Friday, 30 January 2009

Blog Interview: Deconstructed Artichoke Press

Nikki Thompson

Company/Etsy Site:
Deconstructed Artichoke Press

San Francisco

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
October 2007

How did you get into crafting?
I’ve always been into crafting. When I was little I used to needlepoint and cross-stitch. My mom was a huge influence back then.

How did Etsy come into your life?
My friend, Sue Angebranndt, of Green Chair Press ( convinced me that all I had to do was take some pictures and make a banner ad, and presto! I’d have an Etsy page.

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
I’m very active with the San Francisco Center for the Book. I’ve been in lots of shows in the Bay Area and beyond. For a long time, I was editor of the etc., a Pacific Center for the Book Arts (PCBA) bimonthly newsletter. I also participate in book arts fairs in the Bay Area: PCBA Book Arts and Printers Fair, Book Arts Jam, SFCB Steamroller, and a few more.

Do you have a day job?
Yep, I’m a Special Education Teacher at the continuation school in South San Francisco.

Tell us about your shop:Does anyone help you?

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
Learn how to make your product well.

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
Glueing! But it’s fun!

Do you show your work locally?
Yes, and not locally too. I’ve been in shows in New York state and Colorado.

Famous last words?
Oh, my god, do I have to cut all that paper down!?

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I took a class on Book Design, and I heard about this place called San Francisco Center for the Book and this thing called, Book Arts. So I signed up for Bookmaking I and took that and loved it. While I was in the class, I heard about a woman named Betsy Davids, who taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC). I decided to apply for an MFA in Creative Writing at CCAC, because I wanted to do Book Arts and study with Betsy Davids. I took a class with her, we became friends, and now I use her press (a Vandercook SP-15) out in Berkeley.

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
I started bookmaking around 2000. Since then, I've made books that are for sale with Another Room Book Arts (, Vamp and Tramp (, and The Stop at Minnesota Center For Book Arts (

What is your favorite stitch/technique?
I like this structure I learned from Kumi Korf, a book artist and architect in New York, I’m not sure what it’s called. It’s a series of books sewn to an accordion. Some people say it looks like a roman shade.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
Xacto knife

Materials you use for your books?
Davey board, book cloth, paper, letterpress printing, Gocco printing, other random things

What inspires you?
Architecture, science, baseball

Who is your crafting hero?
The girls at Podpost, Carolee and Jennie

Guilty pleasure?
Chocolate, especially dark

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Japanese Stab Binding Tutorials

Japanese stab binding is often taught in introductory bookbinding classes because it is quick to learn and it is truly classic. Japanese bookbinding is an ancient tradition and although it comes in many forms, the stab bindings are the best known and easiest to learn.

I decided to compile a list of tutorials for quick reference. If you have a favorite Japanese bookbinding resource that isn't mentioned here, leave a comment and tell us about it.


Video: Japanese Stab Binding Part 1

Video: Japanese Stab Binding Part 2

Video: Japanese Bookbinding

PDF: Japanese Album by TJBookarts


Japanese Bookbinding by Kojiro Ikegami

Creative Bookbinding by Pauline Johnson

Non-Adhesive Binding: Books without Paste or Glue Vol 1
by Keith Smith

Saturday, 24 January 2009

An Abecedarian of BEST members: B

(This posting was edited/updated on January 25 with an additional “B” member).

This is the second in a series of blog postings where I will introduce you to members of the Etsy bookbinding team (BEST), moving from A to Z. Today’s letter is “B”, and we have a bevy of bookbinding boosters whose boutique banners begin with B.

Believe it or not: The busy but brilliant book artist wore a beaded bandeau while busily binding her beautiful bamboo book to barter for a bargain with a beckoning bodacious buyer.

Beginning with Beetlelady Books, I believe the blue dots burst off the page on this Red Wheels Journal:

Bumping over to Belasbooks, you’ll find a bundle of blue books, including this Old-school Blue Book book :

Browse in the boutique Bibliosophy Books, and you’ll find a book that is blue and beaded and even baked! Small Beaded Clay Journal:

Beth at BlueValentinePress has all her books at bargain prices: check out these beach babes: CLOSE OUT SALE - HAND IN HAND - A Hard Cover Travel JOURNAL with Collaged Covers and a Coptic Binding:

From Bookgirl’sStudio, aren't you curious about a book called Boudoir?

