Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tomorrow is departure

So how have I been spending my time?  I have had some dental work done, thanks to a fall I took about a month ago that resulted in a fractured tooth, and I have been binding books.  My avocation is bookbinding.  About 6 years ago I found a book called "The Penland Book of Handmade Books" and was inspired to learn this art.  After several years of classes in varying venues, along with experimenting on my own, I have settled on the fact that what appeals to me most is the book structure, not its contents.  (That is, in terms of my creating the book!)

This first book is for my daughter, Amanda, and is her "Dream Journal".  It is a case-binding, the style most of us see in hard-bound books.  The outer cover is a commercial paper that is intended to look like leather, with actual leather spine.  The blank text pages are handmade cotton rag paper (also by me).  The end papers are commercial papers, with real silver leaf inside the covers.

These next two books were commissioned by a good friend, who intends to give them as gifts.  They are made with wooden covers (African padouk on the top and mahogany on the bottom) and have an exposed spine binding.  The binding is the Coptic stitch, which originated in 4th century Egypt.

Each of these books has a window cut from the cover.  The windows contains symbolic elements appropriate to the particular recipient of each book and use natural mica as the window.  Books like these require 16-24 hours to make.  I make the paper that goes inside, shape and smooth the wood, cut and fashion the windows, and stitch the whole thing together.

I am taking a small subset of my bookbinding tools with me and am looking forward to getting acquainted with bookbinders and paper artists in Bucharest.

Oh -- I also have had my mail forwarded, finished packing, eaten leftovers, had social occasions with friends and family who wanted to wish me well, purchased locks for the suitcases, made copies of all the important papers going with me and ...  The next update will be written from Bucharest and will share first impressions!

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