Bookbinding Course

I have started an online course through Domestika.org on bookbinding. The instructor makes an interesting distinction between books bound and in an artistic manner, including blank books and books that are of themselves artistic artifacts, and binding artworks in a way that presents and protects them. The latter is of course my interest.

A few years ago I did make a book, Signature 1.

This was triggered by wining the Japanese Paper Place Award at the Ontario Society of Artists Open Juried Exhibition in 2011. The award included a significant amount of very nice paper, and consultation time to make appropriate selections. I selected a paper that had an interesting structure and texture, that would work on my inkjet printer.

I decided that the images that best went with the paper were some of my many images of bare trees. As you can see in this image, the structure of the tree and the structure of the paper complement each other. The image was made by scanning through a page; the later images give a better idea of what it looks like to the eye.

Part of a page as seen by shining light through it

I wanted the book to have images faced by blank pages, where I could write, and also on both sides of the page. There was some tricky layout work to do, to get the images in the right orientation and the right sequence. I printed a couple of drafts on plain paper.

One sheet, showing layout

When I had all the pages printed and folded, I had a local framing shop dry-mount the results, so I had a number of “boards” to stitch together.

After dry-mounting

I punched holes with a sewing machine to guide the needle during hand-stitching.

Hand-stitching after poking holes

I wrote a poem that runs through the entire book, speaking of and for the trees, and hearing what they might have to say. I’ve been really happy with the result, and have sold several (there’s a limit of 10, but I have not made even half of them). At the moment we don’t even have one for ourselves…
Let me know what you think of it.

The sleeve keeps it closed
Signature 1
Back cover w/ haiku
First pages w/ poem
A peek at the centerfold