Getting work done: A couple more books

Things I picked up in the garden
Things I Picked up in the Garden on Friday Afternoon

Sometimes pressure and a tight schedule can get out the most of me. I decided to take on a couple of custom orders although this is a difficult time for me to find time to work. It forced me to cut down on online time and get things done. And it worked. And I even got things done that I don’t get (immediately) paid for.

page in my notebook

While explaining to a customer about supports, what they are and what they are for, I had this idea of the support wrapping around the sewing instead of the sewing wrapping around the support.

The general idea was to first sew the book block in a very simple matter, with kettle stitches at head and tail and other than that just in and out of signatures.

The binding thread would then be used as the warp in an added weaving which would connect the book block with the boards.

Another idea that I have had for a while, is instead of covering cardboard for covers, use a thick piece of leather straight ahead. And while cutting the leather, I had this weird idea of using it “inside out” with the paper on the outside and the very smooth mid brown leather surface on the inside of the cover. Well, here is the result:

While making it, I realized that it is not as new as I initially thought. I have definitely seen this binding done before, but I can’t remember where, or whether it is really exactly the same.
The big “Doh!” came with observing the curl of the covers: I took great care to cut the leather pieces in the right orientation, actually cut a couple of pieces again to correct the way it moved. And then I put on the paper in the wrong direction. I really should have known better than to step into that trap!

working coptic double headbands today
sewing Coptic headbands

Here you can see some work in progress and me sewing Coptic double headbands. Yes, I am using my own instructions 🙂

Now that I am done with that journal, I wonder what to do with it. As it is now, it is a blank journal with brown Kraft paper and creme coloured sketching paper in it. I thought it would be used as a sketch or note book. But while making it, I had a new idea about what I would like to put in there. To make that idea come true, I would need to allot some time to yet another project, though, and I am not sure that I will be able to make it.
But for now, I am not putting it up for sale. Well, I won’t put anything new on sale for a couple of weeks anyway because my Spring Sale is still going on. So maybe I’ll have made my mind up when it is time to take the old off the virtual shelves and put up new things. Here is another picture of the headband.

I did put up this new version of my DIY journal on Folksy, though. I think it is one of the best I made so far. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do!

So you see, this weekend has been rather productive for me. And while this did not leave me time to actually work on my current art works, I had a lot of time to think about them, soul song in particular.

In the past weeks I mainly worked on the text for that book. I re-wrote it several times, sometimes it more than doubled in length, then I reduced it again. Going through this process twice, it changed its nature. I started with very personal thoughts about my grandparents, remembering the smell of cooked apples in my grandmother’s kitchen, and the stinging smell of knives being sharpened on the electric stone in my grandfather’s studio.  Working from there it got less and less like a journal entry, and – so I believe – has been turned into a more universal question: What does it mean to be me, you, – anyone.

In the weeks and month that I have worked on this book I have made a couple of sketches, and worked some onto these wooden stick, mull and gesso surfaces. The whole project started with these sticks and the mats I made from them. I still like many things about them. I like in a way how difficult it is to find the right image to put on them. The surface is so coarse that it won’t hold any details. I like the atmosphere of the white gesso with the golden tips. I like how (that is not visible in the picture, unfortunately) the feather looks that I embedded under the mull for one of them. – One of the early ideas was to attach some mementos to the mats, personal pieces and items endowed with meaning and memory. On the lower right in the image you see some lace attached to the mat instead of the mull. That is actually part of the stocking I wore on my wedding day, put there, when the working title of the book was still Blood Song.

I don’t know at the moment, how this could fit in with the idea I currently have for soul song, in particular how it could work with the text I have put together. Maybe I even like the sketches on my sketchbook pages better than these more elementary drawings on the sticks. I am thinking about what to draw on, not really decided yet what I want to do. Drawing on broken fired by unglazed clay pots spins around in my head at the moment. Porcelain would be nice, too – I would have the white come up again. But I don’t know where I should get this from… Mhm, will have to think a little longer about that.

The next step will be to try writing on different paper, and see what works for me in that regard.