Thursday, April 29, 2010

"I DIdn't Lose My Marbles After All..." - The Glory of Marbled Papers

Last month a pair of professional paper marblers, Regina and Dan, gave a workshop at my school. It was a fantastic day of paint, newsprint, bright colors, unexpected colors, clashing colors, and beautiful final sheets. The following are samples of some of the paper I produced. For a few words on different processes, please browse through previous posts. Hope you enjoy my marbled paper in sweet action.

If you'd like a book with any of these papers please indicate column and row.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day - Hold up. Did someone say Serial?!

Serial. Cereal. Cereal Serials. Enough Said.

Go green or go home. I used recycled cereal boxes to make these serial bindings. I have a little cereal aisle forming by my bench so more will be on the way shortly. Keep checking!

3.25 x 4.5 inches

Gotta Have My Pops Serial Binding

Om nom nom!

3.25 x 4.5 inches

My Very Own Paper Galaxy Attempt - Serial Binding

As I hope you have seen, perhaps on the Classy Protection Case post, I have made a Green Galaxy cloth. Because I love the galaxy and universe so dearly I decided to make my own galaxy paper.

Approximately 3 x 4 inches.

Items sold separately.

$10 each

Galaxy Paper!

3 x 4 inches

Stoned Marble

I loved the Stone technique! A few paints were selected and treated with photo-flow I believe. Or some sort of mixture that causes the paint to separate from other paint. I chose a base color which would be the "vein" of the entire sheet. In this case -- navy blue. I then proceeded to use the treated paints as follows: Dip brush into treated paint. Tap brush into garbage a few times to get rid of huge drops. Hit brush on top of stick allowing paint to spray off of the bristles onto the base color which lays across the vat patiently awaiting friendly color companions.

It was too cool for school!

3.25 x 4.5 inches

Serial Snake Skin Pattern

This style of marbling was different than the usual spreading of paint around the vat. After spreading a little bit of watered down acrylic, I sprinkled this treated water over it -- I'm sorry to say I can't remember what was in it -- and the paint separated into tiny strips, stripes, curves, spaces and all sorts of other craziness.

Hand not included. Just for Scale.

3.25 x 4.5 inches

My Marbly Wish-Wash Serial Binding

I improved on the Spanish technique as the day moved on. See a few posts below for further details about this process.

3.25 x 4.5 inches

My Marbled paper in Serial action

I attempted the Spanish marbling technique. I liked to call it the dancing pattern because I'd stand around my vat rocking myself back and forth, dancing and bouncing around to prepare for the movement it takes to create a wave-like pattern on the final product. It was a fantastic time.

3.25 x 4.5 inches

A Different Kind of Cradle

So as I hope you have seen a few posts earlier, I made a drop spine box with a cradle -- a wonderful home for any book, but sometimes a not-so-easy-to-properly-operate home. I noticed that whenever I opened the box, one tray would always fall open slightly. The other tray is held down by the weight of the book and gravity of course.

With some writhing and catching and hand eye coordination the cradle box can be opened easily. I thought my cradles would forever be a challenge until I discovered a post on the blog of Jeff Peachey, an amazing knife and tool man. His cradle was different. It was simple. It was a breeze to produce. It was pretty. It was glory. And I felt glorious.

The cradle of the "B tray", as it's called, doesn't really exist. No flapping cradle attacks the fingers of a curious person venturing into the box. No... no, no. The box opens and voila! An empty, tidy B tray. In the other, the A tray, lies a neat, cozy-like structure housing and hugging the book within. Check this gorgeousness out. Boxes never cease to surprise me.

See empty B tray heaven on the left above?

Hope you've enjoyed!

If you have items you'd like to house in a cradle box or a regular drop-spine clamshell box, please email me and we can discuss plans for shipping to and fro and pricing details for the production work.

Love hugs?
Book + Box = hug.
Book + Box with Cradle = Everlasting Embrace

The Red Fairy Repair

During a particularly freezing day early this year a few classmates and I made our way to Brattle Book Shop, in Boston, in search of material to repair. As our fingers went numb and noses ran we happily browsed through and found some pretty wrecked books. The Red Fairy Book was pretty icky and wonderful.

The inside had ill fitting brown endsheets with a chalky feeling to them and the cover cloth was prying itself away from the old and weakened cover boards.

I wanted to save the beautiful cover art so I removed the cloth, threw away the boards and went to work applying new endsheet and constructed a new case from scratch. I figured a smooth red to match the original material might be nice... but then realized the fresh look of the new cloth would attract negative attention to the mild discoloration and slight imperfections of the old piece. I found the evidence of the original book's age and state endearing and an important part of the item's journey. Navy blue Asahi silk book cloth would compliment the red nicely. A dark and bold surrounding for the recessed cover-turned-label.

Here it is. The new Red Fairy Book.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Introduction to Parasitology - A Repair Story

While my time at North Bennet Street School is largely focused on creating different book structures, I have learned a few techniques and strategies about book conservation and preservation. Learning how to assemble a book from the very first fold to the final casing in is important when assessing damaged items. Working forwards helps when working backwards. Disassembling text blocks, preserving boards and repairing tears are only a few of the things I have learned at school. There is so much more to learn and I think I am finally ready -- not to simply make boxes to protect old books -- to face repair challenges and execute any conservation or preservation mission that comes my way... and then of course make a box for it.

The following is a repair I completed earlier this year. The spine of Introduction to Parasitology was completely torn and falling off, however, I still wanted to keep it. I first removed the cover boards from the text block as well as the crusty endpapers. The spine had a hard layer of old glue and gunk so I applied methyl cellulose, allowed it to soak for a bit and carefully scraped off the excess material. Then I used wheat paste to adhere a strip of japanese tissue to the spine, followed by an extended cloth lining and a layer of mohawk superfine paper.

The next step was to apply new endpapers. As the spine and new sheets dried I took the time to match a strip of plain cloth (airplane cotton) to the original boards of the book which were in fine condition. I would use this strip as a background to adhere the original spine (in four pieces to begin with).

The rest of the project involves lifting parts of the boards and tucking material and gluing back up. To my fellow binders out there -- I believe I completed a traditional Rebacking.

The final product is a book that can be flipped through and held without crumbled or tearing.

I made a clam shell box with a built-in cradle for the book as a treat for my first re-back.


The Sarah Vowell Project - Three Clamshell Homes

Last fall I had the opportunity to see author Sarah Vowell at Brown University. She read excerpts from her newest novel, The Wordy Shipmates, and gave a witty and hilarious talk. I had finished several of her other books last summer and was excited to get her signatures.

When I approached her, I told her with a large smile and slightly nervous twang, "Hi, my name is Caitlyn, you rock and I'm a bookbinder. When I learn how to make boxes I'm going to make some boxes for these books. It's going to be awesome." She thanked me and smiled.

Sarah Vowell's autographs are the only I've received from an author. It was a very exciting evening. She signed three books and in keeping my promise, once I had produced several practice boxes, I made the following enclosures. It's a fun memory of mine and the beginning of my love for boxes. Also, her books are fantastic.