I just finished up a batch of chopstick journals for a wholesale order. It’s always satisfying to see a fresh stack of books sitting on my work table. I’ve been making this style of journal for at least 4 years. I’d have to go back through my files to know for sure. You can see more of my current designs on Etsy.
When I developed designs that became part of my production line, I decided that I was going to make each design in a limited edition of 24 books. For some reason, I never let people know that and it also never occurred to me to number them as an edition. I think that part of me was afraid that if a design didn’t take off, then I’d be stuck with 24 of the same book.
I am rather obsessed with finding the right chopsticks to match a cover paper. I have 2 plastic shoe boxes full of chopsticks.
I have been to at least half a dozen Chinatowns across the country. I have spent hours combing the internet. My favorite online retailer is Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen. They have lovely designs available.
I have to say that I have a chopstick nemesis.
I found the most perfect chopstick design in a grocery store in the Boston Chinatown. They were purple with gold and silver cranes on them and they were fabulous when matched with a purple Yuzen paper decorated with cranes. I was in heaven. They came in pack of 5 pairs and cost only $1.99!
But the store only had one pack.
And I can’t find them any where else – I have Googled “purple chopsticks with cranes” more times than I care to count. I seem to have no problem finding the exact design on black, red, and white chopsticks, but not purple.
It’s like I found the last existing pack in the universe.
I am putting out a challenge to anyone reading this – if you can find me a source of 19 pairs of this chopstick design (hopefully under $2.50 a pair), I will happily give you one of the journals incorporating them.
I’m not the first person to use chopsticks in a binding. Rhonda, owner of the MyHandboundBooks shop on Etsy, has published a tutorial on her blog that shows her use of chopsticks in a pamphlet binding. She also created a Flickr group where folks can post their own chopstick journals that have been made using her tutorial. Her books use only one chopstick, while I use two. I can’t bear to separate a pair of chopsticks – they’re married!
If you have used chopsticks in a binding before, please post a link to your images. I’d love to see them!