Welcome to my Book Arts site. Please feel free check out the information pages and tutorials. Also, if you find any of the information useful, please drop me a note (jackie at tjbookarts dot com) and let me know.


May 2007
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May 31, 2007

Catching up…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 9:59 am

Good morning readers.

I finally caught up to Thursday. I’ve been plugging along with things on my “to do” list as well as cleaning off the harddrive on my computer in preparation for a few upcoming projects.

For anyone interested in the Album Workshop I have updated the page with information on hotels as well as a special offer for two people registering together.

For you local folks I will be doing another Demo Day at Jerry’s Artarama in Virginia Beach on June 9, 2007 from 11-2. If you’re in the area stop by and say hi and get a 20% off discount on bookbinding supplies and some papers.

In the near future I will be putting together a page of links to suppliers of bookbinding and related supplies. In the mean time I will post links every once in a while to sites that offer items that you all might be interested in.

Just a note, I have no affiliation with or receive any monetary gain from any of the sites that I list on this website. Except for products from Amazon where I receive a small amount when folks purchase an item through an Amazon link on this site.

That said…I noticed that the SICPRESS has an ad posted over on the Book Arts Forum offering a variety of tools and supplies for book repair. I checked out the site and it is easy to navigate and the prices look reasonable. There are also a few simple book repair instruction videos on the site worth watching.

A few summer educational opportunities that came through the email:

The Minnesota Center For the book Arts is having it’s 2007 Symposium in July. A delectable menu of workshop opportunities runs all week. Symposium is a gathering of some of the most exciting artists in contemporary book arts and a rare opportunity to work hands-on with them.
The complete schedule is available on MCBA’s website or by mail.

The New York Chapter of the Guild of Bookworkers is sponsoring a Leather Rebacking Workshop with James Reid-Cunningham Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 7-9, 2007 9:00AM - 5:00PM., at the New York Academy of Medicine. To register or for more information contact Clare Manias at cmanias@yahoo.com or call (212) 851-5603.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

May 30, 2007

I seemed to have lost Tuesday…

Filed under: Morning Musings, Review — jackie @ 9:20 am

Good morning readers.

Yesterday was a crazy day. It was one of those days that got away from me and I never seemed to be able to catch up with it.

Recently on one of my Amazon shopping sprees I bought a DVD titled Bookbinding: A Traditional Technique. It is an excellent DVD for someone just starting out in binding as it covers the basics very thoroughly. The DVD is 63 minutes long and teaches you how to make a simple hardcover book from start to finish. You’ll learn about basic tools and paper grain as well as how to build your own simple press and sewing frame. The DVD also includes PDF files detailing the construction of the press and sewing frame and a supply list. Normally, I wouldn’t have gotten such a basic video for myself but for the price of only $14.99 I wanted to see if it would be useful for some of you readers who are just starting to learn how to bind a book.

For being a worthwhile beginner DVD I give this tutorial aThumbs upThumbs up.

Now…I’m thinking on perhaps having a little contest with this DVD as the prize. I’ll get back to you all shortly on that. :)

If you haven’t been to the forum recently be sure to surf on over and check out Janette Heffernen’s post about Peter Goodwins leather paring knives.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

May 28, 2007

Monday morning musings…

Filed under: General — jackie @ 9:34 am

Good morning readers.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. For some of us it’s still the weekend as today is Memorial Day and a national holiday here in the states. It’s our day to remember our fallen war heros. For the past many many years I have participated in or helped out at a Memorial Day art and craft show put on by the Valley Green Gallery in Nellysford, Virginia. This year I decided to stay home for the weekend.

On Sat. I went out trolling at our local antique mall. I scored a great old photo album for cheap. It’s in good condition overall. Just needs some leather repair on the spine.

I also bought a few old knives which I will sharpen to use for leather paring and general cutting.

