Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Iron Craft 2016 Challenge #8--Handmade Anniversary Flowers

For Challenge Number Eight, we were tasked with creating something "unexpected." Either something hidden or something made from an unknown or surprising material. If you have been following along with my Iron Craft Challenges, you know that I have been trying to use my surplus materials. I used this challenge to completely annihilate a stock of material that I have had over five  years. I never really knew what I was going to do with it but it was so cool to me at the time that I bought bunches of it. I also used this challenge to commemorate the one year anniversary of our showing running at the theater. I decided to make bouquets of flowers for the women in our show. And they were all made out of duct tape. Yep. DUCT TAPE.

I searched online for duct tape projects and was directed to a YouTube video and I then adapted the techniques for these flowers. Each flower is dedicated to one of the women in the show. The colors are chosen based on their costumes. If I didn't have the correct color, I wrote lines or lyrics from the show on the petals.

Bouquet #1
Underside of the flower
Bouquet #2
Bouquet #3
The flowers were well received and appreciated by all. I went through 20 rolls of "designer" duct tape and I am please to say that I am completely duct taped out.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

365 Day 2016 Project--Week 17

Here is this week's pages. Of course, one of them is dedicated to Prince who died this week.

April 18
April 19
April 20
April 21
April 22
April 23
April 24

Sunday, April 17, 2016

365 Day 2016 Project--Week 16

Here is another week of pages using alcohol inks.

April 11
April 12
April 13
April 14
April 15
April 16
April 17

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Iron Craft 2016 Challenge #7--Refurbished Journal

Front Cover
For this Challenge, I decided to refurbish a journal that was falling apart. Last week, I showed the week long process. For today, I wanted to show the final results. The theme was dots so I decided to use decorative paper from India for the front and back covers. For the interior end sheets I used some hand marbled paper with a stone pattern.

End Sheets
The week long posts are linked below:

Post One
Post Two
Post Three
Post Four
Post Five

Sunday, April 10, 2016

365 Day 2016 Project--Week 15

Here is another week of alcohol ink based pages.

April 4
April 5
April 6
April 7
April 8
April 9
April 10

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Iron Craft Challenge #7--Post Five

Today is the final step of the casing in and finishing the book. Unfortunately, this is also the part of the process where most things can go wrong. I have learned from previous experience not to rush this part, to eat a good breakfast (or at least take a break before attempting), and most importantly--use the restroom because you can't step away once you start.

The first step is to glue the text block into the case. To accomplish this, you glue the book cloth hinge to the corresponding cover. The difficulty is that once you close the case, you really can't adjust anything because the glue starts to cover materials. So you really only have one chance to get it right. Another problem is that glue can get all over the finished materials if you aren't really, really careful when gluing. To protect the text block, I placed a sheet of wax paper between the text block and the book cloth hinge. For added protection, I placed a piece of waste paper under the hinge to be glued.

This is what a glued hinge looks like.
Protection all over the place
Breathe, pray and flip the cover. Normally, I would have trimmed the hinge and mitered the corners to match the mitered decorative paper. Since this is a highly used book, I kept the extra width for the hinge. Since the decorative paper is dark, the seam won't show as much as if a lighter weight or lighted colored paper was used. When the book is pressed, the wax paper will be replaced with a sheet of mylar. The reason you do this is to prevent the moisture of the glued in end sheet from transferring to the text block and warping the text block pages. Time to flip and repeat on the opposite cover.

One side glued in
Once the text block has been glued into the case, the next step is to glue the matching end sheets. This isn't as stressful but mistakes can still be made. The biggest problem here is that the paper can stretch when wet so correct measuring is very important. Also, some papers stretch more than others. I always take a sample piece of the paper that I am using and glue it to a scrap piece of board. This allows me to see how the paper curls and how much it stretches. This is a little more forgiving of a process but glue can still get into places that it doesn't belong. Also, the response time of moving things lessens as the glued dries. You maybe get one or two attempts at getting everything straight before you have to either re-paste the paper or start with a new piece of paper. One of the lessons that I have learned to is to have plenty of extra decorative paper in case you need to start over.
End Sheet pasted in
Once both end sheets are glued in, you put the mylar in place, wrap the entire book in wax paper and place it under weight to press for the night. While this might look comical, the spine is purposely placed outside of the boards so that the spine isn't crushed under weight.

Pressing and Good Night
That will be it for now. I will show the final result on Tuesday, April 12 which is the Iron Craft reveal date.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Iron Craft Challenge #7--Post Four

Today marks the beginning of the actual binding of the book. As mentioned previously, this is a German style flatback binding. The official title is called a Bradel binding. This type of binding is characterized by a paper hinge that is used prior to applying a book cloth hinge. I like using this type of binding when I use a text block prepared by someone else. It is called a flatback binding because the spine lies flat against the text block, rather than having a rounded shape used in most handmade books.

The first step in building the case is the paper hinge. A piece of card stock is used for the spine and is glued to archival craft paper. The width of the craft paper is exaggerated in this example. The craft paper is trimmed to one inch on each side of the spine.

Beginning the paper hinge
The boards are cut to size and are glued to the opposite side of the paper hinge. The view below is the side that will rest against the text block. The beauty of this structure is that you are guaranteed the correct sized gutter (the distance between the board and the spine) because you can measure it on the paper hinge.

Spine and Boards
The next step is to apply the book cloth spine. I will be using a three quarter design for this journal. This means that decorative paper will adorn three quarters of the front and back covers. In other examples, the entire book (or half or quarter) could be covered in book cloth. Since the paper used will meet the criteria of the Iron Craft Challenge, I wanted to show as much decorative paper as possible. The reason you don't use the decorative paper for the entire cover is that the hinging (opening and closing of the book) will wear out the decorative paper and will cause it to separate or tear. Book cloth is a fabric that is lined with paper so that the extra support will function for the hinge.

