Friday, 17 July 2009

More Paper Experiments - Paper No 0008

My Dad came to stay for the weekend a while back, and it turns out he's always wanted to make paper, but wasn't sure how to start. So, we had a go. We started with some white cotton? dry pulp fibres, and pulled a few sheets. I don't think he'd realised quite how easy it is to make paper! We then carried on, and added some of my yellow recycled paper - coarsely shredded, then added some lint from the tumble dryer, them added some glitter, and so on. As we were nearing the end of the stack of couching sheets, we decided to add some of my white recycled paper to finish off. Unfortunately, my food mixer died after about 3 seconds, so, what the hell, throw the very coarse white stuff in too! The results are shown below.

My dad went home with all these sheets, and I'm yet to see what he's to do with them. Now, Dad lives in St Ives in Cornwall, and is friends with many of the artists down there, particularly Roy Ray and Jenny Devereux, two of the many well known artists working with paper in St Ives. Check out their websites.

I also understand dad went straight to Truro, and bought all the equipment to make more paper himself. So, watch this space.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Giveaway Winner!

I'm not sure I've ever won anything on the internet before. But, I recently saw Shannon's offer here on her Bathtub Dreamer blog, and left a message. Therefore, I was a bit suprised to win! Shannon says the book has a fault somewhere that renders the book not up to her usual high standards. Well, I like high standards, but I can't find anything wrong with it! It's a lovely coptic bound book, and I especially like the paper covering the inside covers. Lovely. Thanks Shannon!

Suede & Leather - Book No 0015

Another experiment here. I cut 3 strips of soft red suede, and wove them through slits cut in plain leather cover. I then long stitched the signatures into the covers, as per Keith Smiths "Long Stitch through Slotted Wrapper Cover" (Vol I, pg 141). Not entirely successful sewing, I need more sizes of threads. The thread I used was too thin, I think, as I couldn't line it up very well on the spine. No matter, it feels great now it's finished.
Book No 0015. 6x8.5 inches (16x21 cms)

'Swap' No 0006

So, not a swap as such, but I saw these customiseable Scout Books by Pinball Publishing, advertised on web, and just had to order a free example. I do have my own business, so these may come in useful for that one day. They are very nicely made books, and you can upload your own artwork for the covers, etc. Pinball have recently reduced their minimum order to 50 books for $150, so all in all, a pretty good deal.

Hanging Basket Liner - Paper No 0007

OK, here I was, browsing through the local garden centre when i saw a stack of hanging basket liner. These are the ones made of a papier mache kind of material. They are very cheap, and the quality of the material isn't very high, but pulped in the blender, I experimented making the sheets below. Techniques included layering with other papers, pressing on bubble wrap, etc. Not the best paper, but an interesting exercise following on from my Peat Pot papers!
Paper No. 0007 8x6 in (20x15 cm)

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Keith Smith Pamphlet Binding - Book No 0014

Here's another Keith Smith double pamphlet binding I've recently made. I'll post some time soon about approx 250 sheets of mostly handmade papers I've recently bought online for c£60.

This pamphlet is entirely made from some of those papers. As have been my Books 0008, 0009, 0010 & 0011.

Sewn with black thread, the outer cover is a very beautiful stiff paper with a leather like look and feel. The inner cover is a marbled paper of sorts. The pages are made from torn down mulberry papers of 2 alternate colours - yellow and orange. Keith Smith calls the binding Pinking Shears with Bars (see Vol 2, Pg 74). Unlike my previous post, I'm really pleased with this book.

