Category : Supplies

Visit to Claire Maziarczyk’s Studio

This past Sunday, I had the good fortune of making a return trip to paste paper artisan Claire Maziarczyk‘s studio. My last visit was nearly ten years ago! Claire posted on the Book Arts Listserv that she was downsizing and was looking to sell not only her fabulous paste papers, but also supplies and equipment.

I made the journey with a few of my Book Arts Guild of Vermont cohorts so the trip didn’t seem as long as the 3.5+ hours it took for us to get there. Claire fed us lunch, which was awesome and extremely generous. By the end of our meal, I was itching to get downstairs to her studio to start the paper shopping.

To select which of her papers you like best must be like choosing your favorite child. I wanted all the things. It seemed wrong to leave any design behind, but I had a budget. Poop.

Here’s the pile of papers that made the final cut (it was a paper cut, so painful):

Pile of Japanese and paste papers

Let’s visit with them, shall we? Here are my paste paper purchases:

Claire once worked as a representative for the Japanese Paper Place and carried an inventory of their papers. After they both parted ways, the inventory remained. Lucky me! Here are my paper purchases from that gold mine:

Japanese papers

There was a sign by the paper on the left that labeled it as Kirogami, a hand-printed paper with a small design.

The paper on the right was double couched (two layers) – first a watermarked red sheet is made, then that sheet is couched on top of a white sheet. I have no idea what the text says. One day I’ll go over the whole sheet with Google Translate to satisfy my curiosity. It’s probably a grocery list.

The paper in the middle was also double couched and has a wonderful reflective quality (it’s stunning in person). Here’s a close up shot:

Japanese paper

I’m fairly certain that this paper is from Echizen, Japan, a papermaking village I visited 2.5 years ago. The technique used is known as hikkake, which means “to catch” or “to snag”. A metal screen is used to capture fibers that eventually create the pattern in the finished product. You can see an example of the screen on the Echizen Washi website.

My last purchase was serendipitous – I wasn’t looking for small sheets, but this pad of paper somehow caught my eye. The back of the pad was marked as Chigiri-e paper. I opened it up and encountered a gorgeous batch of 25 papers.

Pad of Chigiri-e paper

Oh, the Shiboris!

Japanese Shibori paper

Japanese Shibori paper

Japanese Shibori paper

These appear to be a variation of Unryu I’ve never seen before:

Japanese paper

So back to the Chigiri-e. I had no idea what it was, so I looked it up. This collage-based art form originated during the Heian period, the last division of classical Japanese history, taking place from 794 to 1185 (thanks Wikipedia). Handmade paper was the primary material used for these collages and pieces often incorporated calligraphy.

I now understand why this pad has 25 different kinds of paper in it – it’s kinda like a box of crayons, but with paper.

Claire showed us how to use her wood graining tool and then let us play with it. I probably could have left more open space between those knot holes. This is why it’s best to leave this work to the professionals.

Colored paste combed with a wood graining tool

After emptying our wallets, it was time to return home. We made it most of the way without incident until the weather. Oh geez, it was bad. The roads were icy and we were slipping around, which freaked me out. We decided to leave the interstate and take local roads in hopes of avoiding speed demons.

Unfortunately, this didn’t help us avoid other problems. We ended up getting stuck behind a car that couldn’t make it up a hill either because they didn’t have enough momentum and/or didn’t have the right tires on their car. Oh, and I really had to pee.

Long story short (and it’s a long story), it took 2.5+ hours for us to get moving again. Let’s hear it for Vermont’s emergency crews! Seriously though, the whole thing was terrifying. I’m so thankful for my companions, Judy and Becky, who kept me focused and calm. As much as I can ever be calm.

Claire told me that I should come back again with more people. If I do go back, it sure as hell won’t be during the winter!

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

A Bookbinders Black Friday - logo

Welcome to my 8th annual roundup of bookbinding-related Black Friday deals! It’s that wonderful time of year when I think to myself Why don’t I have a massive bag of cash so I can buy all the things?

