Saturday, September 4, 2010

I remember the first hardcover journal that I ever made.  I saw an announcement for a one day workshop being held in Grimsby, Ontario (the home of Wayzgoose) and it was the first and closest (in Canada) opportunity that I had come across.  The workshop was taught by Louise Kratka from Guelph.  Putting a hardcover journal together from start to finish is not something you would usually do in one day, so some of the finer points of bookbinding were skipped over for the sake of speed.  At the end of the day though, we did have a hand sewn hardcover book with paper cover and cloth spine.  We used commercial, premade headbands.






The paper we used for the text block was Mowhawk superfine 8.5 x 11" which is a short grain paper so that when you fold the paper in half, the grain runs parallel to the spine.  This prevents the pages from warping when they are glued into (or cased in) the book. We did have some warping of the book covers but I learned from later workshops that this was due to the heavy nature of the cover paper and the light weight of the end paper.  To counteract this, we should have used a filler on the interior of the cover.  This would have evened out the discrepancy in height between the two papers and would have helped with the warping.  This was probably a result of a time shortage in the workshop. 

Our books were still a bit damp when we took them home and in ideal conditions, they would have dried under weights.  All in all, I was pretty pleased with my first hard cover book and when I look back on it, I can see the things that I have learned since that time and I keep it as a reminder of my first effort and as an example of why I should not rush the process. 

I have to admit that sometimes when the end is in sight I have a tendency to rush to the finish line rather than take my time and enjoy all the steps along the way.  When I do this, I'm usually dissatisfied with myself and the finished product.  When I'm tired I become all thumbs and that makes for sloppy workmanship.  That's when I need to tell myself to walk away.

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