Book Cloth applied to the spine
The next step is to apply the decorative paper to the front of the case. Here is the back side of the case because I want to keep the decorative paper as a surprise until the Iron Craft posting date. In the picture below, the middle strip (shown in white is the reverse of the book cloth hinge). The blue pieces are the back side of the decorative paper. To complete this step, I will mitre the corners and turn in all sides of the case. The entire piece will placed in a press to dry overnight.

Case almost complete
This weekend, I will take the text block and glue it into the case to make a completed book. Tomorrow, I will decide if I want to add any extras to the book before the final gluing.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Iron Craft Challenge #7--Post Three

Today, I finish the text block on the way to building the case and "casing it in." This is where the interesting part of the process begins--picking papers, bookcloth, headbands, and ribbon. Since the theme of the challenge is "dots" I decided to use some marbled paper that uses a pattern called "stones." They look like dots to me.

Since I am doing a particular type of binding (usually called a German binding) for a flatback binding, I have to take some extra steps. Since I didn't want to glue the end sheets directly to the case, I am tipping in my endsheets to the text block. The text block will be glued to a bookcloth hinge, then covered in mull. The hinge will be glued to the inside covers of the case.

To tip in the endsheets, you glue a small portion of the paper and then wrap it onto the spine.

Before I can glue the hinge, I must work backwards in terms of layers so the the mull is the very last step applied. After the endsheets are glued into place, the ribbon is next. To measure the appropriate length of ribbon, simply place the ribbon diagonally across the page and add one inch which will be glued to the spine.
Measuring the ribbon
I decided to use a coordinating yellow and green headband and glued it into place. So the spine now has both endsheets, the headband and ribbon in place.

The next step is to apply the bookcloth to make a hinge. The bookcloth should be the same as the cloth that will be used on the case. The rationale is that you want the hinge to disappear when the text block is cased in. To accomplish this, you must glue the wrong side of the cloth to the spine. The hinge should appear just below the headbands on the head and tail (top and bottom) of the text block.
Top View of the Hinge
Inside View of the Hinge
The final step is to apply mull to the spine so that is covers the paper side of the hinge. This will provide added support to the text block when it is glued to the case. After the mull is applied, the text block is placed in a weighted press to dry.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Iron Craft Challenge #7--Post Two

Today, I continue to rebind my journal. Today and tomorrow, I will concentrate on the text block which is the collection of pages that make up a book. The first goal of the day is to separate the text block from the covers (or in bookbinding terms--the case). This was pretty easy since the text block was separating from the case anyway. I simply took a scalpel and cut the connecting material (the mull).

The covers (the case)
A text block is made up of a collection of pages normally called signatures. In mass produced books, the signatures are glued together. In better made books, they are sewn together.

The Text Block
Well to my surprise, the book was hand sewn and was glued together with a mesh backing called mull. The mull keeps the signatures together should stitches break. The ends sheets are glued to the mull and then glued to the inside of the covers to keep the text block affixed to the case. So, the problem with my journal was that the end sheets were not glued very well to the text block.

Also, I didn't really realize that my journal had headbands as well. The ribbon was secured below the headbands. The purpose of the headbands is to keep the book pages from lying directly on a flat surface when stored upright.
Red and Yellow headband
Mull and stitching
Headband at the tail of the book
 The first order of business in cleaning up the text block is to remove the headbands. Rather than tear them off and threaten the sewing, I decided to heat them with a glue gun in order to loosen the glue.

Headbands removed
The second order of business is to remove the ribbon. Similarly, I used the heat gun to loosen the glue and then removed the ribbon. I then ran my my bone folder across the spine of the text block to make sure that everything was flattened and ready for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Iron Craft Challenge #7--Post One

I have decided to do something different for this Iron Craft Challenge. Since the project that I anticipate to complete is an extended project that will cover several steps, I decide to bring my readers along for the ride. Another purpose of these posts is to highlight the process of bookbinding and show people the process of bookbinding or, in this case, bookbinding repair.

As many of you might know, I collect journals. If I don't have a journal handy, I will buy a new one--regardless of how many unfilled or partially filled journals I have at home. Since I don't normally carry a bookbag or messenger bag on a daily basis, I will simply buy a journal if I need to write something down. This does not even include all of the journals that I made for myself or others. My studio is journal central.

I came to my decision to participate in this year's 365 Day Project rather late. Since I didn't know I was going to participate until very late in the year, I didn't have time to make an appropriate journal for the occasion. I decided to try out a new journal from Europe. The purpose of the journal was to stockpile quotes that I would then use later for the project. Since a dual purpose of the project was to continue to work on my penmanship, I needed lined paper with a smooth texture so that writing with a pen would be pleasurable. While shopping for other art supplies, I came across a new brand of journal (at least for me) from Semikolon.

After a couple of months, the front cover started to separate from the text block. With mass produced journals, the manufacturer tends to take shortcuts. In this case, the end sheets were tipped onto the text block and then glued to the inside cover. As you can see below, the left side of the end sheet is still attached to the cover but the right side of the end sheet has become unglued from the text block.

Oops--Front Cover Loose
 The same is happening to the back cover.
Back Cover starting to separate
Another frustration I have with mass produced journals is the use of substandard ribbons for bookmarks. As you can see below, the ribbon is starting to fray. Rather than use grosgrain ribbon that tends not to unravel or pre-treat the ribbon with fray-check, companies take the easy route.

Please don't fray Mr. Ribbon
So for this challenge, I will provide new covers and a new ribbon for this journal so that it meets the criteria for the challenge. I hope to take you on the daily step-by-step process of "casing-in" a pre-existing text block.