Covers and Content

Bookbinding, writings, general creativity

Archive for the tag “possibly a bit too nerdy”

The smallest book I’ve ever made

If you’ve said A, you have to say B. In Sweden, at least. It’s a saying, I mean… okay, what I really mean is that I cant go talking about the smallest book I’ve ever made without showing a picture of it. As a bonus, you get a picture of Stéphanie, the friend that I mentioned in my last post.

Okay, so that’s actually the biggest book I’ve ever made, or helped to make. It was the guestbook for our exhibition Kometen Kommer, and we wanted it to be impressive. But look closer, down in the left corner of the big book…

 

There it is! 4mm high (or not-so-high). Stiched with a strand of my own hair, because I didn’t have any thread that was fine enough. This is the only time my fingers have felt too big when bookbinding. I did almost everything with the point of a needle.

The cover paper wraps around the front edges of the cover to become a pasted-in endpaper (there’s a word for that, I know it). I had to thin it out with sand paper to make it flexible enough to use. The bookblock is of very thin japanese paper.

I think I could make something smaller…

 

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Something in the mail

Work today was… not nice. I amused myself by planning to post pictures of the smallest book I’ve ever made. Yes, it’s smaller than this.

But that’ll have to wait for another day, because all unhappy feelings completely evaporated when I opened my family’s mailbox. There were letters! For me! Even one that I had to go and get at the post office.

One was a postcard from my bookbinding friend Stéphanie (who is in a lot of the parchment pictures – which reminds me, I have to write the final post on that!). Two was from swap-bot swaps. And then… do you see what’s under the letters? Yes, that’s another letter. Here, let me give you a better view:

 

This penpal and I have a bit of a competition going on, about who can write the strangest letters. I was honestly impressed this time. But my response will win me the victory, I just know it…

Remember that thing I said about marbling?

 

 

Because I do. All the time and everywhere, I said.

Every night for the past week when I’ve been preparing for bed, I’ve thought about how the striped toothpaste might possibly… and then I start brushing my teeth, because when you rise at 04:30 in the morning, you’re too tired for that sort of things.

But yesterday I got fed up with just thinking about it. I used a toothpick to make some kind of fan pattern (on the left) and some sort of double comb pattern (on the right).

And then I brushed my teeth and went to bed (one and a half hour too late).

 

Marbled ice cream cake

Marbling, like all other things in life, have a proper time and place. Namely, all the time and everywhere. Especially when you’re baking. This is a marbled ice cream cake. It’s the yummiest cake I know, and when done right, it’s the prettiest too.

The last picture is one of my marbled papers. It’s done in a fan pattern, which is the pattern I’ve described how to make on the cake.

If anybody wants to make the cake, and can’t find Daim chocolate, tell me and I’ll send it to you. It’s actually the chocolate I work with making, so…

The Game by Diana Wynne Jones

Today the exhibition with the dragon book opens in Falun, so with some kind of logic, I decided to show you what I made for last year’s exhibition: The Game by Diana Wynne Jones, bound for the exhibition ”Kometen Kommer”.

Kometen kommer would be the comet is coming in English, and the exhibition is inspired by the meteorite that fell here in Dalarna, Sweden some 377 million years ago. So the books we’ve made are a lot about space and stars and comets – and The Game was really the perfect book to make.
Since the book wasn’t of the kind that can be easily taken apart, I scanned and printed it. Each chapter got its own size and font. Then I dyed all of them in tea.

I printed the covers on better paper (Hahnemühle butten ingres) and drew the pictures on them. (Possibly spoilery text under the pictures)

I forgot to print the last part of the book, A NOTE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS, in time to dye it with the rest, so that got to be around the box that would become the base of the book instead. Then I got some metal wire (copper and something else, I don’t know exactly, but probably iron) and started putting it all together, with small glass beads representing the golden apples.

1
When Hayley arrived at the big house in Ireland, bewildered and in disgrace, rain was falling and it was nearly dark. Her cousin Mercer had called the place just “the Castle.”

2
Then [Grandad] showed her atoms, molecules and germs—after which Hayley for a long time confused all three with planets going round the sun and, when Grandma insisted that you washed to get rid of germs, wondered if Grandma was trying to clean the universe off her.

