Monday, April 29, 2013

Bookbinding workshop: "The Art of Artists' Books"

Over the weekend, the Arts Guild of NJ held a series of one-day workshops, and I participated in one about bookbinding.  The workshop was taught by artist Lisa Conrad, who made the process very understandable, and quite frankly, easy. If you have ever done any hand-sewing, these techniques transfer the knowledge you already have working with fabrics to a new medium.

We created 4 books in different styles and techniques. We also did some printing, which I had never done before. We did a monoprint and a block print.

This picture is of the combined output of the workshop participants

The first book we made is a "section" book. A section is a collection of folio pages sewn together. A folio is one piece of paper folded in half to make 4 pages. Your typical hardbound book consists of many sections that are bound together by a spine. My section book has a colored-paper cover and my monoprint.

Next, Lisa showed us how to do Japanese Stab Binding. I see all sorts of potential for doing variants of this book. My book features my block print. I was at a loss for what to make on my prints, so I fell back on my negative-space tuxedo cat for the block print.

Then we made a couple of hard-cover accordion books. These books use basically the same overall technique of folding a long, single piece of paper, and gluing a cover on the ends. Making the book covers using decorative papers is a lot of fun and the papers available rival the fabric selections in any quilt store (and fabric is also an acceptable book covering material, so... ).

This first book is called a "flag" book. The accordion folds are small and paper "flags" are glued to either side to achieve the opposing face designs when the book is opened.

Outside of the book
Inside of the book
The last book of the day is another accordion book, with page-size folds of equal size. The class decided it would be fun for each of us to print our block prints inside everyone's book, so we all have a copy of everyone's work. The order of the prints was different in each book. This one is mine.
Accordion-book cover

The only "downside" to learning all these new techniques is that now I have an excuse to keep the smallest scrap of fabric and any and all sizes of cardboard and mat board... I'm not a hoarder - I'm an ARTIST!

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