Sunday, November 19, 2017

Simple Bookbinding

I have been working in 2 sketchbook journals since July. This practice helped me work through my creative block. I have enjoyed working in sketchbook journals so I'm keeping this medium in my creative practice. 

In my last post, I had finished creating in my 6"x8" sketchbook journal. Instead of using the same construction method, which was machine sewing the gesso primed muslin into the cover, I want to construct a sturdier sketchbook journal. Even though I gessoed the muslin, there was some paint that bleed through to the other side. Also, with my other sketchbook journal, repurposed magazine, the pages became bulky and hard to lay flat. I abandoned this sketchbook journal some time ago. I separated the completed pages to use as reference and will be using the remaining magazine pages in my future sketchbook journal pages and collages.

A few months ago, I started reading books and watching videos on book binding. Learning this skill will insure that my future sketchbook journals will endure over time. I started by buying an inexpensive bookbinding starter kit from Amazon. Click here.

I usually start a new practice using inexpensive materials. The first 3 little books I made were used with covers of magazines & brochures with magazine papers and watercolor paper scrapes as the pages. I will use these books for quick collages and painted sketches. From left to right: pamphlet stitch, long stitch and coptic stitch using waxed thread. Height 6.5" x Width 5.5"

The next set of books were made with card stock covers that I collaged on top. Again, using magazine papers and watercolor scraps for the pages. I used embroidery floss and waxed thread to stitch each book using the pamphlet stitch. Again, I will use these books for quick collages and painted sketches. Height 4.25" x Width 5.5"

Other inexpensive materials that can be used for book binding samples such as cardboard box from food items like crackers or cereal. This book was made from a cracker box, which I collaged on top of the front, inside front, back and inside back covers. I used heavy weight sketch paper for the pages. The book was bind using the coptic stitch and waxed thread. This stitch is the best to use if you want the book to lay flat when it's open. This book will be used for a sketchbook journal. Height 7.5" x Width 6".

front cover

back cover

inside cover

back cover

Now it was time to make the jump into book binding using altered used books. I checked before altering to make sure the books don't have any monetary or antiquity value. After this important step, I removed the pages in each book. I wanted to bind heavier weight paper so I can paint, collage and journal in these books without worrying that the paper will disintegrate over time.

I kept the spine of this book so I could use the long stitch to added the signatures (group of pages). I found some pretty washi tape to add to the spine to cover the stitched for a polished look. The paper used for the pages was initially marked by monoprinting that I will collage and paint on top. Height 9" x Width 6".

The final book I have made so far is this red book. I removed the spine so I can bind the book with the coptic stitch. I'm on a quest to master this stitch. Inside I use blank heavy weight watercolor paper for each signature. I keep this book by me when I'm painting so I can use up the extra paint by marking the blank pages. Height 8.5" x Width 5".

I will post more photos of the inside pages as I create in them. Thank you for checking out my blog!