Hand-made books and sketching journals III: variations on stab binding

May 11, 2011

With some examples of the standard stab binding stitching (Kangxi, hemp-leaf and tortoise-shell) under the belt, time to experiment!

Today made two sketch books from 110gm cartridge paper, starting with the very manageable A5 format I’ve been doing in class. They both have 25 pages each and the pages are interleaved with each other, from two stab-bound spines. They are small and designed for Object Drawing at home, along the lines of Every Day Matters sketching challenges: one is a square of 168mm and the other a square of 160mm, with kraft card covers decorated with a small square of Japanese yuzen paper. The front left-hand covers are cut away slightly around the yuzen decoration.

When ‘read’, they show three pages at once, which is unusual. In hindsight, I could have left more space at the spines to counteract the effect of the interleaving. As it is, there’s a tendency for a bump in the middle, simply because of the compression at the sides provided by the stitching. But for me, they form serviceable small sketchbooks for use at home, including colour studies, testing media, etc.

Further plans by next week’s class include a French Door structure and a do-si-do, where one stab binding is stitched on the back of another. Time too to graduate to an A4-sized stab-binding, possibly with some printmaking or watercolour paper. Time too to graduate to experimenting with including a separate spine cover made of paper with stab binding: I’m wary about complicating the overall look, but there’s potential for subtle colour palette involving cover, stitching thread and spine.

Moving on to buckram-covered spines for stab-binding with hard covers obviously resonates with me in terms of getting some heavy watercolour paper together for a text block.

Lastly, this Saturday is the book launch and talk at the Museum of Sydney by Louise Hawson who photographed 52 suburbs in Sydney in 52 weeks. I’m still keen on sketching 26 Sydney suburbs between June and December. With this in mind, I’m looking at an old Sydney suburbs street directory of mine which is falling apart and wondering about incorporating the pages alongside my sketches in some sort of hand-bound sketchbook.

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One Response to “Hand-made books and sketching journals III: variations on stab binding”

  1. quirkyartist Says:

    I think I’m more keen on just sketching Newtown for 6 months.


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