Friday, December 7, 2012

Finished. Whew.

I like my new job. I really do. But the hours are long, and the commute is horrible. Old job: round trip commute of 2 miles or less. New job: round trip commute of 76.8 miles. On the freeway. Three, sometimes four days a week. That is two hours per day commuting on a GOOD day, nearly 4 hours commute on a terrible day. This makes studio work a struggle sometimes, but I am determined to move into a more rigid schedule of studio time because there are ideas in my head that really need to get out. Ok, end of pathetic little whine.

Today I turned down work and even declined doing a good deed so that I could spend a day in the studio, and here is the result. My latest book finally finished! These shots are just quick snaps because I was too excited to drag out the light cube and do a formal portrait.

The pages are made from some theatrical scrim that I washed all the sizing out of- so it is very gauzy and floppy. Because of this, I wrapped each of the three signatures in a lace paper I had purchased last year. I tea-stained the white lace paper to make it closer in color to the scrim. I also hemmed the lace paper and put a picot bead edging on it to give the book a bit more weight.  I wish I could tell you what the cover paper is, but I am not sure. I know it is handmade, and I think it is from Nepal. It is lovely, but a bit fragile, so I coated it with acrylic wax and laminated a piece of thin kimono lining silk to the inside to strengthen it. That paper absorbed the acrylic wax nicely and it worked well as a glue to laminate the silk. The spine has an extra piece on the outside connected only by the binding stitches. It is some handmade paper with a high cotton content that I also tea-stained. And I sewed a little guinea hen feather to add to the flyaway feel.

I have to thank Mary Ann Moss for the binding stitch. I have been mulling over her latest class offering, and when I was reading the class blurb, the binding stitch she will be teaching caught my attention. Hadn't I seen it somewhere? Hadn't I shoved a bookmark in a page at some point? Yes I had, and that stitch was going to be perfect for this book. Of course I changed it up a bit. If you want to learn this stitch, I can't think of a better way than to treat yourself to Mary Ann's class. Then come back here and you'll be able to figure out what I did.(click on photo for larger view)

Sewing signatures made of scrim is quite fiddly, and I do not recommend it for beginners, although once you understand the sewing pattern, this binding stitch is very satisfying. I did make a little practice book using the stitch before I started the larger amended version, but I also can't recommend doing what I did. Because as you can see, mine was not so much little as it was tiny.
Details: signatures are sumi rice paper, cover is cave paper that has been coated with acrylic wax varnish. Binding thread is Gutermann silk sewing thread.