My apologies for being so silent and not having posted anything in the past couple of months (edit: weeks. It feels like months, but it actually was just a couple of weeks.). As you might have expected, I have been quite busy. And I actually made a couple of things, too. As intended I turned from printmaking back to making books, well, slowly.

So, let me see, what have I done since the last blogpost…

miniature suitcase by H. Kurzke
I made a miniature suitcase, making the buckle was the hardest thing!

I made a couple more bottles for my project message in a bottle. The one I like best is the one you can see here, I named it “Small World – The Suitcase”.

miniature book by H. Kurzke
Here you can see (among other things) the miniature book that I also made to go with the suitcase. Of course it has some content which I will keep secret until someone finds the bottle.
mini book in bottle by H. Kurzke
The bottle just before sealing it.

Then I travelled to Ulm to visit my sister and get a glimpse at my youngest nephew.

baby foot, photo by H. Kurzke
aw, baby foot

And of course I used the chance to dispatch a bottle into a new river. It ended up to be the river Blau which discharges into the Danube. The day was just too hot to go far with the little baby.

Throwing a bottle into the river Blau in Blaubeuren, near Ulm.

When I came back, I made three gigantic boxes. In the picture they don’t look so big, but the basis has a format of about 45cm square, and it turned out I had to use a mix of papers to cover them, because I just didn’t have enough of the same paper to cover or line even one of them. They are now sitting in an what used to be a shelf and is now a chest of drawers boxes in the kid’s room.

big boxes and my foot for comparison

And back to making books:

pamphlet by H. Kurzke
1-quire tacket binding with an embroidered design on the cover. (I should have taken a thinner thread for the embroidery…)

I have also been making a variety of pamphlets in preparation of a bookbinding workshop I am going to give in December, above you see just one of many I made to try out different designs. I am rather exited about this opportunity at the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, and have since been investigating and perfecting some ideas for variations of the pamphlet stitch that I thought would be interesting to writers. Here is a link to the booking page and workshop description. Non-members are welcome, too.

Last weekend I then travelled to the coast in Lincolnshire, Mablethorpe, to be precise. Of course I out some bottles into the sea there. You can read more about the dispatch on the other blog.

Throwing Messages in Bottles into the Sea in Mablethorpe
Throwing Messages in Bottles into the Sea in Mablethorpe.

When I entered my studio today, I pulled out the sewing frame. It is about time that I used it again, it had literally gathered some dust. I mentioned before that I have bought some jute twine to try for supports, and now was the time.

setting up photo by H. Kurzke
setting up

I usually just made kettle stitches at the head and tail when binding on raised support, but wanted to try something new today. So I pulled out the K. Smith book. I very much like the Herringbone stitch, and Smith combines it with packed souble cords for changeover, so I decided to give that a try.

Working on the frame was familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. – It really HAS been too long! I enjoyed the familiar pull of thread in my hands, and the repetitiveness of stitching up a book. – I have no covers prepared (or in mind) yet, I’ll still have to find out what to make with this textblock. As you can see in the photo, the packing didn’t work so well. I am used to packing on the middle signatures, but since you only get a chance to pack every second signature for the changeover, I found it rather hard to get them to spread evenly, therefore I guess I will end up coverering them.

textblock and photo by H. Kurzke
bound textblock, herringbone stitch with packing on double cords as changeover

The twine worked beautifully so far, by the way. I am looking forward to using it again.

Have you really read through this long blogpost until here? Thank you a lot for your interest, and I wish you a wonderful and creative next week!

2 replies on “Been making things”

  1. Nice sewing!
    And best of luck planning your workshop. I gave a workshop to writers once and discovered that they were far less skilled with their hands than the people who usually come to my classes. I would suggest allowing more time than you would expect things to take with people who make things with their hands on a regular basis. (If you get some writers who also do embroidery or quilting or knitting it may go a little more quickly.)

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