Book Arts Class

Signatures, in progress

I recently started a books arts class at my local university. I have always loved books, paper, and everything related to both. My new foray into art has been focused on learning how to sew signatures, bind books, alter them, and make art out of them. I have been uncertain how to proceed, however, as I do not have a background in studio arts. This class will help address this, I hope.

The first week we learned three types of instant books. These are great if you want to quickly publish something, or if you don’t have a collection of fancy bookbinding tools

I do, however, recommend the following things for these (and most other) projects I’m working on.

  • Bone folder
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • Awl
  • Pen knife
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch (around 6 to 6.5mm Is the standard size, but whatever you can get your hands on)
  • Paper – card stock, copy paper, fancy paper whatever you want to play with.

First book – the instant book

Front of an Instant book I made at the coffee shop

This is just a matter of folding, arranging whatever images you want in the correct way, and making a small cut. It almost seems like magic (to those of us inclined to believe in magic!) when it comes out looking like a book.

Instant book unfolded-see cut in the middle

The next book was a screw-post book.

This we used a couple pieces of 4×6” cardstock and simple copy paper for the pages.

I am playing with other materials for another one of these. I was interested in looking at things we throw out – or recycle- without much thought. I have here some shipping envelopes, a cover of a plastic fruit container, junk mail, and part of a cover of The New Yorker (to look well-read!)

It’s not done yet, I want to gather a few more materials – and see if I can make it pretty…?

The third one we learned was the rubber bound book. I can’t find a description of this online yet, so I will add a photo of the one I made as soon as I can.

This is also great if you only have a few materials. And it’s a use for those golf pencils you may have accidentally stole from the mini-golf course!

I will post pictures of my first attempts at these books soon, as well as some new ones we are making!

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