In all likelihood, I will not be leaving my house because I’ve got a craft show tomorrow and I’m engaged in my annual Holy crap, I don’t have enough inventory freak out. I see both caffeine abuse and lack of sleep in my future.

There are quite a few bookbinding-related online sales going on today (and some beyond that). Check ’em out:

The Getty Store is offering 25% off sitewide now through 11/28. I’m mentioning this sale because they’re the publishers behind Artists and Their Books: Books and Their Artists by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips – a gorgeous book. Use code 25HOL to get the discount.

Now through 12/21, Arnold Grummer is holding their Annual Press Sale. Discount varies depending on the press you choose. Please visit their website for more information.

On 11/23 only, Hiromi Paper is offering free domestic shipping on any order over $100.00 (after discounts). Use the promo code kinyoubi2018 at checkout to get the discount.

John Neal Bookseller has two offers:

  • Get free standard domestic shipping on orders of $100.00 or more. Use code BF18FS at checkout for the discount from now through 11:59 p.m. on 11/25.
  • Get 10% to 50% off Black Friday Sale items from now through 6:00 p.m. on 11/30 (a full week!) – save on some of their most popular books and supplies.

As part of their holiday sale, Oak Knoll Books is offering 20% off select used/antiquarian titles and 50% off select publishing titles. This sale is going on now through November 27th and no special code is needed – the discount will automatically be applied to the cost of these books.

From now through 11/30, The Paper Mill Store is offering 10% off orders of $250.00 or more with code 250SALE and 15% off orders of $500.00 or more with code 500SALE. They also offer free shipping on all orders $149.00 and over.

Paper Source has a number of awesome deals going on, all valid now through 11/27:

  • Get free shipping on all orders over $50.00 (no code needed).
  • Buy fine paper online and get 25% off (no code needed).
  • Make an in-store purchase of fine paper, get a buy one, get one 50% off discount.
  • Get 50% off all purchases from the Paper Bar – they’ve got text and cover weight paper in lots of colors and sizes (no code needed).
  • Spend $50.00 in-store and get $10.00 or spend $100.00 and get $25.00 (I’m unclear on whether they mean gift cards or actual cash).

Now through 11/27, Paper-Papers is offering 50% off the already discounted price of products in their Clearance department. Use coupon code bigdeal at checkout to get the discount.

Pergamena, producer of stunning fine leathers and parchment, is offering free UPS Ground shipping on all orders over $100.00 Use coupon code FR33SHIPPING at checkout to get the discount.

From now through 11/25 at 11:30 p.m. GMT, Vintage Paper Co. is offering 20% off all purchases over £10 (approximately $13.00 USD). To get the discount, visit their website and click on the image of the papermaking man. The discount will automatically be applied, no code needed.

If you’ve got a bookbinding book on your wish list, you’re in luck! Amazon (yep, that Amazon) is offering $5.00 off print book purchases of $20.00 or more. From now until 11/25 at 11:59 p.m. PT, use code NOVBOOK18 at checkout to get the discount. Note: Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by Amazon.com.

By the way, don’t forget Giving Tuesday! There are tons of worthy organizations out there that would love your support. Here are some of my favorites:

Happy shopping and/or donating!

Trip to Leatherwise

On our last day of vacation in California, we made a stop in Santa Cruz. We had some time to kill before our flight, so out of curiosity I did what I do – I performed a quick internet search for any kind of bookbinding supplies in the near vicinity.

And…victory! I found Leatherwise, a sweet little leather shop.

Outside of building - Leatherwise

In this case, size sure didn’t matter. Every square foot of the place was jam-packed with awesome.

Inside of Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

Leather skins at Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted to have all the things. Unfortunately, I was limited to what I could carry. After much deliberation, I settled on a dozen wood buttons…

Wood buttons

…and some green lambskin. The color is so beautiful!

green lambskin

If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend making a trip to this wonderfully aromatic shop. So.much.leather.

Here’s the scoop:

And if you’re never in the area, you can still shop at Leatherwise! They’ve got an eBay shop just waiting for your visit.

Trip to Japantown

After visiting the American Bookbinders Museum, we headed over to Japantown. Most Japanese immigrants to the United States arrived via San Francisco.

