Friday, December 26, 2014

Mistakes can be opportunities

Mistakes can be opportunities to try something new.  When I was making my first Coptic bound book I punched holes in the wrong side of the back cover.  Instead of making a new back cover I decided to punch additional holes on the correct side and finish binding the book (note holes opposite the bound spine in the photo at left).

I thought about adding decorative chains and beads, but that didn't fit the design.  So the book sat unfinished waiting for inspiration.  Six plus months later inspiration finally struck.  I would incorporate the four holes into a unique closure for the book.  I cut two pieces of Crawford 4 thread black cord, and threaded each through two of the holes.

I gathered the four ends together and secured them with a figure eight knot.  Then I braided the four threads to make the wrap for the button.  I tried several different buttons before deciding on a small black silk covered button.  I added a one of Steve's black and silver glass beads and a small carved butterfly to the free end of the braided threads.  The finished closure is shown at right.  Below are two additional photos of the back (left) and front (right) of the book showing how the cord exits the holes in the back cover, and come around to secure the book by wrapping around the button on the front cover.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Since I add my name to my paintings and sketches, I decided I should add a colophon to my hand made books.  That decision seemed simple, but determining what exactly to include took much longer.  The word colophon is Greek for "finishing", and referred to inscriptions scribes made to tablets.  In the book world it refers to a statement of authorship, production, and place and date of issue.  In more modern books it has expanded to the point of being an author's or editor's preface.

For consistency I came up with a format and list of items to include in my colophon.  Below is the final list after several changes and additions:
  • Where and when it was made.
  • What type of book it is.
  • How many section, signatures and or pages it has.
  • If it has a binding what binding was used.
  • What the front and back covers are made of.
  • If it has endpapers what type they are.
  • If there are tipped-in pages what paper was used.
  • Other special elements such as painted edges, pop-ups, envelopes, illustrations or page decorations.
  • Typography font used in the colophon.
  • What type of closure the book has.
  • How many were made.
  • My initials.

Book Arts class, Hollis Fouts and Cheryl Prose, J.C. Campbell Folk School Mar. 2014, Accordion book with 2 connected sets of 4 sections each, covered front and back with decorative paper, paper pocket, hand drawn sepia ink feathers, watercolor and colored ink birds, Herculanum 12 pt typeface, S. G. Hilliard hand made glass beads and ribbon closing.  One of one. ALE

Oct. 2014, Link and crossed long stitch binding, Crawford linen 4 cord tan thread, five signatures, Neenah paper 80 lb, 34 pages, hand marbled end papers, dark blue leather cover and flap closure, Herculanum 12 pt typeface. Handmade raku button closure. One of one. ALE

Since my book's colophon are mostly about the container and not the content (that is left for someone else to do), I decided to place them on the last page of the book.  Which for the accordion book pictured below is the back cover.