Yes, Edicions Cotton Flower is pretty much alive, just maybe hibernating after the agenda hangover. This is our last creation: a photo album (blank) with a 3-D fabric pinwheel on the cover! I’m especially happy with the colour combination. And see, I can go beyond blue and brown!
I sewed the cover with different fabric scraps, the pages are Canson 180 g/m2 cardstock (from the shop) and the album is held together with black linen thread using a binding called coptic, you can recognise it because the spine remains uncovered and the stitches form chains along it.
This kind of binding is very appropriate for albums and scrapbooks because they can be filled with pictures, papers, and such, without the book bulging too much like with most bindings. This is the first time we’ve try this bookbinding technique, and even though it is not perfect, we are quite happy with it and will attempt it again!
The pinwheel on the cover is a quilting block I adapted (the original didn’t have as many colors, but it had a much better finish!).
This journal is a commission that gave us a lot of creative freedom, and throughout the whole process of paper hunting across Barcelona’s paper bins, envisioning the design, stitching it onto fabric, and turning it all into a pretty little book it remains a clear example of the reasons why we decided to get into bookbinding.
i. stitching the cover ii. the book block is ready iii. preparing the book’s casing iv. we added a button
Pages are two colored (two shades of brown) paper from a recycling bin, held together with linen thread; fabrics are offcuts from different sources, stitched with cotton embroidery floss; endpapers are reused envelopes; bookmark and closing tape are silk ribbon and the vintage wood button comes from Z’s grandma’s button box.
I made this notebook for my “invisible friend” this year, using one of the book blocks we’d already readied in the summer. We are improving our hardcover technique!
Almost all the materials used for this one were bought: the bookcloth for the spine, the flowery cover fabric, the red headband, the endpapers, the greyboard and of course the tools, glue and thread. The pages were found in a print-shop’s dumpster though, and the bookmark was a present’s wrapping tape.
Between using found or bought materials, the main difference is that most materials we buy are beatiful and made on purpose for bookbinding, which makes the job a lot easier and the results look a lot fancier. For example, the grey bookcloth I used for the spine is reinforced, so it won’t wrinkle and it is a lot easier to work with it than with the regular flower fabric I used for the cover. I think if we bought a lot of nice supplies it would be very easy to make a lot of beautiful notebooks. But I find the input of chance and found materials is what makes each of our books unique!
I am pretty happy with the result, even though I should have put some greyboard inside the spine and in the end it felt a little flimsy. I hope it lasts a long time, though!
Fotos de TAU*MH / Photos by TAU*MH
Once again some brown paper meant for the trash was the origin of this notebook’s creation. This brown piece of paper, that I found all wrinkled and in a ball, was very thankful that this new life has now been offered to it and I hope Gina finds something nice to write or draw on it.
The cover includes: a little paper wrapping bag, tea bags, kraft paper (thicker than the one used for the pages).
Inside: brown wrapping paper, sewn with linen thread.
All of this came together thanks to some cardboard (cereal boxes and such) and our best friend, white PVA glue.
It’s difficult to determine when mere effort and due dilligence transcends habit and becomes passion, but it’s starting to feel extremely comfortable and even natural expressing creativity through my finger tips. It’s easier to see that perhaps even archivists are, in a certain measure, artists: of observation of insight, collection, selection, care and analysis. If the process of collecting materials and assembling them to render something which some consider a mere vessel can be so rewarding I’m really looking forward to the act of filling those pages
We set out to try our first hardcover notebook and the end result gives me a source of optimism for the future.
It has a really reassuring quality of strength and durability to it. I don’t imagine I’ll be producing these for every edition but they definitely have their place in my rubric.
Important things to remember:
- Harvested magazine paper can be beautiful but it easily drowns and ripples when being applied with WET glues
- Sew strong and tight and don’t give any slack.
- Evenly space the hole/sewning marks for an equally distributed tension between the signatures
- Puncture along the spine only marking the sewing holes
- Score appropriately for the thickness of paper used
- Hold on tight
I think I’ll continue to work on learning the more difficult aspects of bookbinding while commencing my own projects and ideas to fill these empty pages.