It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, and since I last made any books.
I only have one day a week I can use to get much done, and if anything else comes up and eats my day off, like school holidays, then there’s a whole week gone.
With a bit of luck, I’ll get back to it soon.
In the mean time, here’s a great article I found on pricing books.
I may have to revise my prices again.
I made all these the other day.
The two wooden books are for sale on my Etsy store. They are the last of my most recent batch of wooden books. I’ve got more blanks for front and back covers but I haven’t started making them up into books yet. I guess it’s time I started.
The other little books are just a bit of fun, and a nice way to use up small bit’s of left over paper. I haven’t listed any of these on my store. I don’t know if it’s worth it. But I might have a market stall one of these days and sell these.
I tried writing about why I like making books, but I don’t think I captured it too well. There’s no single reason I do this, so I probably can’t answer the question in one post, or even two, but here’s a bit more…
I make stuff with my hands because it’s not a computer.
In my day job, I sit on my ass for 8 hours a day, staring at a computer screen. I love technology, and will happily geek out to things, but after doing computer stuff all day, I suffer from two problems:
- I get bored of looking at computers
- I get terribly unfit
I just spent an hour in the shed preping paper for two new mini books, and making a new awl for punching holes to sew through.
My first awl isn’t doing too well. The nail I made it from is apparently low carbon steel and won’t temper, so the point is soft and keeps bending. I just made this new one by gluing a large needle into a handle of apple wood from the apple tree in our back yard.
Cutting, drilling, carving, gluing. Not one of these things is high tech, and I love it, and they all keep me moving. No ass sitting.
Of course I’m now sitting on my ass in front of the computer writing this. Irony perhaps?
The sun is shining so it’s time for me to hit the publish button and get back outside.
I’ve had a few people tell me my prices are too low. I guess my first few books didn’t feel like fully fledged works. They were still experimental. But my technique has quickly evolved, and those last few books I made to sell certainly took me longer to make because I took a lot more care with the finish. So I’ve increased my prices.
I’ve also added shipping to the USA and UK.
I just tried making my first long stitch books.
I used the instructions in Keith Smith’s book called Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 1: Books without Paste or Glue. Its a remarkably comprehensive book, and the first few chapters are downright poetic, the way he talks about books.
I’m happy with my results. They are rough, but there are first attempts. I’ll get better as I experiment with materials and processes. I think I like the binding on the red one better. The basic long stitch on the black one is functional, but ends look messy where the thread crosses from one signature to the next. I’m not a neat freak, but I like the neatness of the red book much better.
After I made the little cut out dioramas (city scape, dark cave, and red riding hood), I decided to made little covers for them.
Then I thought I’d go a step further. I designed a slipcase for the three little books to go in.
All that was left to do was make the slip case.
I confess I mucked the first one up. I thought I’d measured everything carefully, but once it was done, it was a poopteenth (technical term) to short and the books didn’t fit.
I made this little diorama.
Twin needle coptic binding, times 3 sets of holes = lot’s of needles and thread.
I finished binding two larger format books.
These two are about A5 size.
I’m really happy how they came out. The finish on the surface just feels great.
I especially love this one with the little stick in it. When I split this one, the knot around the stick came off clean.
The other book has a corresponding knot hole in it.
I just listed two books for sale on Etsy.
One is the book from my last post, and the other is one more mini book I finished.