Book No 0014. 5x7 inches (12x17 cms)

Unsupported Blanket Stitch Binding - Book No 0013

It's been a while since I've posted. This is what I've been working on. A Keith Smith binding that he calls the Unsupported Stitch Binding. (see Vol 3, pg 219). I've modified it slightly, in that I've stepped the length of each alternate stitch.
As the sewings aren't linked to one another, I used 2 colours of thread, alternatively brown and black. The pages are made with alternate sheets made from my own handmade papers 0001 & 0002. The ply boards i made from a cheap crate i found at the local garden centre - it was one of their free boxes to help you carry your plants home in, but the ply base has particularly attractive grain pattern.
I don't consider this book a complete success. I used both straight and curved needles, but i couldn't get the boards tight. This shows up in the second image, you can see the bottom board is loose. The back board, the last to be sewn, is particularly loose. More practice needed I guess!
Book No 0013. 4x6 inches (10x15 cms)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Swap No 0005 - My Handbound Books

Over to Canada this time, to Rhonda at My Handbound Books. I was a little slow off the mark in posting my end of the swap, and consequently, my package from Rhonda arrived before I'd posted mine!
But, i was blown away with Rhonda's generosity. I received 2 chopstick bound books, beautifully wrapped in a handmade, hand printed band. See Rhonda's tutorial to make these here. There was also another notebook, a print, and a selection of marbled and paste papers. All are stunning. Rhonda's tutorial to make paste paper is here.
I thoroughly reccomend Rhonda's blog, its fascinating, and an inspiration. Theres so much on there that I'd like to try and make myself. If mine are only half as good........
I sent Rhonda my usual swap, but as I'd seen what Rhonda had posted before I sent mine, I included one paper from each of the six papers I've made, and as a special treat, I sent Rhonda a pair of the wooden boards I'd made and kept for a rainy day. I'm looking forward to see what Rhonda makes with them.

Swap No 0004 - Guernsey £1 Banknotes

Recently, Mai-Britt from Linen & Silk commented on my origami book diversion, and offered to send a £1 Guernsey Banknote for me to make a Bank-Note-Book from. I was delighted, and offered Mai-Britt a swap, rather than the generous gift on its own. I was more than pleased therefore to receive 3 £1 notes in the post.

I sent Mai-Britt the following for my side of the swap.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My Series of Books so Far

And, finally for tonight, a self indulgent hastily thrown together view of some of my books made so far. I like seeing other peoples 'bookshelves', so I thought i'd lay mine out quickly. I'll probably do this again some time, but I thought you might like to see this. So, let's see an update of all your bookshelves out there, for the rest of us to enjoy.

Japanese Stab Bindings with Mizuhiki Cord - Book No 0012

A couple more experiments with the Japanese Mizuhiki Cord. I made these two simple Japanese stab bound books. One has very stiff and thick coconut fibre paper? covers, the other has stiff card covers. Both have pages made from a handmade sheet with petal inclusions.
As with the Keith Smith pamphlet binding, I didn't use a needle, but just had to re-stab the holes each time i pushed the cord through. As the cord is slippery, the trick was to bend or crease the cord at each turn around the book. This just about kept the cord tight. This time i did tie the cords off - on the back!, rather than try to tie off inside the spine area as is usual with these books.
The decoration on the coconut cover, is just the cord strung through holes pierced in the cover. The image at the bottom is the inside of he cover, where this time, I didn't tie off, but used the trick from the pamphlet, where I bent the cord back on itself at the end of the sewing, and looped it around the sewing without re-piercing the cover. This is very tight, and won't come loose in general use.

Book No 0012 - 8 x 5.5 inches (20 x 14 cms)

Japanese Mizuhiki Cord Pamphlet Binding - Book No 0011

This is the second of my Keith Smith bindings, this time I've experimented and bound it with the Japanese Mizuhiki Cord I've bought. The 24 page section is made of thin brown and green handmade paper with plant fibres. The cover is a heavy paper with tinsel inclusions. I kept the book quite large for this experiment, so I had enough space to handle the cord.
I chose a simple binding which Keith refers to as a dash sewing (vol II, pg 20). I pierced the section and spine on my sewing cradle, and as the cord is quite thick, I made sure the holes were quite big. I didn't use a needle, as the cord is stiff enough to support itself. Once I'd laced up the spine, I had the one end protruding through each end of the spine to the inside, and needed to tie them off. As this is a paper cord, I found that rather than try to tie a knot, i could just fold or kink the cord back on itself, and loop the head end down to the tail through the lacing, and vice versa with the bottom cord by bending it back up the spine, and looping it through the lacing. The third image below should illustrate what I did.
This actually makes a very strong binding, as the kinked cords won't 'unkink', and a knot is not required.
Book No 0011 - 6 x 9.5 inches ( 16 x 24 cms)