Here are a few photos of the album. The cover is in decent shape. There are a bunch of scratches in the leather, I think a little cleaning and dye will help to fix them up. The album is 8.5″ tall by 6.5″ wide and 2.25″ thick.

Old album cover

The inside pages are in great condition. There are even a few forgotten photos inside.

Old album open with photos

The spine needs repair. Fresh glue and leather should do the trick. I’ll try to save the wording on the old spine for use on the new one

Old album spine detail

The front clasp is in working order. Just needs a cleaning.

Old album clasp detail

You can also see the gilding on the edges is in decent shape. I’ll most likely fix this up and resell it.

I like poking around antique shops. Most of the time the items that I am interested in are way out of my price range but occassionally I come across a great find.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

May 26, 2007

Saturday morning musings…

Filed under: General — jackie @ 10:35 am

Good morning readers.

It’s quiet here at the suburban ranch this morning. All the critters are feed and are either napping or outside getting a bit of fresh air.

I’ve noticed alot of folks linking to this site and the tutorials. I really appreciate the support. I would like to ask folks to please not link to the tutorials themselves but rather to the tutorials page. There are a few reasons for this. One is so that people get to see the whole site when they visit not just the tutorial PDF and another is that I will be making some major upgrades to this site by the end of the year and the file locations may change.

A couple of news items…

I understand that there will be a section on leather paring in the upcoming DVD by Janette Heffernen and Peter Goodwin on full leather binding. For you folks that have wanted to try a leather binding I think the DVD will be very informative. 

I am in the process of finally finishing up my PDF tutorial on flush mount album binding and will have it available sometime the first week of June. It’s taken extra time to put together because I wanted to make sure that all the steps were well documented and easily understandable. Unfortunately because of the time involved in making this tutorial I will not be able to offer it as a free download. Watch for more information on this page.

Continuing on with my discussion of headbands yesterday afternoon, I wanted to post another photo showing the headband in progress.

Here is one that shows more clearly the def. between the two colors with the sewing threads still attached.

Two color headband in progress

It gives you a really good idea of the process. Wrap three times, bring the thread over a fourth time but not through the cloth and pass the other color over and through to the back.

I’m actually going to try to make a little video of the process this morning. We’ll see how it goes. :)

I hope everyone has a great day.


• • •

May 25, 2007

Busy Friday…

Filed under: General — jackie @ 7:58 pm

It’s been another busy day here at the suburban ranch. I was up early and and taking care of a bunch of items off the “to do” list that seems to grow longer not shorter by the day.

So, Ricardo had asked about sewing headbands. Sometimes it’s better/easier to sew them off of the block and glue them on. You can easily sew headbands with pretty much the same procedure as you would when sewing them directly to the block. You’ll just need to make a core to sew them on. You will also omit the tacking stitch. You can either make individual ones for each end of the spine or one long one and cut it to fit. You’ll need to run a bead of glue along the bottom of the stitches on the back side of the band if you will be cutting it. This is just a quick explanation of how they are done. They really aren’t that hard to do just a little fiddly at the start. Here’s a few photos of a length of headband I made this afternoon. It’s about 5.5″ long. I made a core the same way that you make cloth headbands using a thin inner twine. I used DMC #3 cotton perle thread for sewing.

Handsewn headband off the block

In the photo below you can see the bead under the band.

Headband closeup

This band is pretty basic. You could get creative with the colors and number of wraps per color. You can also do them one color or beadless.

A great book on sewing diff. styles headbands is Headbands, How to Work Them by Jane Greenfield and Jenny Hille.

The Craft of Bookbinding by Manly Banister has a good description of how to sew your own headbands off of the book starting on page 106.

• • •

May 24, 2007

Thursday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 3:12 pm

Good afternoon readers.

It’s been a busy day so far. I went off to a photo shoot early this morning and have been running ever since. I’m in the studio for a bit then I’m back out for another shoot this evening.

