Sunday, June 01, 2008

accordian-fold sketchbook

I took a one-day book arts workshop a few years back in which we made three books; it was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done: I walked out of there with my three books feeling like a very happy kindergartner. Naturally, I acquired everything needed to make books at home--awl, bone folder, decorative paper--but have only attempted it a couple of time, with not-as-satisfying results.
This accordian-fold book is the result of one of those attempts. I used bits cut from an unsuccessful painting, 3x3, for the covers, and a folded 18x3 piece of Fabriano paper for the inside.
These three Cape May scenes are 3x6, or two panels, each.

I like the idea of making my sketchbooks--it's hard to find a watercolor sketchbook that has the paper you like; but it takes patience and planning, and measuring (!), all of which are skills I need to work on!
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caseytoussaint said...

This looks gorgeous, Laura! I'm with you on sketchbook making - it's such an incredibly useful skill, but it requires so much precision. I have a friend who's a bookbinder and I rely way too much on her for help!

Ruth said...

This just fills me up! I can see why it would be daunting, but also incredibly satisfying. How very cool. And those are LOVELY paintings. Mmmm, lighthouse.

Lindsay said...

Lovely book and I agree about the paper. It's wonderful to have your favorite in a sketchbook.

Don said...

I love this idea and am going to try to incorporate it somehow in my class with our Big Zoo Lesson, where the students study a particular animal for a week at the zoo and then sketch different parts of the animal, etc.

Very cool!

laura said...

Lucky you, Casey! I was trying to make a sketchbook that would require some stitching together of the signatures, and I got completely confused! For now I guess I'll have to stick to simple books.

Thanks, Ruth. I made this book for my HS friend, Robin, who now lives in Wisconsin. I put Cape May scenes on one side, and left the other side blank, for her to add WI scenes. In my book arts workshop, the instructor suggested making smaller accordian-fold books to use as cards ...

The paper always seems to be the most important element to me, Lindsay. I love paints and colors, but feel I can work with less-than-ideal ones, but if I start something and the paper isn't acting like I want/expect it to, it's just total frustration! And paper is so temperamental, or at least I find it so (I live in a pretty humid climate, perhaps that's a factor).

What a great idea Don! I can just picture a giraffe or a monkey peeking around the folds! The "books" are so easy to make: just fold and paste "covers" onto the ends; covers--and for that matter the inside--can be embellished in all sorts of ways or even made from different things: maps of the zoo or zoo brochures?

Gwen Buchanan said...

Laura, What an inspiration!!! charming and beautiful!!! handmade books... Ummm yeah!

I want to do that too... oh where will I find the time?

vivien said...

this looks lovely - I don't do neat an accurate! but does it matter? if the art work is lovely then the book is :>)

I really like the idea of a smaller concertina fold for a card for someone special.

robin said...

I love this sketchbook! A tryptych panorama of home folded into a handsome book. The inversion of colors, endpapers saturated blue and the interior full of white light makes for a beautiful contrast when it's displayed. Thank you for so much gorgeous work!

laura said...

Vivien, I had to laugh at your comment: if you don't do neat and accurate, I won't either! A little glue dribble tells you it's handmade, right? ;-D

Hi Robin. I'm glad you like the book!! Happy Birthday, not my oldest friend, but my friend of longest duration!


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