New Adventures in Book BindingOctober 30, 2017
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to add a new entry into this series of posts started way back at the beginning of my blog!
A shoulder injury has kept me from binding batches of books. I’ve bound a book now and then so I’d have a special Minnesota State Fair Journal, or for a class that I was teaching, but it’s been too long.
My clothing, specifically my tee-shirt where it hits my waist, is once again covered with streaks of PVA. (That’s where I quickly wipe my bone folder when I am folding over and burnishing down the fabric on a book case.
I have never been so happy about a laundry nightmare!
I can’t wait until tomorrow when I pull the books out from under the weights.
I’ve posted a couple images, as I’ve been going along, on my Instagram account. If you want to see more you can go there: Roz Stendahl is how you’ll find me. (I don’t give lengthy explanations or captions there because I can’t stand to type on the phone! But every now and then during a break I snap a photo.)
I cased in two books today and have six more ready to go. (I had torn the paper last fall and last summer! I punched the sigs last week and glued the text blocks up on Friday.)
Next I have to purchase some more binder’s board. I keep forgetting all the things I need to bind. Sunday I had to run out for large newsprint to use as waste paper! I love how I am getting back into the swing of things and memory is taking over again though.
I have six more text blocks and case materials all ready. I look over at the shelf and smile. It’s very fun, I feel fortunate to be able to do something I love so much again!
Tomorrow I’ll be making a birthday present for a friend that is two years overdue (I thought my shoulder was OK and set up to bind, but then circumstances made it impossible). The friend got something else, but it will be nice to give her this book this year.
I have four more boxes of paper all torn and folded into signatures. I’ll be starting in on those as well, punching, sewing, gluing, cutting more cover materials, and casing in. I don’t have a count on how many books this is, though I have made up info sheets on it all. (Every time I try to count I get interrupted and loose track so I decided I’d just keep binding until they are all done.)
Info sheets are the sheets I use to draw my tear diagrams and list all the particulars about a book, like the height and width of the text block when sewn, and all the parts I then measure and grow off of that, depending on which type of structure I’m making.
With these sheets I can keep track of the color fabric and decorative paper choices I’ve made so I match the correct book with materials, so things like the headbands match the way I’d intended. And then when the process is over the sheets help me work out how quickly I was able to work and what materials I used. I can even use them as a reference to reorder a favorite paper or book cloth. Should I need to look something up in the future I have my handy dandy chart.
Someone on Instagram asked about my charts. I happily admitted that I’ve been making charts on every thing I do since I was about five. Several people have said they think I was an efficiency expert in another life. I’m OK with that. I love it when the wheels of productivity roll smoothly along. (I’m using #2017BigBind on Instagram and Facebook, though I didn’t remember to tag a couple images and don’t use Instagram enough to know how to edit things!)
It’s been so long since I bound a batch that I’m actually redoing my chart. When I finish improving it I’m going to get all my online binding students together and have a webinar about it to encourage them to use a chart. I’ll even be sending them a PDF of my chart as incentive.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to take a binding class with me yet, don’t worry, there will be at least two online opportunities in 2018. The Simple Round Back Spine will be offered again, and new to my online class roster I’ll be offering my “Sewn on the Spine” construction which is a great book for mixed media artists who also like to add a lot of collage and work dimensionally. (Look for a new schedule of classes on my class page sometime in December.)
Now I have to go and fold some laundry to stay on target with my productivity!
I hope you’ll be able to join me for a binding class in 2018. It’s a happy thing for an artist to know that in a few short hours there will be a new journal or sketchbook, sized exactly the way she wants it, with the paper she loves, waiting to be filled with sketches.