Wood Shop Basics with Susan Collard – Day 2
It seems that I am sufficiently recovered from my red eye flight home on Sunday night to write about my last day of the Focus on Book Arts conference.
Sunday was day 2 of Wood Shop Basics for the Book Artist with Susan Collard. I haven’t yet mentioned that Sue started working with wood via working with cardboard. This makes sense, considering that she works both as a book artist and an architect. Her written instructions reflect her dual vocations:
We started out with some free time to continue work from the previous day. I drilled circles into one page…
…then added veneer to another page to fill in unevenness at the top.
I loved working with the veneer. After gluing and clamping, I sanded it smooth and it was as if it had always been there.
I also worked on attaching a mirror. The holes you see in the mirror aren’t drilled through – I used my Dremel to remove the paint from the back of the mirror so I could reveal the glass underneath. Later in the day, I glued painted watercolor paper to the backside of the mirror and you can see the painting through the holes. I’ll show that to you in another blog post – perhaps when the book is completed.
By the way, this was the point at which I got a stupid Dremel injury. Note to self: Do not touch rapidly spinning Dremel parts with body parts.
After a bit, we reconvened and Sue showed us how to create a magnetic closure. We inset 1/4″ rare earth magnets into the wood frame of one of the pages and drilled a screw into the facing page to create the catch.
Next we learned about various ways to bind together wood pages. First was the stiff leaf binding, in which the pages are hinged together using bookcloth:
Next was the drum leaf binding, developed by Timothy Ely. In this binding, a pair of pages is joined together with a material such a bookcloth or Tyvek – this creates a folio. These folios are then glued together, back to back. If this doesn’t make sense, you can find instructions for the binding in the Fall 2004 issue (vol. 1, no. 1) issue of The Bonefolder.
Then we learned about the Mongolian Book, a Hedi Kyle binding inspired by a book from Mongolia she saw (many thanks to Andrew Huot for the details). This binding used one piece of Tyvek that was wrapped not only around the covers and spine, but also the top and bottom of the text block – it was one continuous piece. Each page is attached to the rest of the book with a thin strip of Tyvek.
After looking at her models, we learned the process we’d use for binding our wood pages – we used usu mino, a Japanese repair tissue.
Using one piece of tissue, you glue it to the back and spine of one page, then to the back of the neighboring page. You repeat this process for each pair of pages, creating folios in a manner similar to the drum leaf binding. When your folios are finished, you wrap tissue around the entire text block, gluing it to the front, spine, and back sides.
Once the text block was dry, we attached it to the covers. We glued our painted Tyvek to the spine of the text block. When that dried, we glued one end of the Tyvek to the inside of one of the covers, creating an end page. After that dried, we repeated the process with the other cover.
And that’s as far as I got. Other folks were able to do a lot of work on content, but I was slow. I decided that I was fine with finishing it up at home and just focused on enjoying the process as it was.
At the end of the day, Sue treated us to a personal look at her piece A Short Course in Recollection. The book had recently toured with the Guild of Book Workers exhibition Marking Time. When I saw the exhibit last November, I was only able to see the book inside a case – seeing the book in person (and in action) was a great treat.
The book includes ramps through which steel balls could travel. Here’s Sue showing us how it works:
The case for the book had slots on the outside in which the bottom of the book could rest. Brilliant.
I’m so glad I took this class. I feel like something in my creative brain shifted just a bit.
I’d like close this post with some inspiring words from Sue:
I’m not concerned about my bottom.
I guess you had to be there. 🙂