Tuesday, 29 January 2008

BEST Winter Pick

This ode to winter is by BEST member, GreenChairPress.Etsy.com. This little book has a crown binding and it is an open edition with a letterpress printed cover. The artist's description of the book is as follows: The end of the year is a time for reflection and celebration. Winter, an ode to the season, is a visual interpretation of Mark Strand's poem "Lines for Winter", with original illustrations. The cover is printed letterpress, the insides are laser printed.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Recommended Reading - Kojiro Ikegami

My favorite bookbinding book is Japanese Bookbinding by Ikegami (originally published in 1979). When I first started making books, I got this and read it cover to cover and made everything in it. I had done some 4-hole stab bindings in a class, and the instructor had her copy of this book on hand. I got my copy the next day. It was this book that piqued my interest in the history of bookbinding as it includes historic details about all the bindings described. As well, it is a lot about structure and not so much about creating art...which is the opposite of many new bookbinding books (which are great books, but i do like to start with structure).

This is my book spread out here with some of the books and boxes that I've made. If you are thinking you don't need this because you already know how to make a 4-hole stab bound book...I recommend it anyway! It includes the most common stab bindings and the variations but also it includes a lot of box making and portfolio structures, scrolls, ledgers, accordion and flutter books, as well as a multi-section binding with an exposed spine that opens perfectly flat...and the stitches are not visible on the spine; quite an elegant style really.

This is an example of one of the ledger styles. Wonderfully simple but a beautiful structure too. I made this one quite large, it is about 9" long and 1" thick as I was trying to replicate the original ledger size. The shape is influenced by Japanese calligraphy of course. "Completed ledgers were often strung together and tied with a long cord so that in case of fire - a common occurance in crowded Japanese towns - they could be flung into a nearby well and later retrieved without damage to either paper or ink." (Japanese Bookbinding, p. 68). I thrive on these little historic tidbits!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Book Swap #1 - KristinCrane

The final book to present from our first book swap is this fun orange and purple coptic book from Kristin, KristinCrane.etsy.com.

This blank book has plain white paper inside and the cover is a purple and yellow starburst pattern. Kristin says, "I am a textile designer, so i have a weakness for fun pattern design. I like my books to be a smallish size...portable enough to carry around, and small enough to fit inside a bedside table. I love to travel so I make a lot of travel journals and get excited when I'm shipping them off around the world as each book goes off on its own journey."

Kristin's books are available at KristinCrane.Etsy.com.

See all the books from Book Swap #1

Monday, 14 January 2008

Book Swap #1 - KupoKiley

This yummy chocolate book was submitted to the book swap by Kiley, KupoKiley. This was the first case-bound book that Kiley ever made on her own after taking a bookbinding class and the first book she ever listed on Etsy.

Kiley says, "I loved the purple/pinky book cloth and the chocolate paper was just too whimsy for me not to use with it. I originally bought the paper to make a gift for my sister-in-law but didn't get the book finished in time. So it became the first book I listed on Etsy. When the Etsy listing expired, it had over 2000 views and hundreds of hearts. I decided not to renew it and enter it into the book swap hoping that its crazy book cloth and paper would put a smile on someone's face."

Visit Kiley's shop to see her other work: KupoKiley.Etsy.com.

See all the books from Book Swap #1

Friday, 11 January 2008

Book Swap #1 - Yatsu

This celtic gem arrived for the book swap from Meredeth, known on Etsy as yatsu.

This mysterious note was just received:

Meredeth was inspired to harken back to her Anglophile days by a pack of metal decorations she nearly tripped over in the "Hot Spot" sale department of her local Archiver's paper store. Her happenstance meeting with cardstock of a color mysteriously termed "hemlock" completed the moment and thus a compact little hardcover book was conceived. Several hours of finger-puncturing, pants-gluing, table-scarring labor later, the book you see before you was birthed. Meredeth's memory of the event has since been suppressed in the interest of protecting what little sanity remains to her, but she tells us that that the book is approximatey 4 inches square, that the covers are most likely illustration board covered in the aforementioned hemlock-toned cardstock, and that the pages are either mild white sketch paper or ivory computer paper. No further comment has been received on that subject. She does know that the recipient was pleased to get it and is, with any luck, scribbling happy scribbles on the pages even as you read this.