According to Wikipedia, there used to be 43 distinct Japantowns in California, but that number has dwindled down to three. In addition to San Francisco, you can find Japantowns in both San Jose and Los Angeles.

When you arrive at the San Francisco Japantown, you’re greeted by a torii gate (Sacred Bird gate) built in 1976. I had seen several torii gates when I was in Japan and they were fairly elaborate – this one was much more industrial in design:

Japantown, San Francisco

In the center of Japantown Peace Plaza is the San Francisco Peace Pagoda. The pagoda was designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi and built in the 1960’s. It was presented as a gift from Osaka, San Francisco’s sister city in Japan. In 2015, there was a proposal to grant the pagoda landmark status by the Historic Preservation Commission, but it looks like the application hasn’t yet been approved.

Japantown, San Francisco

San Francisco Peace Pagoda

I bought a couple of things during my visit, but no paper. I’m not really sure how I managed to restrain myself. Anyway, one thing I got was a tube of Yamato Sticking Paste. It’s made of tapioca starch, is non-toxic, and doesn’t wrinkle paper. The tube is also fun to squeeze.

Yamato sticking paste

Yamato sticking paste

According to This to That, the paste has a tendency to yellow over time. We’ll just have to see how the stuff works out.

I also bought myself a new chopstick rest for my glue brush. This is a tip I learned from a workshop neighbor – it’s great for keeping your glue brush from rolling off the table.

Green chopstick rest

Green chopstick rest and glue brush

My dream was to visit the Japantown Kinokuniya that day, but I didn’t get into the store. Again. Just like 9 years ago, but without the power outage. I got turned around and couldn’t figure out where it was – Google Maps fail. I’m telling you, there’s something weird out there that just does not want me to visit this store.

The next time I go to San Francisco, I’m going to Kinokuniya FIRST. This I vow.

Japantown is definitely worth a visit. If you plan on going, here are the details on how to get there.

Trip to Acadia Leather

Last week I was on vacation with my family at the stunning Acadia National Park. Ahhh…the beauty…the serenity…the leather supplier 2 hours away from where I was staying.

Yep, I made a mid-week visit to Acadia Leather, an overstock company offering leather processed in the United States. They operate under the umbrella of Tasman Industries. Tasman opened Acadia Leather as a way to serve independent makers looking for quality leather at affordable prices.

According to LinkedIn, Tasman is the world’s largest independent cattle hide processor. When I visited, I had no idea that they were such a big deal.

Here’s what the building looks like from the outside:

Acadia Leather in Hartland, Maine

That blue second story tunnel to the right of the building, – yep, I was in there. And it was hot.

I was given a tour by the awesome Scott Doyon – he really loves his employer. He did a good job of making me want to buy all the things.

The warehouse was stinky and all kinds of awesome.

Leather sign at Acadia Leather

I just can’t do this place justice with my pictures. So.many.piles. I secretly wanted to take a leather nap on one of those carts.

Hides at Acadia Leather

I wandered all over that warehouse, making two separate rounds so I didn’t miss anything. I’m pretty sure I missed something.

Hides at Acadia Leather

Hides at Acadia Leather

Hides at Acadia Leather

Unfortunately, I had to make practical choices (blech) as the main reason for this buying trip was to get leather for my upcoming workshops. Check out the haul:

Rolls of leather hides

The rolls were all wrapped up in plastic to make it easier to transport. It didn’t really make a difference – the pack of rolls was so heavy that it was still hard to carry.

Rolls of leather hides

I bought nine skins total. Most of them were in the 18 – 20 square feet range. The fuchsia, green, yellow, black, and navy blue are all Pebbled Nappa – the weight is nice and I love the texture. 

I’m pretty sure that the light blue skin is White Blue Agave Easter Egg- Athens. The charcoal grey one above that is a mystery (who doesn’t love a good mystery?). I picked it out of an unlabeled miscellaneous pile.

Now that I’m home, I’m living in that place between “Oh no, what have I done?” and “Dammit! Why didn’t I get more?”

