Sunday, September 16, 2007

Perfect Binding

No, perfect binding does not refer to a flawlessly bound book but rather to a method of securing loose leaves into a solid text block by means of an adhesive rather than by sewing, stitching, etc. It is an easy binding to do. Photojojo has a nice how-to video of Judy Lee, owner of Five and a Half, a bookmaking and design studio specializing in journals made from sustainable materials, showing you how to make your own perfect-bound journal using two 4×6 photos for the cover, some paper, glue, and a few other tools.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Book Chair

Interesting idea, but I cannot imagine being comfortable in this chair, especially when loaded with books ... books hitting the back of one's legs and where does one rest one's arms? I think of this more as a conceptual chair.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Digital Book Design and Publishing

This is the first book I bought on digital publishing. Even though it is not a recent publication, it is general enough to still be a good introduction.

CONTRARY to futurists’ predictions that computer culture would mark the demise of the book, electronic technologies, by changing the way books are produced and distributed, are creating a renaissance in book culture. At least as significant to print publishing as Gutenberg’s moveable type in its time, electronic, or desktop, publishing has brought the tools of book production to anyone who owns or has access to a personal computer. Add a scanner and printer, page layout and image processing programs and you have, at your desktop, a means to work with typography, images and page design undreamed of fifteen years ago. This book covers all the essentials of digital bookmaking for photographers, artists, designers and for writers who want to move beyond the manuscript to the page. Based on his years of work as a photographer, bookmaker and teacher, Douglas Holleley has developed a clear and considered approach to “Digital Book Design and Publishing.” You will find a progression through the process of bookmaking, from a consideration of maquette and materials through printing and bookbinding, as well as a step-by-step guide to page layout and image processing software. A rich and varied selection of reproductions from historical and contemporary illustrated books and artists’ books places digitally produced books in a historical continuum.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Noriko Ambe: Linear Actions & Cutting Project

Noriko Ambe meticulously cuts, and layers hundreds of pieces of Yupo, a synthetic, translucent paper made in Japan, her biggest work having a depth of 1300 sheets of paper. The shapes that emerge call to mind topographical maps, the annual rings of trees, the vastness of space, landscapes, erosion, canyons, aerial views and the passage of time as both subject and process. While many of her works involve unmarked white paper, some involve altering carefully chosen preprinted materials ... because printed matter conveys a message automatically ... such as newspapers, reference books and magazines.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pop-Up Cards to Make

Need a very special card for someone? The Canon 3D Papercraft site has a number of nice pop-ups that you can make. Just download the free instructions, print out the parts and get to work. No need to figure out how to do it yourself . The site also has downloads for gift boxes, animals and origami. You can even print your own Chiyogami (origami paper).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Altered Books: Markings

There are many ways to alter a book. One of the most basic is marking. Most of the pages on the Altered Books site have been altered in this manner, using basic mark-making tools and materials such as pencil, pen, ink, crayon, paint. The result is often poetic. It is not as easy it might appear. Take a look and check out the links to other sites that feature altered books.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

House of Books

A book lover's dream house, Casa di Libri. Created by sculptor and carver Livio de Marchi, all the furniture, the tables, beds, desks and chairs, incorporate carved book forms. Even the exterior is compiled of wooden books.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flickr: Coptic Binding

I recently discovered these beautiful examples of coptic stitch and caterpillar binding, by tussenpozen, on the Flickr website. I was surprised to read in her profile that she is ... a young, creative, legally deafblind, zenbuddhistic woman. See her work here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

CBAS: An Afternoon of Papermaking

An "arty" collage of several photographs of most of the people who attended this get together at CBAS member Margaret Rhein's papermaking studio, Terrapin Mill. Several people from the Indiana Book Group made the 100-mile trip to spend the afternoon with us in what was described by one attendee as "paradise," referring to our hostess's beautiful garden and koi pond, a tiny bit of which is visible in the background of this photograph.

