Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Book, A Book!

My first multi-section hard cover book, finished!

I have been in love with books since before I could read (Harold and the Purple Crayon, anyone?), and I'm always making simple books and zines but I had never made a 'real' book. You know, one with multiple sections and a hard, cloth wrapped cover and spine? So, a few weeks ago I enrolled in a Beginning Bookbinding workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book

book pages and end sheets, waiting to be made

Over the course of 8 weeks,lead by our fearless instructor, Juliayn Coleman, my classmates and I will make 4 hard cover, multi-section books, learning different covering, binding and sewing techniques for each book. 

book pieces, waiting to be glued together

Our first book was a bit of a challenge, especially since I'm super clumsy and messy therefore have a fear of glue (and a fear of getting it all over everything). I quickly found out I had nothing to worry about and was well on my way to making my first book.  

first finished book

After 2 and half nights, I had completed my first ever, legit, hard cover book with a cloth spine and corners, patterned Japanese paper covers and a built-in ribbon bookmark. It's not perfect but I love it anyway.

pieces for book number 2

book number two sewing close-up

On the third night, we began our second book. It was going to be another multi-section book but this time we sewed over tapes. Tapes are actually pieces of fabric in a lovely grey; I thought it was a shame you never get to see the tapes when the book is finished but, alas, that is how it's done.

Cover for book 2

The second books was full cloth with a slightly rounded spine. Juliayn had brought in a selection of lovely book cloth for us to choose from but I found this awesome raincoat-esque cloth in a bin at SFCB and used it instead.

sprinkled edges

Since only person can use the guillotine paper cutter at a time, we had a little down time so Juliayn showed us a simple way to decorate our edges using liquid ink, a comb and a toothbrush. To continue with the rain/raincoat theme of my book, I chose a blue ink and tried to make my edges look rain splattered. 

finished raincoat book

While I was happy to make my first book, I have to admit, I'm really extra excited with this second book! I think the raincoat theme helped.

raincoat book open


  1. Nice squares, Nina! That is some crazy yellow buckram. I think you should call it the Sea-Captain's book.

  2. Really like the book, Nina. It looks beautiful. Hope to get to see it in person....