Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Binding and Wire Wrapping

I've done two workshops recently because having some time off school gives me an opportunity to explore my creative side and enjoy some time using my hands instead of my brain.  Well, I guess it uses both hands and brain, but not in the same way!

The bookbinding class I attended was in the "long-stitch" technique.  This technique dates from the 1600s and 1700s and is a method of binding pages into a book using stitching in the spine to secure the paper.  It was a full day workshop and the morning was taken up by making a paper-covered small book using the technique, and learning how to do stitching of the spine.

Here you can see my first book.  I love the texture of the handmade cover paper.

This shows the stitching that holds the pages in to the book.

This shows the cover of the book and the simple "long stitch" spine pattern that we used.  The little chains of stitches at the top and the bottom are called the linking stitches.  The stitching is done with waxed linen thread.

Over lunch, we designed our own stitch pattern spine for a leather-bound book using the same ideas we had learned in the morning session.  The book is bound with a dark green leather and has a button for a cord to hold the book closed.

I could have used the same stitching thread for the tie-around on the button, but I decided to use some of my own handspun yarn to add a personal touch to this book.

I am really pleased with this project.  Here's a close-up shot of the stitching patterns and the button.

The inside was lined with paper that had maps on it.

I loved the way that my inside paper has the word "forest" on it.  I used a flap on the front set of pages so that things like seed packets or labels could be stored inside that part of the book.  I did matching flap on the back section of pages.

I'd like to try these same techniques using felt for the covers and handspun yarn for the stitching to hold the pages.  We'll see when I have time for that...

On to wire wrapping!  I took a class to learn how to make a wire-wrapped pendant necklace.  It was at a local jewelry studio and it taught me a simple technique that was effective and attractive.  I made two necklaces.  The first was a simple one using a jasper oval with an interesting pattern.  I used some black stone chips at the top and bottom for interest.  The flash on my camera makes white spots on the top of the stone that aren't really there!

The second one I made was a little more involved and it's a green jasper stone with silver wire wrapping and an extra bead.  I really enjoyed making this one - my creative side had a fun time!

I had such a good time that I went out at lunchtime today and bought some of the wire we used and a few beads to try my hand at making a bracelet and another pendant.  It's a fairly simple technique but it can really be used to dress up a fairly plain stone.
I really enjoy the opportunity to do some of these creative things while I am not in class.  I have night classes beginning on July 12, so I'm taking advantage of the time I have to enjoy some less scholastic endeavours!  What creative things have you done lately?!


Gail V said...

Claire, your book and jewelry are lovely and interesting to read about. Up here in Minneapolis we have a book-lover's haven called The Open Book, also housing the Loft Literary Center. They teach bookbinding, too. Isn't it so good to get away from the legal junk and relax into your creativity?

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Very pretty! You are very talented, Claire! I was very creative today.... I ran under just as my lady tossed the hay into my stall and was covered in a blanket of hay, which I wore for a long time.

Miss Effie said...

You are soooo talented! Paint me green!

The books are amazing ... great job.

Louise said...

You are very creative! I loved the green jasper necklace.

Nancy K. said...

Wow! I'm very impressed with both your books and your pendants. What a wonderfully productive, yet FUN, way to spend your break from classes.

sunset pines farm said...

aside from birthing a baby goat(and as you well know that required lots of creativity:)), I have not done any workshops lately-I love stuff like that, though, anytime I have the opportunity.
I love the things you made, beautiful work!

Mom L said...

Claire, the pendants are stunning! But I am most in awe of the bookbinding. Your book with the pocket flap is incredible.

Nancy in Iowa

Texan said...

Your books are wonderful! as is your jewelry!!!

Creative things I have done lately... well I have made fancy labels for the tops of all my canned goods I have canned from the garden. Pictures on my blog. Have enjoyed it a lot!

My hat is off to you on your schooling! Good for you!

Becky Utecht said...

Your bound book is wonderful. And your jewelry is stunning. I love making artist's books too, the possibilities seem endless with artist's books. Chad Alice Hagen is a felter who is into making feltbooks. She has a slide show of her work on her blog, She is a really fun teacher if you ever get a chance to take a class from her. I wish I had your energy!

Millie said...

Those are beautiful. I am always creative with my musical horns. I tapped a lovely tune to entertain the entire barnyard today.

Kim said...

Your book and jewelry are beautiful... the longstitch is one of my fav binding stitches.

Unknown said...

I'd love to learn how to do the cross pattern in the long stitch binding. Looks great!