Before getting down to the fun of papermaking, we had two important pieces of business, getting to know each other and lunch! We gathered on the deck and those who brought book-related materials, and books they had created, shared them with the group.

The potluck lunch was fabulous!

Margaret, beginning her demonstration, the skylight above shining a spotlight on her presentation. We will be using mini papermaking frames, not the larger one she is holding.

Top left: Couching the very wet pulp onto a felt. A mini frame can be seen in the shadowy foreground.
Top right: Showing how to create an embossed effect.
Bottom left: Bottles of colored pulp.
Bottom right: Drawers of hand-dried plant material, most from Margaret's garden, which she uses in her paper and which she generously shared with us.

Everyone is really concentrating on creating their own unique mini works of art.

The final step, stacking all our felts and pressing out excess water.
Top left: Stacking felts.
Top right: Board placed on top of stacks and waiting to be pushed into the hydraulic press.
Bottom left: Pumping the press. Note the water flowing out.
Bottom right: Removing damp paper and placing on blue paper towels for transportation home and drying.

VoilĂ , paper!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Folk Typography

Flickr is a wonderful photo sharing website. Many of the photos are organized into groups or pools. This one, Folk Typography was created to gather together photographs of surprising, original letter forms created unselfconsciously by people who are not designers, typographers, calligraphers, or graffiti artists-- in other words, people outside of all traditional schools of typographic influence.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

CBAS Study Group: Alice Balterman's Altered Books

Everyone loves to visit artist studios and Alice Balterman's studio, the site of the CBAS study group's May meeting, was no exception. The well-know Cincinnati collage and altered book artist shared examples of her work and suggested some techniques we might use if we wanted to try altering a book. Alice said she saves everything, pictures, postcards, paper, letters, stamps etc. How she keeps track of it all is a mystery but she always finds just what she needs when she needs it.

Two other group members, Ruth and Nikki, shared examples of their work and explained their altered book processes. Nikki is still working on her first book, a fairly large one and suggested that first timers start with a small book. She also suggested sewing or gluing pages together to reduce the number of pages that need altering. Ruth found a Japanese book on dogs and some band-aids in different shapes and colors (some printed with doggie images) in a dollar store. Inspired, she cut and arranged the band-aids into dog shapes and was on her way to creating her humorous altered dog book.

Our three talented book artists, Ruth, Alice and Nikki.

A table with some of the many books Alice has altered. The open book is Ruth's. She has a wonderful sense of humor.

Alice's work area and some of her tools and supplies. She works on one project at a time, finishing one before starting another. Wish I could do that.

Here, we looked through a selection of books from her library and wrote down titles of books we would like to add to our libraries.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Exhibit: Hand Bookbindings, Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious

The craft and art of binding books by hand was vividly chronicled in an exhibition at Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Entitled Hand Bookbindings: Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious, the exhibition ran from November 10, 2002 through April 20, 2003 in the Library’s main gallery. While conventional wisdom holds that books cannot be judged by their covers, visitors had a chance to do just that from the most humble of volumes to the most luxurious; from the monastic manuscripts of the twelfth century to the special editions of the twentieth.

Now that the exhibition has run its course, it has been turned into an online display of over two hundred beautifully photographed bindings, divided thematically into twenty-six categories. All the photographs can be enlarged and for even closer inspection, there is a magnifier (the square in the lower right hand corner of each book). Simply click and move it over the area you want to view.

The twenty-six categories:
Introduction - The Early Codex and Coptic Sewing - Early European Sewing and Board Attachment - Later Sewing And Boards Labor-Saving Methods And Materials - Endleaves - Endbands - Edge Decoration - Clasps, Furniture, and Other Closures - Blind Tooling - Panels And Rolls - Gold Tooling - Binding Waste - Aldines - Italian Bindings - German Bindings - French Bindings - British Bindings - Temporary Bindings - Onlays - Bindings For Collectors - Binders' Marks - Modern Conservation Binding - Large And Small, Fixed And Portable - Embroidered Bindings - Bindings From Early Americ - Twentieth Century English And American Bindings

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Exhibit: Bookworks 8 (LitChick Blog)

The Cincinnati Book Arts Society (CBAS) is holding its 8th annual exhibit of traditional and contemporary handmade books in the Atrium of the Main Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library from May 2 to June 25. Check out this blog for more photos: LitChick: Art of the book celebrated in new exhibit.