And also the place named “Where the hell am I storing all of this?”

I wholeheartedly recommend Acadia Leather for your leather happiness needs, so here’s what you should do right now – follow them on Instagram. They offer short-term deals just for their followers and the deals are insane. Like $2.50 – $3.00 per square foot insane. They also offer coupons for specific categories on their website.

By the way, I didn’t receive any compensation for offering my opinions here, other than returning to my lodging with a light leathery scent on my skin. 🙂

I Want That! Hedi Kyle edition

Hedi had some of the coolest supplies for us to play with at her workshop. I was already familiar with the gravestone rubbing wax having played with it during a workshop with Julie Chen at Haystack. If this collection is good enough for these two big guns, then I wouldn’t sneeze at having some for myself.

Oldstone Rainbow Rubbing Wax Assortment

They look like little hard chunks of bizarro cheese. WANT.

Oldstone Rainbow Rubbing Wax Assortment

Then there were these fantastic neon colored pencils.

Bright Ideas Neon Colored Pencils

Love the color names. Do I know what I’d do with them? No. WANT.

Bright Ideas Neon Colored Pencils

Last, but not least, the tools that made my heart flutter – Japanese stencil brushes. Oh.my.goodness. The gorgeousness of these things. WANT.

Japanese stencil brushes

They have bamboo handles and deer hair bristles. They offer the perfect amount of pressure when doing pochoir work. They’re simply exquisite.

And they’re handmade in Kyoto. Where I was in 2016.

Why didn’t I know about these before my trip to Japan? I totally could have gotten them there! Bwahahahah! 

Japanese stencil brushes

I can still buy them online, but it’s just not the same (plus they’re expensive). If you’re interested in getting some for yourself, here are your options:

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

A Bookbinders Black Friday - logo

Yeah, so it’s Black Friday.

In Montpelier, where I live, they’ve dubbed it Flannel Friday – much more appropriate to the Vermont lifestyle. You show up to local shops wearing flannel and kablammo! You get a discount on your purchase. There’s also a Cider Monday, which is supposed to be the Cyber Monday alternative. Love.

We hosted Thanksgiving this year with a total of 23 people and 3 dogs – it was nuts. A happy and awesome kind of nuts, but nuts nonetheless.

Even though I am totally exhausted, there’s no time for rest – I have a craft show that opens tomorrow, the fabulous Women’s Festival of Crafts. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Burlington, VT tomorrow or Sunday, come on by my booth and say hi!

That said, there are quite a few bookbinding-related online sales going on today (and some beyond that). Check ’em out:

From now through 11/27 at midnight GMT, Vintage Paper Co. is offering 25% off all products listed on this page of their website. Use code bf at checkout to get the discount.

John Neal Bookseller is going bananas with all the deals.

  • Get free standard shipping (within the U.S.) on orders of $100.00 or more. Use code BF17FS at checkout for the discount from now through 11:59 p.m. on 11/25.
  • Get 10% to 50% off Black Friday Sale items from now through 6:00 p.m. on 12/1 (a full week!) – save on some of their most popular books and supplies.
  • All Londonderry thread is 20% off, including individual spools, sets, and lacing thread.
  • Two great bookbinding books by Don Etherington are on sale. Bookbinding & Conservation: A Sixty-year Odyssey of Art and Craft is priced at $24.95 and Don Etherington: Design Bindings, A Retrospective is priced at $19.95.

Pergamena, producer of stunning fine leathers and parchment, is offering free UPS Ground shipping on all orders over $100.00 Use coupon code FR33SHIPPING at checkout to get the discount.

As part of their holiday sale, Oak Knoll Books is offering 40% off select titles from their website. This sale is going on now through November 27th and no special code is needed – the discount will automatically be applied to the cost of these books.

Arnold Grummer is offering a 10% discount on all paper essentials, such as supplies, fibers, and presses. Use code DIYPAPER (not to be confused with DIAPER) at checkout to get the discount.

Now through midnight EST, Paper Mojo is offering 25% off storewide. Use code use code BF2017X at checkout to get the discount. Time to stock up on handmade and decorative papers!

