A couple of weeks ago I had 8 lovely book making enthusiasts take a Coptic Binding workshop from me in my home studio. They were a unique group in that they were a gang of friends who had decided, over a year ago, that they would like to learn about making a book. Amazingly, after much schedule finessing on their part, they gave me a call, we decided on dates and made it happen. We had a great time.
They were incredibly fast learners. My job was as easy as cherry pie.
And look how wonderfully their books turned out!
P.S. No need to be thrown off by the foot on the book thing you see above. It’s just what a person has to do when there aren’t enough weights to go around. It’s a creative way to keep your danged book in place so it doesn’t leap off the table while you pull on it in the process of making a twine closure. One of the many sacrifices you make for the sake of bookarts right? Right!
Here’s a look at what I do when I’m not making books. I’m the one playing the banjo uke. Pearl Mueller is on the fiddle and Ellie Grace plays mandolin, guitar and dances too! (which you’ll get a taste of at the end of this video). We also have a myspace page.
Lark Books has recently come out with a new book called Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin put together by Terry Taylor. It’s totally great, simple as that. Each project is by a different book artist, many of which are local to Western North Carolina (I happen to be one of them, but I prooooomise I’m not saying any of this because I’m biased in any way). You’ll find projects made of everything from egg cartons to cassette tapes.
Here are a few images of the book I made for Eco Books:
I took two hand embroidered pieces I had found in a thrift store (I had to peel them away from the backing that held them in their tacky wooden frames) and hand-stitched with black thread around the bunches of lemons and oranges to make the images “pop” more. Then I made book board for my covers by laminating layers of recycled cereal boxes that I then encased with my altered, vintage fabrics.
I decided to make the book a dos-a-dos (two books that share the same back cover) because I had two fabric pieces. I used 100% recycled Classic Laid text paper, stained the edges with walnut dye I made myself and bound the book with multi-needle Coptic Binding.
I made twine (with two contrasting colors so that it would look striped) to be wrapped around a vintage button each to create closures for the front and back of the book.
Check it out at your local independent bookstore (that would be good ol’ Malaprops here in Asheville).
It’s the time of year again for the largest, annual bookarts event in Western North Carolina; BOOK OPOLIS. If you happen to find yourself in the Asheville area this weekend come on by and check it out. To see a slide show of a Book Opolis past click here.
The Fifth Annual BookOpolis 2009 September 25 & 26, 2009 Exhibition Opening and Reception Friday, September 25, 2009
6:00 – 9:00 pm Demos and Exhibit Hours Saturday, September 26, 2009
noon – 6:00 pm NEW for 2009 Extended Exhibit Viewing Hours
1:00 – 4:00 pm Monday – Friday, September 25 through October 2
Josh is a buddy of mine from the days of old when we were baby art makers. Since then, he’s grown up, completed various ceramics programs and has really “gone for it” in the world of hand-crafted pottery. I think he’s destined to be a big success. He’s got the drive (or the fire, as I like to say), he’s a natural networker, innovative in creating a community around craft and his work is awesome.
What does all this have to do with books you say? Well, it’s no secret that Josh is also an avid visual journaler. He was having problems with stuffing machine made books too full of mixed media finds and popping the binding. So, we came up with a Copus book design that would allow him to pack them good and full.
Below is an example of how crazy his journals where turning out before we modified the structure. See what I mean! You could lay your head down and take a nap on this thing.
This is what we came up with; fewer pages and more substantial spaces between each signature.
Josh is a member of Clay Space Studios in the River Arts District here in Asheville, NC. He is also participating in an upcoming show at the Blue Spiral called Fall Salon. The opening is October 1st, 2009 and runs through December.