Pictured Artist: Margaret Rhein

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Exhibit: Bookworks 8 Opening

Family and friends turned out today, for the official opening reception for Bookworks 8, Cincinnati Book Arts Society's (CBAS) annual book arts exhibit. It's a highly recommended visit and, if there is a copy of the artists' statments around, I encourage you pick it up and read it. It will enhance your enjoyment of the exhibit.

Dr. Sylvan Golder and his wife, Faith, study daughter-in-law Margaret Rhein's See Me, See You, one sheet books created from prints of primates made during a monoprinting workshop.

Cecie Chewning's Too Much Information, is her creative and humorous response to the piles of unsolicited catalogues she receives in the mail on a regular basis.

Karen Hanmer's Bluestem was inspired by Willia Cather's My Antonia: Everywhere, as far as the eye could reach, there was nothing but rough, shaggy, red grass ... And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be moving.

Beth Belknap Brann, London Underfoot: A Pure Photographic Alphabet. In the summer of 2001, Beth spent a month in London, much of her free time walking through neighborhoods photographing random letter forms formed by accidental arrangements of materials on sidewalks and streets which she printed and assembled along with ephemera and notes collected and written during her stay.

Alice Balterman's Little Black Book is made from her storehouse of African-American Collections. Using only black and white prints, she collaged and assembled them in an old children's book originally entitled Seeing.

Cody Calhoun, Imagine. The whimsical imagery and text reinforce the belief that "when nothing is sure, everything is possible." Polymer clay and ATC's (artist trading cards), rubber stamped, collaged, and bound with coptic stitch.

Penny McGinnis, While I Slept. Inside each of the four pockets rests a soft cover book of the artist's poems on the four seasons. Handmade paper, Japanese 4-hole binding, embroidery.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

CBAS Study Group: Six-Needle Coptic Binding

I have been traveling the last two months and, regrettably, have missed the last two study groups, the second session of Interlocking and Woven Book Structures, covering Slit/Slot & Other Paper Hinging Techniques, (see Piano Hinging for part one), and most recently, Potato Print Papers.*

No photograph can convey the simple beauty of the potato print papers that were produced during this last meeting. Even so, I thought I would include one here. As you can see in the photograph above, many of these papers were used in today's project.

Here's a photo of our eager-to-learn group. All that was required of us was that, prior to our meeting, we pick up our precut book boards, covers for the book we were going to make, and cover them, preferably with the decorative papers made the month before.

Our first task was marking and making holes in the book signatures. For this, we used a hole punching cradle, a device to position the signature for accurate hole making.

Here is a closeup of both sides of the cradle, top and bottom. This one is made with medium weight binder's board.

Cran is instructing the group on how to accurately mark their covers for punching so the resulting holes will line up properly with the holes in their signatures.

Jeanne is sewing her first signature to her back cover. Coptic stitch can be done with one needle but we used six needles, worked in pairs. Once we got started, it was pretty easy going. If you are interested in this stitch, check out Keith Smith's Non-Adhesive Binding, Volume III: Exposed Spine Sewings. We worked from one of the diagrams in his book.

I didn't have any stamped paper so I used a paste paper I made in a workshop last year. The term refers to a method of decorating the surface of paper with acrylic or tempera paint mixed in a paste medium. I'll be writing more about this in a future post.

A closeup of the stitched binding. What is nice about the coptic stitch technique is that, once you catch on to the stitching, it is fast, it uses no adhesive (except for what is needed to attach decorative paper to the cover boards), and the book opens flat (nice for sketching and/or journaling).

*Red potatoes were said to be the best.