Category : Supplies

Claire Maziarczyk Open Studio and Gallery Tour tomorrow

I have been a big fan of Claire Maziarczyk’s paste papers for a number of years. I just want to go swimming in them.

When the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers announced that not only was there an upcoming exhibit featuring Claire’s Pastepaper Quilts, but that she would also be having an open studio, I plotzed.

Yes, I said plotzed.

Here are the details:

Open Studio and Sale
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Maziarczyk Paperworks, 882 Stark Avenue, Niskayuna, NY

…and then…

A Gallery Tour (with Claire) of Pastepaper Quilts
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: The Robert and Dorothy Ludwig Schenectady Jewish Community Center, 2565 Balltown Road, Niskayuna, NY (get directions)

If you plan to attend, please R.S.V.P. to Claire:

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Finally getting back to the wood boards…part 1

As I mentioned oh-so-long-ago in this post, I bought a few wood boards for use in a new line of books. The fact is, I really don’t know much about wood other than that I like it. I bought the wood figuring that I’d work out the rest later.

Note the word later – that was eight months ago. At times, I can be a bit of a slow-mover on new projects.

Well, I finally got moving on the project. I was contacted by woodworker Bob Bouvier, a fellow member of Vermont Hand Crafters. He was kind enough to help me out with thinning my wood boards (in their original state, they were too thick for book covers). He was able to get two pieces from each board, with each new board measuring 3/8″ thick.

Here’s what the new boards looked like:

Wood boards

Once I got the boards home, I had to cut them to the size I wanted. When determining measurements, I matched the grain of the wood (vertical) with the grain of the paper that will be used for the pages. I was a bit freaked about using our miter saw because the safety thingie on it is broken. I made a point of thinking and moving really slowly, making sure that I wasn’t doing anything, well, stupid. Luckily, I also had my hubby nearby acting as my spotter.

Setup for cutting wood boards

I used binder clips to hold boards together while cutting. I found this most useful with the softer woods. Unfortunately, the purple heart was just too hard – I had to cut each board individually instead of stacking them.

So what did I learn during this process?

  1. The harder woods take longer to cut and the process is much slower.
  2. Wood can burn as a result of blade friction.
  3. Slow cutting also results in the generation of smoke. It’s smelly. Get fresh air as much as possible.
  4. Use a really sharp blade.

Bob was really helpful in providing me with guidance in how to finish the wood. In my next post, I’ll talk about the sanding process and how his tips worked out for me.

Is Yudu the new Gocco?

As I mentioned in this post, I am newbie owner of a PG-5 Gocco machine.

Gocco is a self-contained screen printing unit. You can use it to both burn master screens and to make your prints. It’s damn nifty. I wanted one forever. I got one. Life was good.

Then Amanda at PaperLust rocked my world today. I read on her blog to find out that just this week, Provo Craft unveiled its new Yudu personal screen printer.

In fact, the Yudu just became available for sale today exclusively on the Home Shopping Network. They’re selling the machine today for $279.95 with free shipping and handling.

So just what is this Yudu thingie? Well, it does essentially the same thing that a Gocco does, with some interesting differences:

  1. Gocco screens measure 3.75″ x 5.75″ for the B6 and 6.5″ x 9″ for the B5, while the Yudu 110 mesh screens measure 11″ x 14″.
  2. When you burn a screen on a Gocco machine, the bulbs are not reusable. The Yudu has a built-in light box so you can reuse the same bulbs for additional screens.
  3. Gocco screens are pre-treated with emulsion, whereas the Yudu screens come without it. You have to manually apply an emulsion sheet each time you burn a screen.
  4. Gocco screens are not reusable for new images. Yudu screens are reusable – you can clean off the emulsion and reuse the screen for a completely new image.
  5. To burn an image into a Gocco screen you must use a carbon-based image. For the Yudu, you don’t. You can print your image on a transparency directly from your inkjet printer.
  6. Using the Gocco, you apply ink to your screen and then print directly from the machine by opening and closing the top. With the Yudu, you have to use a squeegee to print your image.

