Category Archives: books

Passing Time Outside of the Studio

The painters arrive tomor­row to fin­ish the great house paint­ing project. They will be paint­ing my office, the DH’s office, and my stu­dio. I am work­ing out of a lit­tle rolling cart on the kitchen counter. Severe­ly lim­it­ed in terms of mate­ri­als and tools.

The House of Myth­i­cal Crea­tures is on hold for the week. It’s ready for each of the images to be mount­ed. I have to fig­ure out how I’m going to attach the images one to anoth­er. I’m think­ing about some sort of book­bind­ing. Hence my project for the next week is to exper­i­ment with some ways of bind­ing books.

Today I made (my first) two books.

A strange lit­tle fold­ed book whose pages open up fur­ther than you think they ought to. I think it’s bor­ing. But the tech­nique of sim­ply attach­ing the pages to a con­tin­u­ous back­ing has mer­it. It would have to be more than just a line of black mat boards taped togeth­er, that’s bor­ing too.

folding book

The sec­ond book looks like a checker­board with over­lap­ping pages with cutouts. I can’t real­ly see how it fits with THMC. This one has pos­si­bil­i­ties for some oth­er projects rat­tling around in the back of my head though. Espe­cial­ly once I get over the idea that the cut­aways have to be square. I’ll make some more of these in the next cou­ple of days.

checkerboard book

I have dis­cov­ered that I still get annoyed when cut lines and parts don’t line up exact­ly. I’ve always been par­tic­u­lar about those sorts of things. Luck­i­ly I have learned a num­ber of tricks over the years. Sto­ry sticks and cut­ting mul­ti­ples in one go are the first two I used.

The instruc­tions for the checker­board book called for cut­ting out six tem­plates (from a xerox) and then trac­ing the tem­plates onto the page paper and then cut­ting those out. A recipe for dis­as­ter. Much bet­ter to fig­ure out the dimen­sions of the full page (3−3÷4″ high x 5″ wide plus a 78″ gut­ter) and cut a bunch of page blanks. Then I could fig­ure out the dimen­sions of the cut­aways (1−1÷4″ square) and take them out of the full size pages. Except the lit­tle tiny one at the front. I just cut that one on it’s own.

PS Yes, I real­ize that there are no decent pic­tures of recent work on THMC. I’ll fix that soon.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

W.I.P. fishy-fishy flag book

Play­ing catch-up while away from home. First up, a book that is slow­ly tak­ing shape.

It com­bines a for­mat (flag book), a mate­r­i­al (water­col­or wash­es) and a bit of dog­ger­el that wrig­gled into my head (and sketch­book) a cou­ple of years ago.

The for­mat is the flag book bind­ing. I made a goofy test ver­sion using a tacky post­card from Iowa. As you can see here.

tacky postcard flagbook

If you want a much bet­ter look at the con­struc­tion I sug­gest look­ing over the Bone­fold­er issue . A large col­lec­tion of exam­ples can be found in the gallery of work sub­mit­ted to the 2006 bind-o-rama.

The mate­r­i­al is Arch­es 300# water­col­or paper with wash­es of sev­er­al greens and blues and a bit of some­thing dark. I’ve done two large dou­ble sided sheets so there should be plen­ty to work with.


The dog­ger­el goes like this:

Fishy-fishy in the sea.

Fishy-fishy bring it to me.

Damned if I know what it means.

At the moment I’m imag­in­ing 8 folds in the accor­dion and five flags per “page.” With the flags being irreg­u­lar­ly shaped — per­haps as waves or per­haps as fish. Or maybe wave shapes with fish images that cross waves — or — or…

And that’s how it goes — three ideas thrown togeth­er on a work­ing tray and just hang­ing out togeth­er until some­thing starts to hap­pen.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links


There’s an mag­a­zine called Anten­na, that show­cas­es “street wear” Some­thing that, as a mid­dle aged white lady, I know lit­tle or noth­ing about. How­ev­er, the mag­a­zine is a trea­sure trove of images of things (shoes, sweat­shirts, tooth­brush­es(?)) laid out against a white back­ground.

magazine photos of sneakers

Each issue has sev­er­al pages of — shoes.

