Thursday, September 22, 2011

Home-made Journals

I fill up a sketchbook with my journal writing about every two to three months. I've been thinking about how to avoid having to buy these journals so often. Maybe I could make some books?

I took a book-making class some years ago at the Glassell School in Houston. But we didn't learn about the kind of book I've been thinking of making: the book made by binding single sheets, rather than by stitching folded folios together. Fortunately, there is a book about binding single sheets: it's called Smith's Sewing Single Sheets, by the great bookmaker and bookmaking book writer, Keith Smith. I have this book, and I'm studying it now.

It might be possible to simply find a great deal of usable paper by saving junk mail letters with at least one empty side. These could be bound together, and the written-on side could be re-primed with gesso for painting or drawing, as in an altered book. But of course, it's also possible to make your own paper, another thing I want to learn. I could get newspaper out of the dumpsters for the pulp, or use fibers from plants around my farm, or both!

Of course, making journals by hand from found materials won't solve the storage problem: I am running out of storage space for my journals. But it won't be too hard to make more bookshelves, I think.

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