Here's a pic of my latest book:
My friend and art partner Rita loves Canson mixed-media paper and in watching her work with it, I've noticed how well it takes wet media and glue without buckling. It's also smooth and bright white which I like for most drawing and illustration work. It holds its fibers and keeps them out of my Rapidograph, so it's the paper I chose for the signatures in this book.
I wanted the spine to harmonize seamlessly with my painted canvas covers. I found patterned paper that worked well for this purpose, cut 1" wide strips and glued them to the spine of the outside folio of each signature. More than just aesthetic, this adds bulk to the spine so the book will close flat even after media is added. And because I glued the outside signature of each folio to the next outside signature as each was sewn, the decorative spines are present only on the outside of the book, not the inside, providing me with a book of pure white pages.
I cut museum board to size and painted the canvas to cover the boards with multiple layers of thinned, transparent acrylics. This was my first time using commercial modeling (or molding, depending on the brand you use) paste. I tinted it first, then spackled it over a stencil of squares using a palette knife, lifted the stencil and left it to dry for a couple of days. I liked the texture, so I left it as-is instead of sanding it to a smooth finish, then I adjusted the color.
A more detailed view of the spine shows the book with the back cover, and a closer view of the tapes. I haven't decided whether or not I'll go back in with a little walnut ink to cover the exposed white edges of the holes for the stitching.
The tapes began as end strips of upholstery fabric which
were chosen for their color alone, as pictured (right). But after prepping the strips for book tapes, I realized that the color was a bit off. The left strip in the picture is the fabric before sewing. To correct this, I randomly and haphazardly machine stitched over the tape with a copper brown thread. The middle tape in the picture illustrates the tapes at this stage. To coordinate with the color of the covers and the spine, I added a powdery teal thread, and kept adding copper and teal threads alternatively until I felt that the fibers gave the fabric the color it needed to harmonize effectively. The end product is the third tape on the right.
I constructed the book as part of a project in the Affair With Art group I belong to. Nancy wrote a set of beautiful instructions for us and posted them to her blog HERE. Her instructions called for leather tapes and a closure, but I preferred to use what I had on hand. I also tweaked the instructions a bit and bound the book per the specs for book #1 of Full Tilt Boogie, a perpetual online workshop, which I highly recommend, given by Mary Ann Moss. The end product looks similar to the AAWA book, but differs just a bit in the way it was put together and the materials used.
I really wanted to use the same paper I cut for the spine, as endpapers inside the book. But with more than one signature, I had to come up with a way to attach a single sheet of paper to the front of the first signature and to the back of the last. It worked because of the strips I attached to the spines of those signatures. I simply glued these pages to the inside of the strip in such a way that the wrong side of the paper faced outward. The signature then had one additional piece of paper, which after the book was sewn, was glued wrong-side-down to the inside cover as an endpaper. When the book is opened, it looks like this:
I mentioned in an earlier post that I'll be binding 100 books in 2012 with the Artists Of The Round Table. Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms by Alisa Golden, is the book we are using. If you are interested in hand binding books, you'll want to add this to your library!