Paper Source is offering free shipping on all orders over $50.00 – no code is needed.

From now through 11/30, The Paper Mill Store is offering 10% off orders of $250.00 or more with code 250SALE and 15% off orders of $500.00 or more with code 500SALE.

Paper-Papers is offering 60% off the already discounted price of products in their Sale and Clearance categories. Use coupon code floor at checkout to get the discount.

If you’ve got a bookbinding book on your wish list, you’re in luck! Amazon (yep, that Amazon) is offering $5.00 off print book purchases of $20.00 or more. From now until 11/26 at 2:59 a.m. EST, use code GIFTBOOK17 at checkout to get the discount. Note: Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by Amazon.com.

And if Cyber Monday is more your thing:

On 11/27 Mechling Bookbindery is offering 40% off all instructional DVD series and 40% off your choice of leather. Free shipping is available for orders over $250.00.

By the way, don’t forget Giving Tuesday! There are tons of worthy organizations out there that would love your support. Here are some of my favorites:

Happy shopping and/or donating!

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

Ah, the splendor of Black Friday.

This year I have decided to keep a low profile shopping-wise. After I bought all of that paper in Japan, I have no good reason to buy anything else for the rest of the year.

Instead, I will be spending my day completing a bunch of unfinished books that have been sitting in my studio for the past week. Then I’ll engage in the oh-so-fun tradition of Let’s Pack up the Van for a Craft Show.

For those of you inclined to shop today, there are a bunch of bookbinding-related online sales going on today (and through the weekend).

Rolls of bookcloth

Check ’em out:

Hiromi Paper has moved their famous Annual Sale so that it starts on Black Friday. From 11/25 through 12/31 (yep, the end of the year), you can get paper with discounts between 25% – 80%.

Through 11/29, Paper-Papers is offering 50% off the already discounted price of products in their Clearance section. Use coupon code clearweek at checkout to get the discount.

As part of their holiday sale, Oak Knoll Books is offering free shipping on all domestic orders of $50.00 or more. No special code is needed – shipping will automatically be removed from the total.

From now until midnight on 11/28, Paper Mojo is offering 20% off storewide. Use code BF2016X at checkout to get the discount. Time to stock up on handmade and decorative papers!

John Neal Bookseller is offering free standard shipping within the U.S. on all orders of $100 or more, now through 11:59 p.m. on 11/26. Use code BF16FS at checkout for the discount. In addition, from now through 6:00 p.m. on 12/2, they’re offering 20% to 30% off a selection of items, including spools and sets of Londonderry thread.

From 11/25 through 11/27, Paper Connection International is offering 10% off all internet orders. Use coupon code CYBER10 to get the discount.

Pergamena, producer of stunning fine leathers and parchment, is offering 20% off everything in their online store and free shipping. From 11/25 through 11/28, use code 20%OFF at checkout to get the discount.

From now through 11/28, Arnold Grummer is offering a 10% discount on all regular and sale priced items. Use code CW10 at checkout to get the discount.

On 11/25, Paper Source is offering 50% off seasonal colors (Spruce and Poinsettia) of items in their Paper Bar (including large sheets of text and cover weight papers). All other paper colors are discounted as follows: Buy 5 packs get 10% off; buy 10 packs, get 20% off; buy 25 packs get 30% off.

If you’ve got a bookbinding book on your wish list, you’re in luck! Amazon (yep, that Amazon) is offering $10.00 off book purchases of $25.00 or more. From now until 11/28 at 2:59 a.m. EST, use code HOLIDAYBOOK at checkout to get the discount. Note: Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by Amazon.com.

And if you’re more into Cyber Monday:

On 11/28 Mechling Bookbindery is offering 50% off and free standard shipping on all bookbinder’s instructional DVDs. You can also get 50% off both premium goatskin and premium heavy grain black goatskin

The Paper Place is offering all Chiyogami at 20% off. No coupon code is needed – the discount will be applied automatically at checkout.

Happy shopping!

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

Another year, another Black Friday.

