More about the book and its construction…

front cover

Basic materials used throughout:

  • covers – super-heavy Pellon stabiliser
  • pages – medium-weight Pellon stabiliser
  • cotton fabrics, mostly, with the odd bit of silk
  • acrylic fabric paints – Pebeo Setacolor with a few touch-ups from Tulip Pearl paints. I often used my calligraphy dip pens for lettering with pearlescent Pebeo paints, watered down slightly.
  • metallic threads of different sorts
  • polyester cording for edges
  • Solvy heavy water-soluable stabiliser (for the autumnal bushes)
  • Wonder-Under
  • Procion MX fibre-reactive dyes
  • Jones Tones plexi glue
  • gesso & ordinary acrylic paints for the CDs
  • Angelina fibres
A few notes:
I was stuck on how to embellish the insides of the covers. I wanted to do something to make them stiffer and had been thinking of something to link the back and front of the tome. I settled on a mandala and a couple of dead CDs presented themselves as obvious choices. I primed them with gesso, painted them and then scratched tree branches and words into them. You can see the irridescence shining through. I stuck them to the covers with Jones Tones glue. I love that stuff!
The coptic stitching was easy as pie. The hardest part was making sure that I looped around the stiches and didn’t punch through strands of cord inadvertently. To that end, I suggest blunt-tipped needles. Also, keep an eye on the stitching pattern for each respective side, as the right and left are mirror images of each other…

Took me about five to ten minutes to stitch. I didn’t need grommets as I used a fairly fine cording. I just punched holes with the tip of my littlest scissors and went on from there.

Definitely a great way to stitch a binding. Just pay attention to the tension as you work. In retrospect, I would probably use hard covers for another of these. The front of my book had fabric-heavy stabiliser-fabric and the back had twice that, but both bent a good bit.

I used the Pellon super-heavy stabiliser for the cover (I really like this stuff) and medium weight for the pages. The pages have two layers of stabiliser sandwiched between two layers of fabric.

When planning one of these, pay attention to the fact that half of the pages will be full spreads and half will be effective separated due to final assembly and arrangement.

I’m addicted. On to another one…

I had a fit of inspiration when I finished that last book, though. I was looking for a container to put it in (finally decided that I have to make one) for storage purposes and was hit across the head by idea idea of making books that fit into receptacles I’ve accumulated over the years (my great-grandmother’s sewing basket, a puzzle-box that came with a treadle sewing machine, ornate boxes of various sorts, a small army case of my grandfathers, my grandmother’s watercolour paint case, etc.). It would even be intriguing to make some that fit into CD or DVD cases, possibly integrating the idea of a book with digital medium visually. Great potential there.

Will let you know how it evolves!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. sarai says:

    I love reading your nuts-and-bolts entries. Your artwork is so magical that it is surprising to read that there are everyday materials and techniques that go into creating it.

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