3
He had stood, for as long as Hayley could remember, rain or shine, in the exact same place outside the pub called The Star, playing high sweet notes on a shabby little violin that looked much too small for him.

4
A young lady in a white dress came down the bank towards the shore. When she was right beside the water, she looked around, grinning mischievously, and crouched down. Her white dress melted into her all over and she was suddenly a swan.

5
For a moment, she thought she was crying. Drops were falling heavily on the pretend cat and then splashing onto her leg. It was only when more drops fell on her head that Hayley realised the water must be coming from somewhere else.

6
The next day, it was hard to believe that it had ever rained. Hayley woke to find the sky a bright heavenlike blue with great snowy clouds hustling across it.

7
Hayley looked at her card. It said, FETCH A GOLDEN APPLE FROM THE ORCHARD OF THE HESPERIDES.

8
She was a proper comet, not like Tollie’s pretend one. Her hair gathered together and flung itself out ahead of her like the flame on a blowtorch. Behind it, her body was a small, curled-up, icy ball.

9
There was a hill to one side, and she could dimly see someone trying to heave a boulder up it.

10
He and Harmony held the tall longbow steady while Hayley picked and peeled at one of the lower twinkles. To her relief, it came free quite easily and rolled into her palm like a small loose diamond. Very carefully, she zipped it away into the smallest of her trouser pockets.

11
Another woman came along with a huge earthenware jar of wine and tipped it into the first woman’s face. “Drink up!” she shrieked. “Drown your sorrows!”

12
Part of the clump immediately rose up into a tall, square shape. It unfolded two long legs like chicken legs and stalked towards them. When it reached Martya, it stopped and let down a ladder from the balcony on its front. “Is my hut,” Martya said.

Making of The Seventeenth Step

After I copied the whole body of text into Word and printed it on nice paper (after some hours of editing, such as replacis soft returns with hard returns in the entire document), I stitched the book with flax thread. When I thought about if I should wax the thread or not, then I remembered Sussex and the bees, so beeswax it was.

After stitching it, I glued the spine and… argh, I really don’t know what it’s called in English, but well, I shaped the spine. With a hammer. Then French headbands. I used silk thread, grey and blue for Holmes and Watson. There is a third thread that is just for tying the knots around, that you never see, and I made that red for hidden love, because I’m silly like that.

After gluing on the cover boards I measured the leather for spine and corners. The lovely green machine is a Shärf-fix, you use it to thin out the edges of the leather. I glued on false raised binds (direct translation from Swedish, I really need to learn some English terms), then pasted on the leather.

Then time for the paper. This, too, is silver and blue for Holmes and Watson, I made it especially for this book. (The paper on the box, which I forgot to take a good picture of before cutting it up, is made especially for this book to, with the London fog of the 1880’s as inspiration.)

Then box-making, a french box with a hollow spine. Last, I printed the title with “gold” foil.

 

Bookbinding: The Seventeenth Step

This summer, I had plans. I was going to sew clothes and write lots and and and… and I read Sherlock fanfiction the whole summer. I’m not that surprised, really. One author, Katie Forsythe, really had the voice of the original books perfectly down.

The thing is, since the text was so like the books, I felt that it needed to actually be a book. It would fit so well between covers of leather and marbled paper. My fingers itched for a chance to bind it. So I mustered all the courage I had (I’m kinda shy, and absolutely terrified of talking in English to people on internet, especially people I admire) and asked Katie Forsythe for permission to print and bind her works.

The format is called dos-á-dos, meaning back-to-back in French. I call it tvillingband in Swedish, twin binding. I wanted to make a box to protect the book, and ended up with a box that I’m tempted to make another box to protect… I made the cover papers especially for this project. Since the seventeenth step in the title refers to the 221b Baker Street staircase, I printed the title… well, like a staircase.

Since it’s Sherlock Holmes, I just had to make a secret compartment in the spine of the box. There should be a cocaine syringe in there, but there are limits to what I do for my art…

 

Possibly planning world domination

I’ve just had the most interesting theological discussion in a long while, about needing both darkness and light to find the truth and other related topics.

It’s for a LARP.

Other than theology, we’re planning how we will eat b
etter than all other groups on the LARP, the precise details of our prayer pillows and how the fabric in our clothes would have been dyed.

The planning really is the best part of LARPing…

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