I’d like to take a min. brag about a book made by Ricardo Buchner. Ricardo and I are members of a prof. photo forum and a few months ago he contacted me with a few questions on making his own albums. Since then I have been helping him with the steps via email. Ricardo lives in Brazil and has trouble getting the same supplies we can get easily here in the states and many other places. After lots of email & trial and error with materials Ricardo has finally finished his first album and it’s great looking.

With his permission, here are a few photos of his work.

Ricardo first album 2

Ricardo first album 1

Ricardo first album 4

Ricardo first album 3

• • •

May 23, 2007

Wednesday morning chatter…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:38 am

Good morning readers.

I’ve made a few changes to the site. I’ve added a new link for my upcoming classes page as well as a link to my new tutorials page over on the sidebar and taken off the tutorial links list. I’ll also be making a few more changes in the coming weeks to make the information on the site more easy to navigate.

In the upcoming weeks I’ll be pretty busy as I have two exhibits that I will be a participating in. One is at The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center in Hampton, Virginia and the other is at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach.

The exhibit at the Charles H. Taylor Gallery is invitational and is titled Tidewater Crafts Today and runs from June 15 through July 20, 2007. 

The show at the CACV is their annual faculty exhibition which features all the instructors that teach the art classes there throughout the year. The faculty exhibition runs from June 29 through Aug. 5, 2007. There will be an opening reception that coincides with an opening party for the CACV’s summer exhibition on Friday June 29 from 7-11pm.

I am also seriously considering jurying for the upcoming Neptune Festival in Sept. The Neptune Festival is like a sister show to the huge Boardwalk Show that Va. Beach puts on every year. The applications are due July 1. This is a big deal for me as I haven’t participated in a show for about 6 years and it would mean that if I was accepted I would have to buckle down and get “alot” of books made from July to Sept. Cross your fingers for me. :)

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

May 22, 2007

DVD Review: The 1819 Atlas

Filed under: Review — jackie @ 6:02 pm

Good afternoon readers.

It’s been another fine day weather wise here in Va. Beach. I was up and out early this morning to meet with a client about taking some photographs. When I returned I was able to sit down and finally watch the bookbinding DVD Restoring The 1819 Atlas all the way through.

The 1819 Atlas is another in the series of DVD’s produced by Janette Heffernen of New Zealand bookbinder Peter Goodwin demonstrating various bookbinding techniques.

Here is the description from the site: In this DVD, master bookbinder Peter Goodwin shows how he approaches this unusual binding. At the same time he demonstrates how he binds the traditional half-bound leather book which is seen in libraries all over the world. To make the maps in an atlas lie straight with no thread showing requires a special sewing technique. He demonstrates the use of the ‘plough’. This was the old fashioned method of cutting edges before the guillotine was invented. It is rarely seen today and written explanations are hard to understand. However once seen never forgotten. Colored hand-sewn head bands, paper repair and traditional half-leather binding are also covered in detail. It is a treat to watch Peter Goodwin show how easy it is for beginners to work with leather. His no fuss approach is refreshing. 

As with the Account Binding DVD, some basic familiarity with bookbinding on the part of the viewer is assumed. The DVD is a good overall video on the techniques for repairing an old atlas but not an indepth step by step tutorial.

If you are new to binding you will be able to follow the process as each step he shows is clearly demonstrated and understandable and the DVD will give you a very good idea of the work involved in repairing an old book.

What I like about the DVD is that Mr. Goodwin breaks the techniques that he demonstrates down into managable stages that makes it easier for someone who has never done the techniques to do them for the first time.

Mr. Goodwin does a nice job of explaining how guards work and there is a clear demonstration on how to sew headbands onto the book. He also demonstrates the use of a plough as well as offers some good tips on paper repair.

If you are interested in doing leatherwork Mr. Goodwin shows you a no fuss way to apply the prepared leather to the spine and corners of the binding. He does not demonstrate how the leather is pared for binding though. I believe that there is an upcoming DVD in the works showing how to do a full leather binding and hopefully there will be a demonstration on the leather paring technique as well.