Visit Yatsu.Etsy.com if you would like to see more work by Meredeth.

See all the books from Book Swap #1

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Book Swap #1 - Lady Artisan

Eva, known on Etsy as LadyArtisan, sent this wonderful book for the first book swap. The covers are polymer clay and it is bound using a chain stitch sewing. The pages are a combination of Amate paper, heavyweight Mulberry paper, Japanese tissue and some other papers, creating a very pretty book block.

Eva described the creation of these pretty polymer clay covers for us. "The main design, kind of a bubble/wave type pattern was made with canes (the different colors of clays were manipulated together to make a log which, when sliced, has a design that you can see on both sides of the slice. Once the canes were made, I took slices and applied them to a white clay sheet and then smoothed it out and cut it into two matching rectangles for the front and back covers. Those design sheets were cured and then I backed with a sheet of turquoise clay, smoothing and rounding the edges. Once cured again, I sanded and buffed to a smooth, glossy sheen."

Check Eva's shop at LadyArtisan.Etsy.com to see her other work.

See all the books from Book Swap #1

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Book Swap #1 - PaperLion

Next up in our group of book swap books, is this pretty gardenia book by Jenny, aka PaperLion, in Australia. This book is bound using the Coptic sewing and she used such a nice white thread for sewing that it looks quite delicate, a great match for the gardenias on the covers!

Jenny said, "I really like the simplicity of the Coptic stitch but my favorite part of the whole process is seeing the boards covered in their new papers. It sometimes takes me a while to stitch them into notebooks as I just like looking at them all lined up! It's really exciting to be a part of BEST and know that one of my notebooks is going to someone else who is just as passionate about bookmaking as I am."

Visit Jenny's shop, PaperLion.Etsy.com, to see more of her books.

See all the books from Book Swap #1.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Headbands Blurb

I was recently browsing around in the "Books" section on Etsy, and found a book by a fellow BEST member, Meowstro. I was intrigued by something I saw in the description and pictures... the book had hand-sewn headbands.

The only headbands I'd ever seen were the kind that you glued on... what I use on my own books. I'd never even realized that they could be sewn on yourself!

So I looked around a bit online, and discovered that headbands were originally sewn on to support the spine and protect the pages from damage, and were an integral part of the book. Nowadays, bookbinders tend to use glue on headbands, which serve a more decorative purpose. But even these can be done in different ways, such as sewing them separate from the book, rolling your headbands, or simply purchasing them ready-made!

You may find a more thorough definition of headbands here.

For a quick tutorial of how to sew headbands directly onto your book, check out Laura's bookbinding blog!

Want to sew your headbands separate from the book? Take a look at this TJBookarts tutorial, along with some informational links at the end!

To see how you can roll your headbands, check out this other TJBookarts tutorial.

Prefer to purchase some ready-made headbands? You can get them at a variety of B&M shops, as well as online at places like Talas.

Or if you'd like to make your own headbands and need some supplies, here is a link for twisted silk thread to start you off, as well as a Headbands Manual!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year

Bookbinding Etsy Street Team Year in Reivew!

It has been only a few months, but our little team has accomplished great things already. Here is a quick overview of 2007.
  • Late in the summer of 2007, the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team was formed unofficially and started blogging.
  • B.E.S.T. achieved official street team status in October and there was even a visit to the Etsy labs that month.
  • Also in October, we picked team colours and designed a logo.
  • We have now published three bookbinding-related tutorials on our blog as well as one full length member interview.
  • By early November, the B.E.S.T. Etsy shop was established and there have been four sales since then.
  • We successfully completed our first group Book Swap, with eight participants.
  • In December there was a team sale with 25 shops participating.
  • B.E.S.T. now has a Yahoo group, a Flickr group, and has been featured on Notebookism.com
  • We have published several informative resources on our blog about buying bookbinding supplies, displaying books at craft sales, some bookbinding history, etc.
  • There were 77 registered team members as of Dec 31, 2007.
  • There have been 38 fabulous B.E.S.T. Treasuries on Etsy!
Great work folks. Just imagine the possibilities for 2008!