Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mid-Semester Hump

Time, its such a funny thing. It feels like only a few weeks ago I packed up my Inter-Mountain life and found myself in this swampy little burg. Yet somehow, against all odds, the semester is halfway over and before I know it it will be time to pack up my Subi for winter break. Time moves quickly when you have none of it.

After two papers, three handmade books, and five no-sleep-until-1-am days, I'm taking a moment to relax and update this lonely soul I've cast out into the world with little attention. So rather than bore with mundane details I'll be brief and show off some of my wares from my bookbinding class.

Binding I

The Pamphlet:
Pretty straight forward, simple structure. Be wary though, not as simple as you might think.

Double Pamphlet:
Grade for both: A

Link Stitch:

These bad boys were covered in paste paper I made. My favorite...

This one!

Paste paper is tricky though. It can be a bit unruly after its painted and I had trouble getting my papers flat enough, and folded square.

Grade: A-

Long Stitch:
One of my favorite structures, but not without some drama.
The cover for these books is paste papered bristol paper. Because of the weight of the cover paper, our professor prefers tabs like this beautiful one. One afternoon, Tabs became the drama of my life.
Half an hour before class was to start and I was to turn in two of these books, I still had yet to cut a single tab. You learn very quickly nothing is more terrifying than folding and cutting in the bookmaking realm. Rushed and stressed, I was working on the green book in the stack above. The green book was to be my greatest work but quickly had turned to my greatest pain the night before when I had to remove the sewing THREE times in order to get it right. I should have known then it was never meant to be. As I rushed to get my tabs cut before class began I ended up cutting off my tab! No big right, you can just have the hole be closer to the fore edge, right? Except I had made the foolish mistake of cutting the hole before the tab. So I have a great big hole in the cover of this beautiful book with no tab. About to cry, one of my classmates offered a few words of comfort. "Oh, you know those aren't even due this week..." FML. Despite this ordeal, I have (mostly) conquered my fear of the tab and have persevered into loving the long stitch. I took the time and made two more to be turned in the following week.

Favorite Paste Paper!

Grade: A

Long and Link Stitch:

Again, the one I thought would be my shining achievment turned out to be an utter nightmare. Due to a slight obsession with sewing tension, I managed to turn Pinky here into my own little version of Hell. Because of the stiff spine and the complex sewing pattern of this structure it is nearly impossible to go back and tighten the sewing. Word to the wise, if it looks and feels ok, just leave it.

Grade: Just turned in, will know in about two weeks.

And the piece de resistance...

The Ethiopian Stitch:

This is the first structure where I had to cover boards and attach the text block. The boards are covered with fine artists decorated paper with a quarter of book cloth.

This is the last sewing structure for this semester, which is fitting as it is my absolute favorite.

Now that I've exposed all this beauty, I'll sign off with yet another classic Gorgas Elevator story:

Me: (very cold, wearing a scarf over my head to keep my ears warm)
New Bama Girl: Hey, why you wearin' a Burka?



  1. I FOUND YOU! I can't believe the books you are making. They look fantastic as well as your cozy lil house. I love it and love you. Will you call me so I can talk to you rather than stalk you :)

    Love you!

  2. Hi Erin! My blog is