making books

The first time I bound a book, I was 9 or 10. Family friends had given my parents several reams of pink 11 x 14 paper for me to draw on. Instead of simply drawing on the paper, I used instructions in a wonderful little book from the public library on bookbinding to make those pink sheets of paper into books with sewn signatures. The library book was small, in a blue cloth cover, and was old 40 years ago. I took that book out of the library more times than any other book, ever. And, I made my own books. I filled the books with drawings; one was of horses. I drew every kind of horse I knew about (I had been reading about them, too).

Then, years later, when I was student teaching, I taught a set of lessons on making books. The shop class happened to have every piece of equipment necessary to make books, so I had the boys make books. They loved it. And I was better at making books than at woodworking. They didn't even mind sewing the signatures because they weren't in home economics and weren't making clothes.

Now I'm back to making books. Today, I spent about three hours putting this little thing together. It's not great, and I didn't, in the end, follow the directions. But here it is. I recently bought Alisa Golden's Expressive Handmade Books, published by Sterling Press. Very nice instructions and projects. I started with the first circular accordian book (pages 34 & 35), but ended up with a side-sewn one-signature variation of the accordian. Fun!

I first painted two large sheets of graph paper and two sheets of canvas paper with red, yellow, and gold acrylics thinned with matte gel medium.

Then, after I folded the pages, I rubber-stamped the page numbers. This one is 5 inches high and 5.5 inches wide.
And now I have a nice little notebook to write in.
I might even consider taking commissions.....

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