Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Chair and Dos a Dos Binding

My chair for this year's Chair Affair is finished and was delivered last Thursday. Decorating the chair was so much fun that I might use that same technique to make something for myself. The oak chair was painted flat black, then I cut many (many) small gingko leaves out of saved security envelopes and stuck them to the chair with acrylic varnish. I added a few stenciled gingko leaves and a bit of gold leaf for some pizzazz, then a few coats of varnish finished it off. It's remarkable how much like fabric those envelope patterns look.

Like last year, I decided to make a little hand-bound book to accompany my chair. This one was to be a dos a dos style of binding, because I wanted to write about two different things: the gingko tree and security patterns. I had never made a book in this style, and I can tell you it was really fun. The first book was the gingko side. Here is a shot showing the binding and the gingko leaf on the cover:

The pages have simple artwork and a few facts about the gingko tree.

In a dos a dos book, when you get to the last page you can turn the book over and be at the front cover of the second book.

I wish I could tell you which paper I used for the pages, but as it was recycled from sketches belonging to Mr. B's late brother, I can't. The cover, however, is made from pearl gray Fabriano Tiziano paper. I bound the pages together using a stitch I developed after taking a Mitzi Lindgren workshop, which I wrote about here. I used an unusual binding thread that I found in the jewelry-making section of a local craft store-- black paper cord. It was an experiment, but I will use it again. It appears to be nice and strong, acid free, and knots well. Not the thinnest of cords at 1mm, but I could thread it onto a needle, and with a little gentle persuasion, it got through my punched holes without any tearing. 

It's always an odd feeling to work on something for several weeks and then just send it off into the wild to fend for itself. Odd, yet rather freeing. And I'm already planning the next Big Experiment. The Puget Sound Book Artists second annual Member Exhibit is coming up in June, and I have Plans.


  1. I love this chair and the book!

    I really like how you've framed text with an address window. Every time I see one I wonder how to use it in a project, and I have a drawer full of them.

    Looking forward to more of your Big Experiment.

  2. Heh-- thanks. If you double-click the photo to enlarge it, you can see why I added the window on impulse. The text just begged for it.