Stopping by BooksByStephen, I see bubbles on this blue and brown book with a button! Small Blank Journal Covered in Fabric and Adorned with a Button Fastener:

The Bookwright has a lovely botanical book with beach glass: Botanical green glass blank book:

Bound.To's shop has books with blossoms, biology, and beverages too: Winter Hot Cocoa - Mini Journal or Notebook:

From Baltimore, bowerbox press’s shop features a bounty of birds but this book with a belt begged for attention: Small Porthole Book with Handmade Paper:

And bringing the "B's" to a bouncy end, brightcarver's shop has this buff bound in brown and beautified with bobbles Spring Journal:

Brand new member bastiano likes brackets and bold black stitching in his designs: Angle Brackets. Repetition and Difference:

Saturday, 17 January 2009

An Abecedarian of BEST members: A

A`be*ce*da"ri*an\, Abecedary \A`be*ce"da*ry\, a. Pertaining to, or formed by, the letters of the alphabet; alphabetic; hence, rudimentary.

I’m starting a new blog series featuring all BEST members from A to Z. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting each member as we go through the alphabet together!

Able, accessible, accidental, accomplished, accordion, adaptable, adorable, adventurous, aesthetic, aflutter, album, alluring, alphabet, alternative, amicable, amusing, angelic, angles, artful, artistic, aspiring, attractive, autonomous, awesome. Perhaps these words describe the following A+ members of BEST in who they are, how they work, what they make…

“A” is for:
Anna of Anna Hawthorne Bookarts with this awesome Black hibiscus journal all abloom

Alexia of ARRRT! with this amazing Snake Artist Journal with polymer clay covers

Susan of art kitten . OK, her name doesn't start with "A", but her shop does, and she's done a lovely portrait of Audrey Hepburn for this
Audrey Journal

Artnoose has assembled an associative affair with another Etsy "A" artist, aliciabock, for this Coproduction letterpress photography book

In artriot's shop you can find these attractive Handmade Bird Notebooks reminiscent of Audubon

Audra of the audraloyal shop, The Vespiary, has aqua accents in this Blue Roses Large Sketchbook/Guest Book

Be sure to associate with all of these astounding shops for more A+ art (bookarts that is).

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Book Swap #5 - GHBooks

And finally, this album from Gretchen, of GHBooks, is the last of our swap books for this round. This is a stab bound album covered with a traditional Italian (Florentine) paper. Gretchen says that this paper has been traditionally used as endpapers but that the vibrant colours and gold highlights are too beautiful to be hidden inside the book!

This album has 20 pages of nice Stonehenge paper with a natural deckle edge. You can see similar albums and other books made by Gretchen at

See all the books from Book Swap #5.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Book Swap #5 - Jellygnite

From Jellygnite, here is Ali's swap book. A pretty hardcover book, case bound in full cloth, with a little embroidered flower in the corner.

This small sketchbook has 40 sheets of crisp, white, 180gsm drawing paper and pretty green striped endpapers with Ali's signature stamps inside the front and back covers.

Visit to see more of Ali's creations.

See all the books from Book Swap #5.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Book Swap #5 - MyHandboundBooks

This swap book is by Rhonda, of MyHandboundBooks and Rhonda loves all Chiyogami paper, especially when it has so many cherry blossoms.

This is a hardcover blank journal with an exposed spine, bound using an unsupported blanket stitch technique. You can visit to see more!

See all the books from Book Swap #5.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Book Swap #5 - OliveArt

Kristi, of, made this unique case-wrapped-journal for our book swap. Lots of attention paid to the details on this one. It is covered with her own paste papers, and the hard case wraps around and closes with two wooden sticks through paper loops on the front.

Then slide the sticks out, and there is a Coptic bound journal inside...

And the journal can be completely removed by sliding the back cover out of its slot...

And that's not all...she has wrapped the spine of each signature with two papers, rectangles and triangles, slotting them together inside.

Visit to see more of Kristi's work, including other books made like this one as well as a variety of other styles.

See all the books from Book Swap #5

Friday, 2 January 2009

Book Swap #5 - PrairiePeasant

Presenting the first of the swap books to be featured this time: this book was made by Laura, Laura says she has been playing with various St Armand papers and this small sketchbook has a really pretty blue St Armand paper for the cover, wrapping around the fore edge with the two-button closure on the front. The longstitch sewing is embellished with little beads on the spine. There are 80 pages of 70lb drawing paper inside.

You can see more of Laura's books in her Etsy shop:

See all the books from Book Swap #5