There is no big box shopping for me this year. My plan is to go into downtown Montpelier for Flannel Friday, our snuggly local version of this shopping day.

If you love making books like I do, then you might be interested in the fantastic online sales that are happening today (and throughout the weekend):

bonefolders

As part of their November sale, Oak Knoll Books is offering 20% off a selection of their books about bookbinding. No special code is needed – just click on the link and the discount is already applied to the book prices.

Pergamena, producer of stunning fine leathers and parchment, is offering 50% on all sheep parchment, full skins, and cut sheets. From 11/27 through 11/30, use code PERGSHEEP50 to get the discount.

Starting at midnight on 11/27 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on 11/28, John Neal, Bookseller is offering free standard shipping within the U.S. on all orders of $100 or more. Use code freeship at checkout for the discount.

From now until 11/30, Paper Mojo is offering discounts that increase with higher spending. Here’s the scoop: 15% 0ff $50.00 or more (code 15BF50), 20% off $75.00 or more (code 20BF75), and 25% off $100.00 or more (code 25BF100). Time to stock up on handmade and decorative papers!

Oh – there’s another paper place with discounts – it’s, uh, The Paper Place! Now through 11/30, they’re offering 20% off your purchase of $100.00 or more. Use code STOCKUP at checkout to get the discount. They’re sure to have something you like – they stock over 2,000 papers!

Cloth Paper Scissors is offering 50% storewide from now through Monday, November 30th until 11:59 p.m. Mountain time. This includes both paper and digital issues of their book arts magazine Pages. No code needed for the discount – just go directly to their website and shop!

On 11/27 you can get 40% off any one item at Impress Cards & Crafts. If you’re into twine (I sure am), you should check out their selection. They also have a good selection of papercrafting tools. Use code blackfriday2015 to get the discount.

And then there’s Paper Source – the origin of my bookbinding powers. As I’ve mentioned before, I learned how to make books while working there during my grad school days. Now through 11/30, get free standard shipping on online orders over $50.00 with code SHIP50.

Volcano Arts has a selection of overstock and clearance items marked 50% off – no code is needed, just visit their sale page and prices are as marked.

From now through 12/31/15, Arnold Grummer is offering a 20% discount on all paper and book presses. And on top of that, you can save an additional 10% by using code SHOPSMALL10. The coupon can be used on sale items and is good through Sunday, November 29th.

And if you’re more into Cyber Monday, on 11/30 Mechling Bookbindery is offering 50% of all leather, $20.00 off your purchase of $100.00 or more, and 40% of all books, DVDs, and CDs.

Happy shopping!

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

Bookbinder's Black Friday image

I used to have more of a stomach for Black Friday shopping. I would totally get up at an entirely unfriendly hour to take advantage of some wacky deal that seemed too good to pass up. Now I’d much rather sleep in.

If you’re at all like me, perhaps you would rather take advantage of the online deals (when not shopping locally). Luckily, there are some sales that may be of interest to you bookbinders out there (no waking up early!):

Arnold Grummer‘s is offering Black Friday discounts on presses and papermaking supplies.  All presses are 20% off! From now through 11/30/14, you can save an additional 13% on your order by using code BFSAVE13.

Paper-Papers is offering 50% off clearance items now through 12/1/14 with code clear121. In addition, they’re offering 10% off everything on their site through end of year – no code is required to get the discount.

Cloth Paper Scissors is offering 50% storewide from now until Wednesday, December 3rd until 11:59 p.m. Mountain time. This sale includes books, DVDs, and magazines. No need for a code – just go directly to their website and shop!

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I learned how to make books while working at Paper Source during my grad school days. I have lots of love for this store and what’s not to love about free shipping on online orders over $50.00? Now through December 1st, use code THANKS50 at checkout to get the discount.

Paper Mojo is one of my favorite paper sources – they have a great selection and the prices are reasonable. From now until 12:00 midnight EST on December 1st, Paper Mojo is letting you choose your own deal. You can either take 20% off your entire purchase with code BLACK2014 or you can get free domestic ground shipping on your $60+ order and get a free scrap pack with code FRIDAY2014.

Happy shopping!

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