Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Making

Monday morning I went over to my friend Benita's to learn how to make a book. She's a wonderful, award winning photographer, book/journal maker, decorative pin maker and mixed media artist.

Upon arrival at her place and after her friend Lou Ann showed us, she produced a large flat plastic container full of various books she has made. She showed a beautiful 18th birthday/graduation journal for her son. It included a letter from her and her husband on the day he was born. Black and white photographs that he had never seen. Letters from grandparents, teachers and friends. There were simple bound journals with soft covers to very elaborately sewn hardback books.

The three of us headed for Benita's studio in her basement where Lou Ann and I chose the type of books we wanted to make. We began by cutting board for the front, back and spine of the book. It was my first time using metric measurements. Once I got the hang of it, it did make measuring a lot easier. Once that was done, the fun began.
Benita allowed us to go through all her papers that she has collected over the years. We could pick whatever we wanted because she said that she had enough for several lifetimes. That done, she showed us how to cut the paper for the board. Lots of glue later (it was best to wear old pants), we had our pieces covered. I chose a simple binding technique which involved a bit of sewing. Easy enough for me. I will have to make another one very soon so that I won't forget how it's done.
You can barely see the knot where I tied off my thread. Benita gave me the choice of showing or not showing my knots. She said that if they show, it allows people to know that you really did do it. My first handsewn book came out very well. Now I'm off to collect more supplies. Some books will go with dolls, others.... well, they will be holiday gifts.

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