So what is my problem? Well, I just spent way too much stocking up on supplies for my Gocco (which I haven’t yet used). While I feel it was a worthwhile investment, I am oh-so-easily distracted by shiny new things. And goofy product names.

Other than that, this Yudu dealie looks interesting. It’s brand spanking new, so there’s no way I’d buy it hot off the press, so to speak. Plus I still need to use and kill off the supplies I already have for my Gocco. The Yudu seems like it has potential for the future.

However, I’d like to be sure of a few things:

  1. The kinks have been worked out.
  2. It has longevity as a product.
  3. It has good reviews from users.
  4. There’s a wide variety of ink colors and accessories readily available.
  5. It’s affordable.

Of course, none of this stopped me from getting a Gocco, even knowing that they weren’t making machines or supplies for them anymore.

I showed the Yudu video to my hubby when he came home from work today and he had an interesting comment. Yudu’s light box uses bulbs that are a standard size that can be bought in any hardware store. He pointed out that the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has effectively banned the production of  incandescent bulbs by 2014. There are some exceptions to the ban, but he suggested that it might be worthwhile to find out what kind of bulbs are used by the Yudu before getting sucked into another Gocco fiasco. Wise words.

If you’re interested in more information about the Yudu, there’s a really interesting conversation going on in the Etsy forums. A rep from Provo Craft is involved has been very open in answering everyone’s questions.

You can also watch demo videos on YouTube. I’m fond of the following video, where I learned that one should think long and hard about consuming champagne while demonstrating a new product.

Just say no.

What happened to the paper in Paper Source?

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I owe my love of bookbinding to Paper Source. When I was in graduate school for Art Therapy at Lesley University, I passed by Paper Source on my way to and from my classes. I jumped at the opportunity to work there when I saw the “help wanted” sign in the window. This was back when there were only two stores, one in Chicago, IL and one in Cambridge, MA.

That being said, it’s hard not to be a paper snob. I’ll admit it. I’m a big fat paper snob.

When I go into stores that claim to have a “huge paper selection”, I just chuckle under my breath and think, “Yeah, okay.”

Then a week ago, the weirdest thing happened. I drove down to the Cambridge store with my sister-in-law to start design work on her wedding invitations. After the usual 15 minutes of overwhelming “I want everything” feelings, we settled down at a table to get to work. We looked over the paper racks hanging on the walls and I wondered what other options we had.

I quickly realized was that I couldn’t find any sample binders. When I worked there (you’re going to hear this a few times), there were about a dozen binders with 8.5″ x 11″ samples of all of the papers carried by the store. The sample binders were meant to simplify the paper search process – imaging pawing through dozens of flat files until you found what you wanted – fun, but labor-intensive.

Then I looked around the store. It seemed as though there were less flat files in the store than I remembered. When I worked there, there were a lot of flat files…like a mini city of them…it was lovely.

And now they weren’t there.

It seemed as though the wedding invitation supplies had replaced those flat files. It bummed me out. I understand why Paper Source would do such a thing – their wedding invitation business is booming, so why not replace slower-moving stock with stuff that people want?

[start rant]

Well, that would be because I don’t respond well to change and I want the store to be the same as it was when I left and I just want it to have lots of paper there because that’s what I count on them for and now I’m all stressed out because they don’t have a big selection of paper any more and for goodness sake, paper is half of their name!

[end rant]

So what I’m really hoping for is that someone will tell me that I’ve just lost my mind and have hallucinated the whole, ugly ordeal. Or if you’ve actually found the same to be true in a Paper Source near you then please validate my experience, which I warn you, may or may not make me feel better.

At least the wedding invitations are taken care of.


Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting: Lake Champlain Celebration and “Show & Tell”

This past Wednesday I attended the monthly meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont.

