Books and Blue Blots

JFries Birches detail 2.26.19

I have been crazy busy these past two weeks with the dollhouse project, writing, and getting the studio sorted – and a new undertaking. I am developing a future bookbinding workshop for sometime next year, though it’s only in the planning stages now. 

I have always loved books both for the amazing worlds they contain and for themselves, as delightful, satisfying objects. Of course, I had to learn to make them as well as read them. I’ve taught bookbinding in years past, and as books become an even greater part of my work, I’ve got the itch again to help other people discover the joys of sewing paper.

My bookbinding tastes are pretty utilitarian. I don’t like elaborate stitch-work, exotic materials, or bulky inclusions. I do like books that work like books, feel like books in the hand, open flat, are resilient, and, preferably, use recycled/repurposed materials. I don’t like glue in books, I do like exposed spines. My favorite style is the ancient Japanese tetsuyoso multi-section binding. It is easy to sew and gives a clean, streamlined structure to the finished book. I’ve developed a hybrid stitch for attaching covers that allows for some decoration. I’m nerdishly pleased with it.

After a week of practicing with needle, thread and papers, looking up lesson plans, etc., I needed a brain reset, so I spent all of today having a fit of surrealist decalcomania, aka inkblot printing. Whee, monotypes! For a good dose of unstructured mark-making, I broke out a tube of ultramarine acrylic paint, modified it with water and wheat flour, and went to town with Rorschach-style blots and dendritic prints, so called for the branching patterns created by squeezing color between two plates, which are then pulled apart.

Behold the results of my labors.

Books

Monotypes