Jul 27 2008

May and June books

Here’s what I’ve been working on. A book a day is my goal this summer and so far I’ve only fallen short on 8 days (since May 1st.) There is no reason other than inertia and a bit of laziness that I couldn’t have added a new post with a new book every day. So, my obedience of Newton’s first law… an object will stay at rest or continue at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. Though hard at work on my books, the law of inertia has been governing my blog. But, alas, today, some yet unidentified external unbalanced force has rocked me into movement. And, here it is… a new post, blog motion.

This sounds wonderfully more cosmic and romantic than if say, for example, I walked past my laptop and thought to myself, “shit, I have to get off my ass and post those fraking pictures.” So, yeah, I’m sticking with the Newton story.

So, I’m not posting every single book I make this summer, but here’s a sampling:

7.5″x11″ photo-journal, 10 quarto signatures, totaling 40 pages of Premium Strathmore 100lb Bristol. Sewn using two colors of waxed Irish linen thread in a variation on the classic Greek two needle method. The cover paper is made by this cool company called Iota that concentrates on recycled content, vegetable dyes, all that eco-goodness we all need to support. Check ’em out.

5.5″x7.5″ journal with 12 octavo signatures for a total of 96 pages of 25% cotton rag, 32lb ivory paper. Sewn with two colors of waxed Irish linen thread using a variation on the classic Greek two needle method. The variation is basically in the length of each stitch being sewn across three signatures rather than two. This particular sewing pattern required sewing with 8 needles simultaneously. I wanted to pull someone’s hair out. Not mine… I was already in enough pain trying to keep 8 threads and needles straight! The endsheets on this one are particularly nice… a Thai Banana mash — basically a tissue weight paper made of 50/50% kozo and banana fibers in a natural wood fiber hue. This book was a commission for an avid botanist and tree lover. The cover paper is an Italian reproduction of a classic Florentine botanical print.

I made this one for my girl, Kiersten.

This, unexpectedly became one of my favorite books this summer. I freaking love the skeleton! It’s an Italian reprint of a Florentine classic print.

The Tarot…

Just playing with closures on this one. It’s waxed Irish linen thread braided, and a mother of pearl button.

Super cool paper handmade in Italy.

This is Nepalese Lotka paper dyed by placing a stencil and then exposing to sunlight.

The Queen of Sheba! Paper courtesy of my sister in Dublin. I tried to give the spine sewing a little art deco feel. I used a method of packing the spine sewings using a burgundy thread.

This one has a little bit of everything… maybe a little overworked. There’s a closure with waxed Irish linen thread and a wooden button, it’s sewn on tapes with a French herringbone stitch, and then to top it all off, I added an Ethiopian coptic style endband.

More Iota peapods…

Cool, super deco paper that reminds me of some lady’s prized wallpaper. With big birds and lily of the valley.


More caterpillars!

Most of these are still available. I’m doing art fairs this summer, so I’m working diligently to keep my inventory significant. Please email me with sales requests or custom orders. Pretty much all these styles and methods can be combined, shuffled, exchanged, etc..

Let’s see if Newton is as relevant while I’m in motion as when inert.

Apr 15 2008

Sewing on Tapes

I’ve been doing a bunch of books using the binding method of sewing on tapes that I learned from the Daniel Essig seminar. I guess this particular sewing technique has a bunch of names including the French Twist and the Herringbone. I figured I’d toss my hat into the ring and give it a name, too. I call it the Honeycomb.

So this book features a paper with a stylized alphabet which reminds me of Edward Gorey’s work.

The front cover perfectly frames the whole alphabet A – Z, and the back cover centers this floral graphic seen above.

I have more of this paper, because I am interested in using it for a personalized book. I’d like to highlight one letter, or three like a monogram for someone. Another idea I’ve been toying with is to use a mica window, like in my mahogany covered book (featured in the first post in my blog), to encase one letter. So if this idea appeals to anyone, please give me a shout.

There’s a detail of the binding in one of the pictures above. It’s purple waxed Irish linen thread on ivory tape. The ivory tape matches the cover papers. The textblock is made with white 25% cotton 32lb paper.

Here’s another “honeycomb” tape style. This one features a Florentine reproduction of an antique star chart. The tapes are made from strips of Nepalese Lotka paper in a navy blue which matches the ink on the star chart. The thread is waxed Irish linen in a dark rusty red color. The paste-downs are made from the same navy Lotka paper.

Both of these will be at my booth at the Old Town Art Market.

Apr 15 2008

Celtic Weave

So here’s another sewing technique I taught myself from a Keith Smith book. He calls it the Celtic Weave. In my opinion his instructions are vague at best, so I still have some kinks to work out to perfect it. The covers are made with Nepalese Lotka paper… it’s a caramel color with prints of fern leaves. One of the nice attributes of the binding technique is that I can use two contrasting colors of thread. In this book I chose butterscotch and chocolate brown. I’ll have to keep practising this technique, it looks simple once it’s been sewn, but so far this is one of the most time consuming bindings I’ve done. Below is detailed view of the weave.

I’m going to keep working on this method to perfect it. I’ll have this book and hopefully a few more like it for sale at the 4th Annual Old Town Art Market on May 31st. Come see me!