Currently Browsing: Strathmore Aquarius II 5 articles


What I Did Last Weekend

Batch of books I made last weekend.


The Best Compliment You Can Give a Bookbinder—and Yourself


Above: plein air watercolor and gouache landscape ©2008 Diane Wesman, created in a 4 x 3 inch (approx.) journal made with Strathmore Aquarius II 80 lb. watercolor paper. Sketch made with a black Uniball pen.

As a bookbinder one of the saddest things to see is a series of blank books on someone's shelf. The books' mass represents acquisitiveness, lost opportunities, stalled creativity, postponed engagement in the world and a hundred other sad things. It's frustrating to see. It's one of the reasons I started teaching journaling. I was very sneaky about it—I would have everyone make a book using paper I knew was perfect for the process I was teaching. Then, perfectly timed, when the books were completed we would USE THEM. No one went home without working in their book.


Books, Books, Books, and a Book Arts Show


Above: The result of the latest bookbinding binge (or so it seemed), in a sadly lit photo I took for record keeping, but you get the idea. The books all contain Nideggen for text paper. The two books on the left of each row have a lovely navy book cloth. The short book and tall book right of center with swirly purple and orange decorative paper have a dark, rich heather purple bookcloth. The book in the back row center has metalic paste paper. The red book near the left, and the far right book at the back with brush strokes on the decorative paper use Strathmore Aquarius II for the decorative paper. This is the first time I've used that for decorative paper and will be interested to see how it holds up for strength. It's lighter weight (80 lbs. vs. 140 lbs.) sure is an easier paper with which to work. I used almost the last of my Fabriano Uno Soft Press 140 lb. watercolor paper for the decorative paper on the other books. The large books are about 7 x 9 inches and the small ones are 7 x 5.25 inches. They are all 6-signature books, except for the small teal book which holds 12 signatures. (Why 6 signatures? I find that's a nice weight to carry around and a sufficient number of pages to work through in about a month. Then I'm usually ready for a different type of paper.)

A Book Arts Show and Related Programs: Front, Back and Between
Cleaning up after the recent book production frenzy I found my notice from MCBA about the current show. So I have missed telling you about the opening which was January 23, but you have until March 8 to check out "Front, Back & Between" which showcases work from twelve talented members of MCBA's Artist Co-op. The show includes a variety of prints,
artists' books, fine press works and other artistic endeavors. (Please use the link to MCBA to check their hours and to find directions.)

Paper: What Do Visual Journalers Want?—Part 2

This post continues yesterday's discussion of paper from a visual journaler's perspective.

Some Paper Recommendations

Below are some papers that we discussed as a group at November's meeting of the MCBA Visual Journaling Collective. I have provided my thoughts about them. Because these are my thoughts I encourage you to try the papers yourself before you dismiss them or before you make a bulk purchase. (You might want to buy sample packs as suggested in part one of this topic.) I’ve tried to be accurate in my info, but always double check before you buy. (Note that I couldn't find a way to make a superscript 2 for the weight fraction: gm/m2—the 2 should be a superscript. When I do it with Typepad's text controls the leading between my lines is messed up and that's a greater evil. Just read and imagine a superscript; you can do it.)

If a paper is readily available I have not listed a vendor. You should be able to find it at Daniel Smith, Wet Paint, Talas, Jerry's Artarama, Cheap Joe's, and so on. If I only know of one vendor I have provided a link. Also if I've been able to quickly think of an example from one of my journals that is already scanned and on my website I've provided a link to a journal page using that paper, so click and see some extra work.)


Paper: What Do Visual Journalers Want?—Part 1


Above, three different papers, three different journals. Left to right: the new Folio paper, pen and watercolor, Annigoni Designo with Pentel Color brush and gouache, and Fabriano Artistico hot press with pen, ink and gouache.

Two weeks ago about 20 visual journal keepers met to discuss PAPER at the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. As we went around the room sharing what we liked to do with paper and what we hoped a paper would do for us (support collage, take wet media, etc.) more than half admitted they were paper “addicts.” We knew we were in good company.

Some attendees admitted also that they loved any type of paper and were paper “magnets” always finding paper on their outings and returning home with scraps of this and that to use in their artwork. Only a couple members had made paper, but everyone agreed they loved to collect it and plan projects.

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