Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Opened Book

Last session at Binders I taught my first Bookmaking two class, where we focused on the book's interior pages as much as the cover and how it was bound. It was a lovely, cozy group and we made such beautiful pieces.

I've made so many books and recently got tired of considering the outside only. I write and sketch voraciously in all the books I keep for myself, but the ones I give as gifts rarely get used. The receiver feels too intimidated by the crisp clean pages to write anything for fear of "messing the book up." This makes complete sense to me. So I'm trying something new by altering the pages with a loosened structure that hopefully invites the user to fill the page themselves. To complete what I started.

I spend a few weeks altering these pages with a spray bottle filled with water and a drop or two of umber ink, a warm grey marker, .08 copic markers, colored pencils, etc. I lined almost all of the pages, cut windows, incorporated short sheets of both blank and washi patterned papers. I also mixed some already lined pages in with the ones hand drawn and included pieces of a vintage map a friend found for me.

I'm half way through stitching up the book. The binding uses the Secret Belgian Bound technique and the main stock is a Strathmore Drawing Smooth finish in a lovely warm shade of ivory. This I bought in a large pad and ripped the pages out and made smaller ones.

If I ever make more of these and try to sell them, they will cost a pretty penny to reflect the hours it took to make them. But they are beautiful. And if I can figure out a way to produce them quickly, I think I can lower the price enough to make them affordable.

Very exciting experiment this is. So much to explore.

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