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Protected: In Context—Philosophy

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Protected: Projects versus Series?

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More Adventures in Bookbinding—When You Can’t Go Outside

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Adventures in Book Binding: The Tableful of Nideggen Journals

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Above: the full batch of regular size Nideggen journals. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The above photo of mine doesn't do justice to the range of colors in the books' fabric and decorative papers, but people following the current saga of the Nideggen batch of books will enjoy this overview of the completed books. (The two smaller books made in this batch were shown on my July 6 post.)

There is something wonderful that happens when you get that cloth and decorative paper wrapped around a bookboard! Papers that might have looked "marginal" before simple glow in their new incarnation. (To see the papers before they were bound see my July 3 post.) This is of course a great argument for making more and more books and seeing how this transformation happens. Before you discount a dubious piece of decorative paper I hope you'll push forward and discover this for yourself as well. My students are always pleasantly amazed and I am always thrilled with their results.

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Binding Books in Batches

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Above: Two small (3.5 x 5.25 inch) and one regular (6.75 x 10 inch) Nideggen journals. The first batch of this "round" of binding. (The lighting is off in the photo—that front book's fabric is way more teal! There is metallic gold on the small black book's decorative paper, sort of a wash that settled everywhere in the cold press texture of the 140 lb. watercolor paper used for that design. It's sparkly when you hold it in the light.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Saturday morning, while baking bread I was able to get the first three books of this new group finished. But I'm not a happy camper. I want to bind them all at once! I'm having trouble pacing myself. I did three more of the regular journals Sunday morning, again while baking bread. This morning I finished 4 more regular journals (and baked bread after binding so the house wouldn't get hot while I was binding). That leaves 3 more to case in! (Maybe I can get a hang of this small batch thing?)

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Adventures in Bookbinding: Matching Paper Surfaces Across a Spread

NideggenTearStacks5182 Right: The goal, stacks of folded and collated sheets ready to bind into books. These signatures are approximately 6-5/8 x 9-5/8 inches and make a wonderful size for a journal in portrait orientation.

Events keep intervening and keeping me from binding the next batch of Nideggen books, so I don't have a new photo of books made with this paper. But if you want to see finished books made with this paper check out my January 28, 2009 post.

NOTE: this post assumes you have working knowledge of handling a bone folder to tear a folded sheet of paper. Also always do a test on cheap bond first to make sure you understand the instructions. I’ve made every effort to be as clear and thorough as possible, but I’m used to doing this LIVE with people listening, so do a run through first just to make sure it all makes sense before you touch your expensive paper. (I have a note on how to practice at the end of this post.) Also, I find it useful to always have a sheet diagram on hand—and I've been doing this for decades.

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Books, Books, Books, and a Book Arts Show

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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.)

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Adventures in Bookbinding: Happy Accidents

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Above: Two 7 x 5.25 inch books made Friday using Nideggen (for text paper) and decorative paper made by me, read more below. Click to see an enlargement.

I love making journals with Nideggen for my text paper because I love drawing on it. (Look at posts from the December 2008. Many of them have images sketched and painted on Nideggen because it was in my last journal of 2008.) However, the paper's tan color is a bit difficult to coordinate with fabric and decorative paper. This fabric makes it look too dull, or Nideggen makes the fabric look too dull, and so on.

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Sketching Outdoors while Indoors

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Left: After an afternoon meeting at the Bell Museum I decided to stay and sketch. I went to the “Lake Pepin” diorama. The Sandpiper is my warm-up (Staedtler Pigment Liner .3 and gouache). Then I got into drawing with a finer pen (Staedtler Pigment liner .05) when I worked on one of my favorite specimens, the Hudsonian Godwit. Click for an enlargement, but keep reading for even closer views.

Woman (W): Write down one thing that helps you identify the Killdeer. One thing, what could that be?

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Quality Time

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Left: Sketches of Sophie, from my journal. (Journal page 6.25 x 9.25; spread 12.5 inches wide.) Sophie is a long-haired black dachshund. Trying to find the body parts under all that fluffy hair is a challenge. She has a very long, thin muzzle. I was just finishing her rump when the pups brought their wrestling nearby and landing on her, causing her to move. "What do you do now?" asked Jackie, who was sitting next to me. "Start another drawing," I said smiling. That really isn't any hardship. (Initially I wrote Sophie with an "f" because I know someone who spells her name that way. On top of the recto page there is a little sketch of Buster's butt that didn't get developed because he moved, and moved, and moved;  but he has a perfect little stance and a wonderful pattern of tan meeting the black on his rear and his hind legs. Another time.) Nexus Ebony Black pen on Nideggen paper. Click the image to see an enlargement.

Friday night I had dinner with a group of friends. A few years ago the five of us tried to get together to discuss books on a monthly basis, but one or the other of us would always not read the book (typically it was me; I read a lot but I like to read what I want to read, and it feels too much like graduate school to have to talk about a book; I failed miserably at “book club”) so now we just get together. Good food (we all bring a part of the dinner) and good conversation. That suits me. (Some people still talk about books they’ve been reading and I add those books to my list.)

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