Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Tale of Book Bindery

My very first little book I binded all by myself! I wish I got a picture of the inner cover, it's orange polka dots!
I have bought at least two books on bookbinding, only to shelf them with frustration. I just can't figure out the stupid little illustrations! So I was very happy when I found that the International Printers Museum only 15 minutes form my house had a guest artist that was teaching bookbinding. I really wanted to learn the coptic stitch binding so signed up for the class. First I have to say the museum is awesome if you ever have a chance to stop by. I have never seen so many letterpress and printing machines in my life! No to mention the drawers upon drawers of antique metal and woodblock fonts, I can see how people get hooked on letterpress, I may have to take a class at some point.
Here is my book from the back. I just love how you can see the stitching. Things I learned: don't poke ugly holes-use wax coated string-pull hard, but only in the direction you are sewing or you will tear your papers-always put your string through when it's hanging in front of you, not behind you, or you will drag all kinds of things off the table-lay your books flat on edge of table to sew, don't sew "up in the air"!
Here is teacher Lucia Farias Villarreal showing us how to attach the first register to the cover. Lucia has a Masters Degree in Bookbinding, so I felt very confident learning from her!
A masters hand at work. During class, as she was teaching she found some paper she liked so she whipped out a book for herself as she taught and used it as an example for us.

Me and Lucia with our books, her binding was so amazing, consistant, tight and beautiful. I hope one day I can be half as good as she is! Below are two of her hard covered bound books. I swear these look bought right off a shelf in a book store. Just amazing. hopefully the next time she is the the US (She lives in Monterrey Mexico) I can take her class and learn even more about the book arts. For now, I think I will just work on not screwing up my coptic stitching!



  1. Wow Denise, amazing work. Congrats!

  2. Dude Your Like Amazing with the Crafts and Stuff, And Mom seems to Love it and just WOW!

  3. I've always wanted to learn how to book bind. What fun! Happy new year Denise and thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Sandy xox