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  • Steve Hubbard

Book Arts: New journals in progress

After a long break from book-arts, I’m making good progress on the new batch of journals. I’ve realised that it’s about four years since I made any.

This was prompted by finally filling up the last journal that I made. For the first volume of my journal I bought a pre-bound book (with exposed stitching), but then for the next one decided that as writing a journal is a personal thing, I should also hand-make the journal. So I learnt how to do Coptic binding (a form of exposed stitching binding developed by Coptic Christians for holding their bibles together), and folded, glued and stitched them together.

For this new batch I’m covering the book boards with Himalayan hand-made paper (the red and the vivid blue) and a handmade ‘leather-like’ paper (the darker blue-green). For the end papers, I’m using up the last of the pre-printed decorative papers from the last batch of journals (based on a motif from the Chrysler Building in New York), and for the rest I’m cutting up test prints of my letterpress posters (specifically City / Sea and Type Tsunami), so each one will be more individual.

For the ‘signatures’ (folded sections that make up the body of the book) I’m using up a batch of thin paper (125gsm) left over from the last batch. I found this to be a bit thin for writing on in ink (I use a fountain pen for writing in my journal), so I’m using thicker paper for the rest. I’m doing three with 160gsm Caneletto, which should be really nice to write on, and another three in 140gsm Cyclus paper.

I’ve currently done a dry assembly to see how many sheets I need per signature with the thicker paper, and how many signatures I need to make a well proportioned book.

Another two or three hours of folding left to do, then glueing up the end papers, and piercing all of the signatures. The big bit is going to be the sewing, which will take a solid day for seven journals. I’m going to keep a couple for myself and self off the remainder on my DaWanda shop.

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