Tibetan Handmade Book

I recently bought this gorgeous little Tibetan book online for less than £1. It has 7 sections of 20 odd pages. The pages are handamde paper with petal inclusions. The paper covered cover is held by a multi-coloured cord, and small wooden toggle. That's a strip of bamboo on the front.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Japanese Mizuhiki Cord

I don't suppose there's any reason why I should have heard of this cord before, but I haven't, and when I saw some online, I just had to bid. There is an explanation here, for those of you who don't know about this. Wikipedia contradicts the explanation on the above link, and says "The cord is created from rice paper, that is tightly wound, starched to give it stiffness, and then colored". Oh well, I'll leave it to you guys to investigate further if required. My cords appear to be wrapped in a foil like paper. The photos below don't really do the colours justice, they are extremely vibrant.. I have an idea I will try a couple of Keith Smiths pamphlet bindings with them, although i suspect they will be difficult to use, as they are a bit stiff to use as threads. I'll post my experiments, and you can judge. There are 40 cords, each 0.9m long.

My First 'Keith Smith' Binding - Book No 0010

I now have volumes I, II & III of Keith Smiths bookbinding books. As a beginner, I'm drawn to his 1, 2 & 3 section pamphlets in volume II. They seem the ideal quick booklets to practice on. Hence this little book here.
I tore down 2 large sheets of thin mulberry paper for the single section in this book. One red sheet, and one pink sheet, and interleaved the pages. To get a nice deckle edge to the pages, I creased and wetted the folds, before gently tearing them down. The covers are a stiff hand made paper with a few petal inclusions.
Keith refers to the stitch I used as the Laced Dash Sewing (vol II, page 21).

Book No 0010 - 5x7 inches (12x17 cms)

I've also bought a simple rubber lettered printing kit, and (if I remember), will try to stamp all the books I make from now on with the following

Swap No 0003 with Lisa from Parallel Botany

I received my swap items in the post from Lisa at Parallel Botany today. I sent Lisa one of my Bank-Note-Books with bank note paper endpapers, and some sheets of my handmade papers. Heres an image below, and Lisa's kind review of my items can be found here. Lisa sent me one of her delightful par avion notebooks. The cover is Lisa's own handmade paper, and features a brilliant watermark of the books title. The pages inside are a delightful mix of pamphlet stitched plain, lined, squared and other papers. In addition, Lisa sent me an assortment of her other handmade papers, including a notelet and envelope (too good to use!), and some gorgeous joss papers. I'll have to think up something to make with them.

Please visit Lisa's blog - Parallel Botany - It's well worth a browse, and bookmark.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Handmade Paper Sample Book

This is another online purchase. This was less than £1. Its a book of sample handmade papers. There are 12 different papers - 3 sheets of each - total 36 pages. They are a wide and varied set of papers, inc: a snake skin design, a marbled paper, printed papers, embossed papers. Some thick, some thin, most are coloured papers. All cord bound in a beautiful, marbled paper covered, stiff boards. Overall book size is 8.5x6.5 inches ( 22x16 cms ) Does anyone recognise this book? I've purchased a second set from a different vendor also for less than £1. So they must be made in bulk somewhere. I've an idea i will strip out the papers leaving one of each, and adding pages from the lots of other handmade papers i have, so building up a big sample book of papers I've used.

Charlotte Clowes Handmade Paper Still Life Picture

I bought this online recently for less than £5. It's a Charlotte Clowes original. The seller didn't advertise it as such, just calling it a handmade paper picture. See here for Charlottes website. Its beutifully made, and very vibrant - much more so than these images show. It's 9x9 inches (22x22 cms).