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.
The first edition of The Kruch‘s first two little “Cuentos de Ben” storybooks and also some blank notebooks with his drawings as covers are finally ready.
As always they’re hand-bound, trimmed and cornered.
They can already be found in his online store!
One day recently our friend and illustrator The Kruch came by to pay us a visit. We helped him put together a test print of one of a series of comic stories that he’d created. We also used one of his illustrations to put together a couple of notebooks and we think they turned out quite fine. We are looking forward to more collaborations with him!
The covers and the comic are printed on cardstock and plain A4 office paper was used for the pages of the notebooks. We sewed them with three hole pamphlet stitch and red linen thread.
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.
We’ve had a little bit of a non-creative while as of late, but I suppose that changing location and moving all the time doesn’t help with the peace and quiet that this kind of activities require, at least for us. Gathering the materials, planning the project, realizing it… They kind of require a worry-free mind.
This notebook was made using a long roll of wrinkled recycled paper that had been used as filling for some mail package. After flattening, folding and ripping the pages I made four-page sections and stitched them together.
The cover is some light cardboard (from a detergent box), covered on the inside with a used brown envelope and on the outside with some crocheted fabric made with cotton and linen yarn that also includes a string to tie it closed and protect the pages.
On an other subject, some of our readers mentioned a little bit of confusion between the terms recovered, found and recycled paper. Usually when we talk about recovered and found paper we mean paper that was destined for or even already in the bin. This kind of paper we just use as it comes, with minimal processing: cutting, folding, and such.
On the other hand, recycled paper is the kind that has been mecanically or industrially reshaped or remade in order to bring it again to the user. We don’t do this process ourselves as of now, so whenever we mention recycled paper it is a property of the kind of paper we are using.
Nevertheless, it is possible that we’ve used these terms confusingly in the past, and we’ll try to pay more attention to our terminology in the future.
In a mad rush to use up all the paper we collected from various deposits around Berlin, Clayton glued together a bunch of sheets into perfect-bound blocks of various dimensions. Thanks to his industriousness and Z’s ingenuity the world has the good fortune of more beautiful little books wandering around. We didn’t manage to use every last scrap but we did a good job of it nonetheless.
A sad bit of news is that we lost the lovely little lino-cut stamp featuring our edicions cotton flower logo. Now we have the sad fortune or perhaps shining opportunity of deciding to carve one anew, or digitise the old one from finished prints and send it off to a stamp-maker to laser engrave us a rubber version. The benefit of the latter is expediency but perhaps thereby we’d lose a bit of the artistic touch of the lino-cut. We’ll see.
Clayton’s favourite is the fishy. What’s yours?
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.
We have another sheet of this hearty wrapping paper and I wanted to cut some to use for a notebook that was intended as a gift bestown upon my best friend for his concurrent birthday. This is the result. Finally, my efforts have born good fruit that hangs low from the tree; gotta love them easy pickins.
As ever, we had more of this containered colour-coded paper to use up and I oriented it to trim neatly the page-bottoms. I had the half-baked notion of trying out a japenese stab-stich to hold in the block and turned out well enough, if a bit sloppy, but I will think thrice before attempting to implement that device ever again in such a thick book, especially a perfect-bound/hard-cover hybrid as this.
As you can see, Z impressed upon me the widsom of giving it a bookmark.