The meeting had two components:

  1. Discussion of the B.A.G. Quadricentennial Book Project
  2. “Show & Tell” of resources, tools, etc. that you have found useful or interesting in your bookbinding work

The Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration will last throughout 2009 to mark the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s discovery of the now-named Lake Champlain. Events will be held all over the state – you can view a schedule of the events on the Quadricentennial website.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont will be working on a collaborative book project that, once completed, will be on display at the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center through the summer. Based on the themes of The Lake, The Land, The People, participating B.A.G. members will create three 5″ x 5″ panels with one representing each of the themes. Depending on the number of participants, the panels will be assembled in either one large flag book or three separate flag books, one for each theme. Our panels are due on April 1st (no kidding!), so I need to start brainstorming.

I was quickly struck with an image for the lake theme – I envisioned a fish, one native to Lake Champlain, face-forward and staring right at you from inside the lake. I believe he’s thinking, “Hey you, come and get me!” I’m not really sure why that particular image came to me, but clearly it must be done. The fish told me to.

The show & tell portion of the meeting was fun. One of the members, who had studied bookbinding in England, brought a cool-looking drill.

Mini bookbinding drill

It’s the cutest thing ever. You push down on the top repeatedly and the screw tip drills down. I’m guessing that this drill resembles the insides of a Japanese screw punch, but this one is cooler because you get to see the mechanics at work. For some reason, I think it looks like a syringe for giving shots to naughty children. Unfortunately, this drill was purchased in England from an unknown source.

I did a quick Google search and couldn’t find one like it. Meh. I’m such a sucker for cool-looking tools. If anyone knows where to get this drill, please let me know.

I promise I won’t immunize anyone with it.

Last minute deals

So I’m really trying to be good. REALLY.

Dangit – why do I keep getting Emails about end-of-year sales? Well, maybe some of your got cash for the holidays instead of fudge.

Volcano Arts is having a progressive sale through tomorrow, December 31st. If you’ve never heard of Volcano Arts, then you’ve been missing out. Christine Cox, owner of Volcano Arts, has been selling bookbinding supplies for the last seven years. Her website offers an amazing array of supplies for bookbinding, metalsmithing, and leather work. You can even buy books in sheets and bind them as you wish.

If shopping isn’t really your thing, then why not check out her Idea Center, chock full of inspirational tips and techniques. Last, but not least, Christine teaches some nifty classes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to swing a trip to California so I can attend her week-long Book Technic.

Here’s the scoop on the sale:

  • Spend $50 or more and save 5%
  • Spend $100 or more and save 10%
  • Spend $150 or more and save 15%
  • Spend $200 or more and save $20%
  • Spend $250 or more and save 25%

Oh how I love Paper Mojo (check out this gushy post). Now through December 31st, get 20% off your entire purchase when you use coupon code jinglebell during the checkout process.

Paper Source is also having a big fat sale on lots of cool stuff, including decorative papers.

As I mentioned, I am TRYING TO BE GOOD. Mostly because I’m leaving for New York City tomorrow for New Year’s and I’m hoping to take a detour here during our trip. My hubby is trying really hard to hide his dismay.

43,000 ribbons. Drooollllll……

The Paper Place and their rocking giveaway

Pile of Chiyogami papers

Sakes alive, that’s a lot of dreamy paper.

Mine mine mine please.

Everyone is talking about this giveaway…but can you blame us? The generous folks at The Paper Place are giving away a super fat sample pack, which includes an 8.5″ x 11” sheet of every Chiyogami paper they carry – 637 patterns in total with a retail value of $1911.

You can enter the giveaway on The Paper Place’s website.

If you’ve never worked with Chiyogami paper (a.k.a. Yuzen) before, it’s just fabulous. I’ve often referred to the stuff as the butter of paper – it just behaves so well.

Compliant paper makes me happy.

The Paper Place is located in Toronto, Canada…luckily within driving distance for me. In addition to their fabulous Chiyogami selection, they also offer workshops, art & papercrafting supplies, and gift items. You can even shop online if you can’t tolerate a trip out of the country. So if you don’t like what you got for the holidays, now you know what to do – return that crap for cash and go shopping for paper.

