Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Exchange

I've been doing a lot of work lately with a wonderful group of creative artists called The Book Arts Roundtable based at the Baird in South Orange, NJ.  One of the things they do is to have a book exchange twice a year.  Everyone brings a book in a brown paper bag and puts it on the table and then we draw numbers and choose a bag to determine what book we go home with.   Each person shows the book they received to the group and the bookmaker gets to briefly describe their process.  This was only my second time doing this and I haven't really found my "voice" bookwise but I felt pretty good about this effort.  

My book began with scans of some rejects from a woodblock Christmas card I'd made a couple of years ago.   I came across this stash of leftovers--some had dodgy registration and some had too much ink mess in the margins.  I could clean up the margins using Photoshop and then I printed onto some interesting papers I found.    I chose four stages of the print.  For the front page of the book I used just a background print and then attached a vellum layer showing all the colors which could swing out of the way or back into registration.   I had cutouts in the cover to show details of the print.

I'd been wanting to try Coptic binding so I found a book that explained it and got to work.  I used a paper with an Asian theme which had a cloth backing for extra stability since the paper is what holds the signatures to the covers.   It was a challenge to cut the circles through the davy board for the covers but I persevered.   Note to self--find a  circle cutter that is happy to cut thicker material.

I have a Martha Stewart device which does pretty well on paper but the board was too much for it.    I enjoyed doing the Coptic process once I had the concept in my mind.   I wasn't happy with the floppiness of the binding so I added some little straps cut along design areas of the paper and glued them on which worked pretty well.

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