Thursday, 24 April 2008


Some exposed spine mockups, just practicing...

And... I still haven't quite learnt the lesson I keep trying to teach myself (that is: if I don't cut the boards right at the beginning they probably (probably!) will not be right at the end) Oh dear...

(but at least I'm practicing Mary :) ) Oh well!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

more concertinas

So tomorrow turned into a few days, as these things often do at the moment... but today I've managed to get at least a bit organized, and here are some pictures (slightly dodgy camera phone pictures, but pictures none the less) of the books I made at the art gallery last Thursday...

A concertina book; a good opportunity to show a few different ways to fold accurate concertinas, as from my experience this can be harder than it sounds! I also thought it would be good to show a few different ways of making a cover, this a soft cover that kind of wraps round its self and then slots over the end page...

No glue in this structure :)

I tried to take a kind of mix-and-match approach; showing lots of different foldings, page elements and ways to attach them...

This is a hard cover blizzard book (another good opportunity for folding practice...)

Mine is a bit scruffy, I was a bit nervous book making in front of so many people!

I love this structure, with it's slotty in pages... you can find the instructions in this book along with lots of other lovely things :)

At the end of the class the participants all seemed pleased with their books, but by the end of the day I realized that the class was far too short for everything I wanted to show, I felt like I could go on for days and not be done with all the possibilities of these structures... Perhaps more classes are in order :)

Friday, 18 April 2008

gratuitous concertina...

This is the first time blogger has let me upload a photo all week... very frustrating!

Yesterday I ran a workshop at leeds city art gallery, in conjunction with the 'from book to book exhibition'. I wasn't quite sure what the people attending the class would be expecting (having never done this kind of thing before!) so I tried to show a variety of binding elements and how they can be combined to create different kinds of book...

Everyone seemed to have a good day, and I was concentrating so hard (and nattering on :) ) that I didn't take a single photograph, ooops. But I've got the structures I made, so tomorrow I'll take some pictures of those and hope that blogger cooperates!

Saturday, 12 April 2008


For Neo Blue... today is his naming ceremony, his welcome to the world... 


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Friday, 11 April 2008


A lobster book for a friend's birthday. She likes octopus and gulper eels, I hope she won't mind a lobster!

It's a Secret Belgium binding, the cover is made of three separate pieces which are then laced together...

And the pages are then attached by sewing through the cover threads...

It's my second try at this style of binding, and it took me all day! The sewing of the covers went fine, it's not really a complicated method, but as soon as I removed the tape holding the three separate parts in place it all went a bit floppy and the spine kept shifting.  

I managed to wiggle the boards a bit and line it all back up. I taped the book block (which I had previously sewn as I thought it would make it easier to assemble...) inside to keep the whole lot in shape, but this was no help as all the pages have to be laced into the spine individually with the cover open and tightened at the end... 

But I got there eventually, and I'm pretty pleased with the results... Rhonda writes here that she sews this binding in a different way to the tutorial I've linked to above, and that one day she may write her own tutorial... I can't wait!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


Paper, thread, glue. Board, buckram, glue. Ink. 


Thursday, 3 April 2008

hurray for sunshine

The clocks went forward the other day... and suddenly it feels like summer is here... I left work in the day light and walked home in the daylight, little pink flowers on the trees and a bee! So this is what it's like to be alive :)

I'm off to visit a friend in Glasgow this weekend, anticipating cups of tea and cake in cafes, walking in the park (in the daylight!) a bit of nice tasty food and a good old natter.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

expanded spine

Still working my way through Keth Smith's Non Adhesive Bindings Vol 1'... and its a long job! Today I had a go at an expanded spine concertina, and although the only thread I could find thick enough was some kind of scratchy gardening twine it seems to have worked ok...

I haven't put a cover on it yet, I think it will need to be hinged front and back to allow for the swell, or perhaps just shorter than the accordion so the spine extends past the covers... I particularly like the beading along the edges of the tapes (and it also just happens to cover the sewing holes which I accidently spaced a little too wide :) )

The spine is supposed to curve around like this...

I tried a few of my own variations of this binding idea... most of them I pulled back so I could reuse the book block, the last one I did is definitely not the most sucessful! Hmmm...

Looks pretty, until...

But it's an interesting structure, and although the expanded spine is wider than the covers at first, it leaves room for all sorts of things to be stuck between the pages...