Not that I’d ever do that…

Supplier Rave – Paper Mojo

Paper Mojo Let’s get the obvious out of the way – how could one not like a business that uses the word mojo in their name?

There’s a lot to like about Paper Mojo:

  1. They have a great selection of some of the most fun papers I’ve encountered. And I’ve encountered a lot of paper in my time.
  2. Their prices are reasonable.
  3. They have sales (appeals to the bargain-hunter in me).
  4. They get new designs in on a regular basis.
  5. They have great customer service.
  6. If you click on “see larger” next to a paper on their website, you’ll get a pop-up window that shows the scale of the prints with a ruler. So very handy.
  7. I get to say mojo. Mojo mojo mojo.

I’ve been buying from them for about 2 years and have always been happy with my purchases. And now, getting back to #3 on the list above, Paper Mojo is currently running a sale – 25% off holiday prints. Included in the sale are some very cute prints from Whimsy Press, Snow & Graham, and Elum, which are all acid-free. I’ve used papers from Whimsy Press and Snow & Graham before and they glue well.

While you’re on their website, check out their clearance section. I recommend the Reminiscence Papers by Debra Glanz – fun patterns and easy to work with.

Happy shopping!


Upcoming sale at Hiromi Paper

I’m supposed to be shopping for others right now and not myself. Unfortunately, there’s no ignoring the 20th anniversary sale that’s around the corner at Hiromi Paper.

Hiromi Paper carries a wonderful variety of Japanese papers and bookcloths. Starting on December 1st and running through December 20th, the sale offers 20% off your entire order, with a $10 minimum purchase (definitely doable). This offer is good for orders made at their retail store in Santa Monica or those made by phone or Email. Some items on their website are already listed at 50% off.

I’ve been meaning to order their World Cloth sample book for a while now, so December seems like a good time to go for it. They carry many of the same bookcloths as Hollanders, but the prices are lower (even before getting 20% off).

I’ve long admired the fruit and vegetable papyrus from Germany, which I find both intriguing and bizarre. I’m particularly fond of the blood orange and kiwi papers. They also carry paperwood, a thin veneer of real wood that comes in 7 varieties. The bird’s eye maple is really tempting.

Has anyone ever used the papyrus or paperwood? I’m curious about their workability (easy to glue, does it crack when bent, etc.).

What I really want to know is if the varieties of papyrus taste different from one another…

More Gocco anxiety…

As I mentioned back in May, panic motivated me to finally buy a Gocco printer. I bought it for $150 from Japan, which included shipping. To buy a new machine now, you’d have to pay anywhere from $295 – $485.95, not including shipping. Gocco printers are not going for much cheaper on Ebay.

The belief was that Gocco would continue production of supplies for the foreseeable future, even though they were going to stop manufacturing the printers in June. I was thankful I had one. I figured I was all set.

I was wrong.

I stumbled across a post on the Flickr Gocco discussion group that described how Riso would not only stop manufacturing Gocco supplies, but would also stop shipping supplies to the U.S. after 12/1/08. So that freaked me out a little bit, but I couldn’t go off the deep end without a second opinion.

From the Letters & Print website:

U.S. Gocco dealers received a communication on July 1, 2008, from the President & Chief Operating Officer of Riso stating that “the manufacturer will be discontinuing ALL Print Gocco products, including supplies. The letter continues, “the Print Gocco production technology will thereafter be unavailable and there will be no manufacturer of Print Gocco products. Finally, no more supplies will be filled (for U.S. vendors) after December 31, 2008.”

Okay, so I got a third opinion too. From the Wet Paint website:

JULY 2008: RISO, the manufacturer of the Print Gocco, has announced that they have discontinued production of this product, and will discontinue production of supplies.


I went on a buying spree, buying from 4 different online vendors. This is what I think I bought (what can I say other than not to buy stuff when you’re upset): 11 10-packs of bulbs, 7 5-packs of screens, a Gocco guide, and 24 inks.

Have I mentioned that I haven’t even used the machine yet? Not once?

Pin It on Pinterest