Here is a very small sample of some of the books I make. These are the best ones I currently have, but are by no means the best ones I’ve made. Like I told flac last week, when I make a really good book, I’m so excited about it, I can’t wait to give it away. I’m thinking about creating a post eventually, about how I make the majority of my books and why I go that route. It’s funny, because I’ve made so many of them the process seems pretty straightforward to me, but when I stop to think about all of the techniques I use and why I use them, I realize there’s quite a bit of stuff to explain.
In short, I made all of my books with as many natural and bio-degradable materials as possible. The only polymer based materials I intentionally use are PVA Glue and Acrylic Paint. I bind my books with the flat back binding method for two reasons, mostly because I don’t have the tools to do rounding and backing on my books, but also because the extra board on the spine means I don’t have to put headbands on my books if I don’t want to. The one drawback to that binding method is though, while the books open completely, they don't lay flat. It makes writing in them a bit awkward. So it's great for text blocks with pre-existing text already in them, but for journals and sketch books, not so much. When I create my own textblocks, I use linen book tape for reinforcement, french link stitch to help prevent vertical travel between signatures, and kettle stitch on the ends to keep everything nice and secure.
Here’s what a text block looks like by itself.
Here’s a close up of two different lino-cut stamps I’ve made for my books. I like lincocutting a lot. Partly because you can kind of get a woodcut print look out of it, without having to work as hard as you would carving a block of wood. Additionally, because linoleum is made from plant materials, it's biodegradable, which is a plus.
The paint for the dog is Liquitex Acrylic and the rooster on the right is Speedball Block Print Ink for Fabric. I’m not too happy with either. The Luquitex Acrylic, while it dries nice and quick, is really hard to get an even, consistent color out of. I use it though, because I know it’s acid free. I’m saving up some cash this month and I’m gonna buy a few tubes of Luquitex Soft Body Acrylic to see if that’s easier to work with. I’m assuming the answer will be yes. The Speedball Block Print Ink on the other hand, takes forever to dry. We’re talking days. Additionally, I can’t find any information as to whether or not it’s acid free, so there’s that as well.
These are just test prints for the two linocuts I’ve made so far. I’m thinking of buying a button making machine in the future, to turn these test prints into buttons. That way, they’re just not sitting on fabric going to waste.
So yeah. Bookbinding. That’s what I’ve been spending a lot of my free time learning and working on. I have three different projects down the road that I’m gonna try and document to share with you guys, but other than that, if you’re ever wondering what I’m doing with my free time and blowing my money on mindlessly, you’re looking at it.
Have a beautiful day guys.