Some of which were cut out and attached to a mod­el of an accor­dion fold book­let with a pock­et turn-up on the bot­tom that had then had a bunch of tri­an­gle pop-up sup­ports fold­ed in.

pink popup of shoes that kick

If manip­u­lat­ed care­ful­ly the shoes kick in and out. I feel anoth­er book com­ing into focus. Though per­haps with­out the hot pink back­ground. Or maybe…

An exhibition of books in Oaxaca

Each time I am in Oax­a­ca I stop into the Casa De La Ciu­dad. There is always some­thing inter­est­ing in the lit­tle sala to the right of the entrance.

When I was last there (Sep­tem­ber 2008) it was the exhi­bi­tion -Los Libres, Los Via­jes, y El Tiem­po (Books, Trav­els, and Time — rough­ly)

los libros, los viajes, y el tiempo

los libros, los via­jes, y el tiem­po

The prob­lem of how to let peo­ple look at/through old­er books is not often solved at all let alone nice­ly.

display column

dis­play col­umn

Here they have scanned/photographed the cov­ers and por­tions of the text from sev­er­al books that tie in with the exhib­it. Then bound them togeth­er and left them out for peo­ple to look at.

not something you're likely to find on display in the USA

not some­thing you would find on dis­play in the USA

These aren’t sophis­ti­cat­ed fac­sim­i­lies. They’re just-good-enough repro­duc­tions that aren’t expect­ed to last beyond the cur­rent exhib­it.

reproduction of the text pages

repro­duc­tion of the text pages

They are scanned and then print­ed sin­gle sided on mat­te pho­to paper and “bound” by being sta­pled at the left mar­gin. The sta­ples are cov­ered by cloth tape.

There was this one that fas­ci­nat­ed Jim — the excerpt was from the anten­nas chap­ter.

an early radio manual from Mexico.

an ear­ly radio man­u­al from Mex­i­co.

This one is fine just for the cov­er illus­tra­tion.

that's quite a cover for a botany book!


This is a great solu­tion to the prob­lem of how to let peo­ple get hands on with books that can’t take the han­dling.

Cheap, tidy, and cer­tain­ly the only way I’ll ever get my hands on Dueno del Mun­do by Julio Verne.

dueno del mundo por julio verne

dueno del mun­do por julio verne

Purple Book

I seem to be on a roll here with the pur­ple stuff.

This is a quick book bind­ing project. The text block was pur­chased from Paper Source. It comes with cov­er boards but with­out a spine board. Japan­ese paper and book cloth.

long format book

long for­mat book

I like this long for­mat for guest books or albums.



Kindle 2 — New Gadget Post

It has arrived. On, of course, one of my busy must-be-out-of-the-house-by-10 days. So it lan­guished on the front porch for 6 hours…

bedside reading

bed­side read­ing

I’ll save you the unbox­ing post. You can have a look here at Engadget’s unbox­ing. I must say that Ama­zon has tak­en a lot of care with the pack­ag­ing. A very nice expe­ri­ence. (I do have to admit that I am impressed with how well the e-ink phot­graphs.)

As I expect­ed there is lit­tle or no Whis­per­Net ser­vice here at the house. T-Mobile is the only reli­able cell ser­vice out here in the din­gle­weeds. Sprint is one of the worst. I can get a slow sig­nal on the front porch if I face the barn (and jug­gle blue squir­rels, etc.)

I don’t find it that much of an incon­ve­nience. I go to town most days and can stop for a few min­utes to down­load some­thing if I’m feel­ing too lazy to down­load via the com­put­er.

Read­ing on it is a fine expe­ri­ence. The brief reverse image flash as I “turn” pages is a lit­tle dis­con­cert­ing. I expect that after a cou­ple of days I won’t notice it any­more. The adjustable font size id great for accom­mo­dat­ing fatigued eyes.