Thursday, January 10, 2008
japanese stab binding
inspired by the article in craft magazine, i decided to dive into some bookbinding for the first time. and if you're going to try something, why not make ten?
so, eva and i collected lots of new, recycled, and repurposed paper -- some lovely things from the paper store, recycled printer paper, and random things from around the house, like pages from my alumnae magazine, old calendars, the phone book, the instructions from eva's wooden kitchen, on down to graph paper and cut-up grocery bags. i don't have a paper cutter, but my more fabric-geared craft tools include a rotary cutter and mat, so i cut everything to size a few pages at a time that way.
borrowing some of larry's tools, like his collection of assorted clamps, i drilled the necessary holes. the pattern of holes depends on the binding pattern you're creating, but in general i put them 1/2" from the edges and spaced no more than about an inch apart.
the stitching only seems complicated the first time through -- after that, it fit with my math brain and i soon found myself making up my own patterns. however, i mostly stuck to traditional japanese patterns, such as standard, standard with variation, hemp leaf, and tortoise shell. in general, i found i needed the embroidery floss 7-9 times the length of the spine. the knot is cleverly hidden inside the book.
that's all there is to it. i really like the idea that i can simply bind my own books (for writing, photography, whatever -- preprinted or blank to be filled). a fun experiment. for better descriptions, search online or find issue 05 of craft magazine (which is my favorite issue yet).
above, top to bottom: the pattern that i don't know the name of, hemp leaf, and tortoise shell patterns.
top photo: green binding is the standard with variation pattern (standard is the same, but binding stitches are evenly spaced). books seen with tools of the trade -- clamps, drill, omnigrid ruler.