Being a teacher, I’ve had the last two weeks off. The first week away from school was spent in recovery – and forced holiday preparation. During the next week, I decided to take a day or two and make some of the books that I haven’t made from Golden’s Making Handmade Books. Below are my results and thoughts. (Realize that I personally don’t like some of them and/or see a use in my own practice for them. I did, however, enjoy making them. Further, I’ve already made some of the other books in the first chapter, Folded Books, and did not want to make them again. The plan is to pull them out at a later date.)
X-Book with Pockets
Materials: Mohawk Superfine, hand decorated paper, glue. This was more fun than I had anticipated. I find, however, that when a softcover is called for, it is far better to create the center fold, score one fore edge, attach, score the second fore edge, and trim. Cute and fits in the palm of your hand. 3 stars.
Simple Accordion with Tunnel
Materials: Acid Free, light ochre scrapbooking paper, Hahnemühle black pastel paper, linen thread. I like tunnel books, but I think mine never reflect the gist of tunnel books: a cohesive story or theme. Again, making the book was more fun than I thought. Cats became the theme. 4 stars but mostly because of cats.
Materials: Canson Mi Teintes, Mohawk Superfine. I didn’t want to make this one but did anyway. In fact, as Golden’s introduction to this says, “…the little kids…put them on their heads…” I too wanted to put it on my head. Instead the cat thought of crawling into it. Can’t think of a use for it for me. 3 stars mostly because it could be worn.
Materials: Mohawk Superfine, hand-dyed kozo paper. I probably like these more than I should, but find they would make an excellent card. (It’s too bad that in the U.S. square envelopes cost more regardless of size.) They are enjoyable to make as well. The mounting of the second paper on the first, however, is a bit tricky. The width would be the same, but the length will differ and should be trimmed after being attached. 4 stars.
Materials: an anonymous thick drawing paper I had laying around, a barely visible piece of Hahnemühle black pastel paper. This book was unsatisfactory the first time and unsatisfactory for me the second time. I do not like this one so much. The piece which secures the pages is not very secure, and, indeed, opening the pages more often leads to them falling apart whether or not the finishing piece has been glued in. It is brushy, however. 2 stars.
Venetian Blind Book
Materials: Canson Mi Teintes, linen thread, stone beads. With this book, I learned how to make even folds, which is very difficult to do repeatedly. At present, though, it remains a blind to me. 3 stars.
T-Cut Book with Soft Cover
Materials: Mohawk Superfine, hand decorated paper. This is a satisfying book to make and exceeded my expectations – it was another accordion book. The form of the folded structure is very elegant by itself. Unfortunately, the cover takes away from the form. The manner in which the free pages open up around the folded middle page is much more elegant when the soft cover has not been applied. 4 stars.
Non-Adhesive Accordon Book
from Gabrielle Fox’s The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books
Materials: Hand decorated paper, Mohawk Superfine, 2-ply board, Hahnemühle black pastel paper. This is a lovely little book, and the spine is especially pleasing. Fox’s instructions were explicit and demonstrated some techniques, such as cutting inserted corners at 45° angles, that I found aided in the success of making the structure. My favorite, by far. 4 1/2 stars.
Upcoming: X-Book, Ox-Plow Pamphlet (which was not included because the cat had knocked it off of the table), Pants w/ signature, Snake Book, House Card, Little Room Book