Thursday, February 18, 2010

screenprinted the paste paper for the cover of the commissioned item I'm making. I can't wait to finish my mockup/photobook #2 so i can get started on the real thing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not all paper is made the same! So I have issues with grain direction- mainly remembering which way it needs to run (parallel to the spine, usually) and then keeping it straight which direction my paper is running! Well, I was "commissioned" to make a journal for someone in my family by someone in my family and so went out on a paper search. Up to this point, all my books have been made with paper given in class or "found" paper (aka left over from other projects). But I wanted this book to be special. Also, it's my first book that's not blank!

I went to Dakota Art Store to find paper. As soon as I walked in, I saw A4 and A3 paper (on sale!) and I wanted it. But, being the obsessive/compulsive shopper that I am, I searched the entire store for the papers on my list of "good for book arts" paper. Now, I was expecting to find parent sheets to cut down so I had figured out how how many parent sheets I needed to buy depending on what size parent sheet was found. I did not figure in A3/A4 paper. For those that don't know, Europeans use different paper sizes. Like the metric system, it's way more logical. They start out with a giant piece of paper (1m) that is called A0. Then they cut it in half. That's A1. Then they cut that in half. That's A2. Etc. Etc. Etc. Here's where grain thing kicks in: I was expecting grain long. Most computer paper is grain long (hotdog style). This paper was grain short (hamburger style). As I assumed/hoped it was grain long, the easiest thing to do would be cut the A4 in half to make A3 paper which would then be folded for my signatures. Clearly this couldn't work with grain short paper.

I made do (I'm making a 6x8 book, so cutting 12x8) and using the scraps for... well... unplanned books or half planned books. I cut about half the paper I wanted for the book to make sure printing on the size would work well, etc. and then used some of the scraps to test out the binding I wanted. SO GLAD I DID. I'm modifying a Gary Frost binding, but I haven't done one in about a year and my directions for it are somewhat vague. They're clear if you know what you're doing because it refreshes your memory, but I was taught visually and given the book for reference- I've never seen these directions before. I should have had a signature of two end papers on each end, I didn't need to sew on tapes (my favorite style of sewing), and book board is far too thick. I used too much glue on the paste paper cover (ok, that's not a failure, more unnecessary for this style) and too little on the spine. However, it looks better than I thought it would. I took another girl's leftover paste paper after my book arts class last term and to be honest, it's not really my style. I would probably never think to make that paste paper design myself, but it looks kind of sexy on this book. The book is 3.7x6 and would fit a 3x5 photo fairly well. I was thinking of selling it on etsy, but my lack of end papers to glue down makes it a lot less of a professional book than I would have liked. Also, as part of my modification, I covered the portion of the cover that is normally left "bare" but glued those pieces over the spine attachment and I'm unsure how well it will hold up. It's just not as polished as I would like.

However, I'm going to take all this into account and use more scraps to make another photo book (this time a bit longer so there's room for captions) before I do my grandma's. So maybe I'll have something to put up on etsy after all.