Friday 19 November 2010

Bookbinding Evening Class wk8

No bookbinding last week as we went to see Bill Bailey live in London. He was very good.

So with 3 weeks left of the course I find myself with 2 projects to finish. The large book I bought from the library and took apart, needs putting back together and my Mum found a book which had lost its spine and both covers have come off, which she wants me to recover.
I spent most of last night by preparing my Mum’s book, and sewing the big book together.
I also watched as Sarah showed us how to round the spine of a book – you wouldn’t believe you should use a hammer when bookbinding.
And I learnt how to make a weavers knot. Very useful. It’s very similar to the sort of knot you make when casting knitting on, and means you don’t have to have masses of thread getting all knotted up as you sew your book together. It also means if you break the thread you can carry on. I also showed her a couple of the book I made last year which she was quite impressed with

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Borrowing Dogs

Yesterday we had another Lunchtime Writers Group. Once again we had some lovely pieces read out. I’m particularly jealous of the new developer who had just joined my new team and came along. Not only is she a graphic designer and a web developer but the piece she read out was the prologue to her novel (80,000 words in already) and was really good – very polished and professional and I think we all wanted to hear more.

I had a poem I was going to read out, but I lost my memory stick with all my work on so couldn’t print it out. Luckily it was safe at home so no big disaster.

The poem is inspired by all the poems for kids that I’m reading for the OU – Children’s Literature course, and of course my love of dogs.

Borrowing Dogs

Every morning at 7.58
I walk a bouncy white husky
Past our flat.

Every Monday night
I wait outside the chip shop opposite
With a curly spaniel.

Most evenings before dinner
I walk a shiny red setter
Up the road.

On Saturday mornings
I trot with black dog and white dog
In their numbered racing jackets.

And this week I’ve played
With the small black and white builders dog
Through the kitchen window.

Friday 5 November 2010

Bookbinding Evening Class wk6

I was incredibly tired last night, so didn’t seem to get much done in the class myself. But that didn’t matter too much as there was so much else to watch.

First Sarah showed us how to make paste paper.
You start with a small quantity of paste, similar to the recipe here, and mix it with acrylic paint to get the desired colour.
Once it is mixed well you apply it to your paper reasonably thickly and then the fun begins. Using anything at all you can make marks in the paste. It could be as simple as folding the paper in half and getting a stippled effect when you pull it apart, or more complicated by dragging an old comb or fork through it. Looking in the books Sarah bought to the class I saw how people had added extra colours to their paste after applying it to the paper, or drew on the paper with wax crayon first.
Once your paper is dry you only need a small piece to cover your book with, so can choose the very best part of the design.

Also being tried out last night was the stylus tool and the heated letters, both used for titling books with coloured foils, normally silver or gold.
To use the stylus tool you start by making your design on tracing paper – in this case the design was copied from the original cover of the book.
You then tape the foil and tracing paper to you cover in the desired place and using the heated stylus copy out the design. We were all very impressed how well the design came out.
The other way of doing this was to use letters similar to those used in a printing press which were mounted on a piece of long thin metal with a wooden handle. These were also heated and then pressed into the foil on to the cover of the book. Any excess was rubbed off with a little sandy brick dust and again we were impressed with the end result, especially as it was much harder to get them straight and the spacing right when doing this by eye.
This will be similar to how I get my design stamped on my books, if we can get the stamp to work properly.
All in all a good evening.