.

Line each of the covers.

Stick a piece of strong double sided tape to a piece of soft leather then cut a strip about 6cm wide and 6 cm longer than your book.
Next stack up your sections, six is a good number, and measure how deep the stack is when loosely held. Cut a piece of thin card this width by the height of your cover.

Center it in your piece of leather and cut lightly around it to remove the protection from the double sided tape.

Stick it down then run your blade along 2mm from each side of the card and remove the protection from outside these marks.

Place your covers in position. It is a good idea to do this on a grid to ensure that your covers are lined up and you have even spaces. Now remove the rest of the protection from the tape and fold the top and bottom of the leather strip to the inside. Cut another piece of taped leather 6cm wide and long enough to fit snuggly.

Preparing for sewing:-
Prepare at least 6 sections of 3-5 sheets folded in half. To make a template for punching the holes in the sections and the cover, cut a rectangle of paper 3cm wide by the length of the sections. Fold this in half lengthways and mark sewing stations in the fold of this template.

Have the top station about 1.5cm from the edge of the book and the bottom station 2cm from the edge. Mark other stations between these two ensuring that none are more than 3cm apart and that you end up with an even number of stations. The stations can be evenly spaced or form a pattern. Make the holes in each section by placing the folded template into the fold of the section and pushing an awl through the mark on the template and the section ensuring that the holes are made through the fold of the section. Repeat for all sections, making sure that the top of the template is at the top of each section.

Take your template and cut slits in the leather of the spine to correspond with the holes in the sections. Make sure you leave 2.5mm at the top and bottom of the sections.

Take a length of waxed cotton or linen thread (about 1 metre) and a tapestry needle.

Start inside the top hole of the first section and take the thread out through the corresponding slit and over the top of the book.

Tie off the loose end then go into hole 2 and out through the slit then back into hole 3 continue in this way to the tail of the book.

Now go out through the bottom hole and slit then into the bottom hole of section 2, back around over the tail of the book and out through the second hole from the bottom.

Continue in this way until all sections are attached and tie off the thread at the last hole.

Take a contrasting thread and start inside the top hole of the first section, tie the end to one of the threads already there then take the thread diagonally across to the second hole of the last section, back up to first hole of the last section on the inside then diagonally across to the second hole of the first section.

Now take the thread on the inside to the third hole of the first section then diagonally to the fourth hole of the last section inside to the third hole of the last section and diagonally to the fourth hole of the first section.

Continue in this way to the bottom of the book and tie off.

Some useful tips:-
1. When you are tightening stitches always pull in the direction you are sewing, and along the spine, otherwise you will tear the paper.

2. You will need to join in extra thread while you are sewing. To do this remove the needle from the old thread and thread a new piece.

Taking the end of this new piece make a slip knot by holding the end of the thread in your left hand and making a loop by passing the thread in your right hand behind the thread in your left.

Repeat this to make a second loop and place the second loop over the first loop.

Put this loop over the end of the old thread from the sewing and pull the loop tight by pulling on the long piece (the one with the needle attached).