I wish I was more artistic. More creative. I wish I had the ability to make stuff like my own clothes or household knick-knacks, or even the talent to paint a decent picture.
I use words instead. Words and paper.
According to 2010 New Year’s Resolution No. 1, I’m going to be making a fat collection of words on paper with the first issue of Bird Fly Good, a new journal of poetry with work from some of my favorite poets from Austin and elsewhere. I’ll be putting some of my snazzy new bookbinding skills to the test, and my dear friend and talented designer Katie Daly will be busting out the design for the cover. Continue reading
Our final class in The WonderCraft bookmaking series was all about bookbinding and different spine stitches. We focused on the Japanese side stitch and coptic binding, which sounds really fancy because it’s really difficult at first.
The Japanese side stitch, also called “stab binding,” is very simple and can be modified to make really elaborate and intricate spine patterns. I’m not going to write out the instructions because diagrams are usually more helpful. Check out this wonderful wikibook for detailed instructions. All you need for this style of binding is a needle, thread, and something to punch holes with.
The Japanese side stitch is very sturdy, but prevents the book from opening too far. This makes it difficult to write or draw on the pages after the spine has already been stitched.
Coptic binding was a lot more difficult because the stitching process was slightly more complex, but it gets easier with more practice and repetition. You have to sew on each signature, which is just each section of paper, individually to the covers. For coptic binding you just need your covers, paper, thread, a curved needle, and a 1/8” hole punch. Here is a remarkable tutorial on coptic binding, or the “single needle chain stitch.”
I really like this style of stitching because it allows the book to lay down flat, making it easier to write or draw on the pages.
Sign up for the next round of bookmaking classes or learn about other wonderful classes offered by The WonderCraft.
This week in Part 2 of The WonderCraft bookmaking series we made flag books. These gorgeous art books serve as wonderful centerpieces for a coffee table or an interesting wall hanging. I especially love making these books because it’s a great way to make use of old art cards or greeting cards. Continue reading
I think I’m lucky to live in such a crafty town. Austin is jam-packed with musicians, writers, designers, and artists of all trades. I’ve been especially fascinated by the art of bookmaking ever since Scott Pierce of Effing Press, a local and private printing press downtown, came to one of my poetry classes to speak about small presses and short-run publishing. He emphasized that bookmaking is hard, especially when you only have two hands. But I’m still a big fan of the beauty and craftsmanship that comes with a handmade book or journal.
So in order to enhance my bookmaking skills, I enrolled in a three-part class hosted and taught by The WonderCraft, an Austin-based mobile craft studio that offers an extreme variety of classes and crafting parties. You can also find these ladies at events around Austin where they demo “make and take” projects like at the Austin Handmade “Beard Folks” event last weekend.