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Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book with Karen Hanmer – Day 3

Today was the third day of Karen's workshop and we were busy! We started out by drilling holes in our boards - these would be used later for lacing on our text blocks. Next, we frayed out the ends of the cords on our text blocks to remove lumps. We used a 1/4" chisel to carve channels in the front and back of our cover boards - the cords on our text blocks will rest in these after lacing in. I find something very relaxing about chiseling. We rubbed paste into the cords and twisted the tips into points to help us lace them into the boards. After the lacing was completed, we cut little leather triangles and crammed them into the holes with the ends of our cords. This
27 Jun 2015 Continue Reading

Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book with Karen Hanmer – Day 2

I realized that I forgot to show you a picture of Karen's awesome resource booklet for the girdle book workshop. It's actually rather insane - check this out: We started the day off by sewing primary endbands on our textblocks. We stiffened up the core cord with PVA to make it easier to work with. It took a few stitches for me to get the hang of the sewing process, but I really enjoyed it. I could do more of these! Don't be fooled by the images - this was not a quick process. It took 2+ hours to complete. The next step was to add a second spine lining. We used more of the suede that we used yesterday for the first spine lining. This time, we
26 Jun 2015 Continue Reading

Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book with Karen Hanmer – Day 1

I just finished my first day of Karen Hanmer's workshop, Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book. This is the third workshop I've taken with Karen at the Focus on Book Arts conference (not all this time around). I guess I like her! The girdle book is a bit of an odd duck of a book that makes a lot of sense - the structure has a leather extension off the bottom of it (like a tail) that allows the owner to attach it to his or her belt. Karen told us that there are only 23 known examples of girdle books in existence and those date from 1400 to 1550. Although the book we're working on is a medieval structure, we're also using some modern techniques
25 Jun 2015 Continue Reading

GBW Standards of Excellence Seminar

The Guild of Book Workers recently opened up registration for their annual Seminar on Standards of Excellence in Hand Bookbinding. The conference is held in a different location every year and offers presentations by masters in the field of book and paper arts. In addition, the event includes tours of nearby binderies, libraries, and other book arts-related businesses. This year the seminar is being held in Cleveland, Ohio (U.S.) on October 15 - 17. This year's presentations look great - here's the lineup (from the GBW website): The Devil is in the Details with Christina Amato: Creating miniature books, which are generally defined as being under three inches in any dimension, presents a number of challenges as well as creative opportunities. For this presentation, Christina will be demonstrating and discussing
6 Jun 2015 Continue Reading

Book arts bucket list

I've been visiting a lot of travel blogs lately and I found that most of them have something in common - bucket lists. For those of you who don't know, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. I find the concept of a bucket list to be both hopeful and morbid at the same time. However, I realized that I've been keeping a list in my head for a while - a list of book arts-related things. I decided that it was time to write it all down. It's a bit overwhelming to see all of these items in one place and I wonder how much of it is actually possible to accomplish (some of it is crazy-dreaming). I
28 May 2015 Continue Reading

Elissa’s Picks for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Welcome the third in my series of blog posts about ways to plan your Open Studio Weekend tour. In this post I listed the book arts studios I'd visit if I were touring this weekend. Of course, I would also visit studios by artists working in other media. The batch of studios listed below belong to my fellow board members of the Vermont Crafts Council. These are some hardworking folks, volunteering their time for a great organization and creating fantastic work. I'll be referring to studios by both name and number - the number refers to a listing in the green Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2015. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below. There are several ways
19 May 2015 Continue Reading