If are an experienced binder the DVD is well worth watching to pick up a few good tips and techniques to add to your “toolbox”.

While watching the DVD I felt like I was right in the studio with Mr. Goodwin. He has a down to earth style and sense of humor that makes the DVD fun to watch.

I give this DVD tutorial Thumbs upThumbs up.

• • •

May 21, 2007

Monday Monday…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:42 am

Good morning readers.

I have that song Monday Monday by The Mamas and the Papas stuck in my head this morning. And what a nice morning it is here. The weather is gorgeous, the ducks are out and about and my tomato plants are growing nicely in their pots. 

So…yesterday I was at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia helping out at Family Fun Fest. The turn out was not as good as last month but there were still a good number of little (and big) kids there making art.

I  was at the same table as my friend James O’Connor who does wonderful classical style paintings and artwork. we are working on getting him a website up where he can show and sell his work.

I had made little scrolls for the kids to write on and James showed them how to use a quill pen and ink. This time we handcut some goose quill pens from naturally shed feathers that came from my friend Holly’s geese (Hi Holly!) and they were a big hit with the kids and adults.

Here are a few photos from the day.

James demonstrating how to use the quill pen.

Fun Fest James O'Connor demonstrating a quill pen

Drawings on the work table by James.

Fun Fest table drawings

Cutting goose quill pens.

Fun Fest James cutting a quill pen

Writing on the “scrolls”. I brought an antique inkwell and some walnut ink along for a bit of authenticity.

Fun Fest Drawing on a scroll

Goose quill pens.

Fun Fest A group of goose quill pens

If you’re interested in making your own goose quill pens there are some great instructions on the Jane Austin site. There really is something satisfying about making your own pen and writing with it.

Here’s a nice editorial about writing with pen and ink.

Interested in ink? Here’s an online book from Project Guttenberg Forty Centuries of Ink.

For the local readers my new class schedule for the summer is up on the upcoming classes and workshops page.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

May 20, 2007

Sunday morning coffee and musings…

Filed under: General — jackie @ 9:40 am

Good morning readers.

It’s sunny and cool and breezy here this morning. It looks like it will be a another beautiful day for all the festivals and such that are going on around the area.

It was so nice yesterday morning that we headed out to our local farmers market and got some fresh veggies as well as shrimp and steak for dinner. It’s kind of fun buying your food off the back of a truck or from a farmers stand. Much nicer than going to the grocery store.

The wedding that I helped shoot yesterday was a very nice affair. The ceremony was on the waterfront and the reception was held at one of the local yacht clubs.

A few sites of note this morning.

The Evolution of the Medieval Book hosted by the Division of Rare & manuscript Collections at Cornell University. From the site: Among the many innovations that transformed Europe in the Middle Ages, perhaps none was more central than the metamorphosis of the written word. The evolution of writing in this period reached a dramatic climax in the 1450s, when Johann Gutenberg invented moveable metal type—and revolutionized human communication. This exhibition traces the history of the medieval book—its appearance, content, audiences, and forms—from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Drawn from the holdings of Cornell Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, the exhibition presents a rich variety of medieval manuscripts and printed books, from early religious manuscripts and illuminated prayerbooks to the secular works of classical antiquity and the first books printed from metal type.

The Cynscribe Caligraphy Directory. If you are into calligraphy this is the site for you to check out. There are a ton of Calligraphy as well as bookbinding and book arts links on this site. Though I found some of the book arts links were no longer working. From the site: Cynscribe Directory is a resource for calligraphers, lettering artists, papermakers, typographers,graphic designers, paper decorators, scrapbookers, rubberstampers,greeting card makers,book designers and artist bookmakers. It also includes suppliers, conferences, exhibitions & events,galleries, guilds, libraries, museums, and schools.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •
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