Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Intro: How to Make a Book When the Lights Go Out

For ease in following the steps of bookmaking, this blog's posts read from the 1st step to the last one as you scroll down (unlike most blogs where the most recent post is first).

"Book Arts" can look off-puttingly swank and expensive, seeming to require wood-and-brass presses, marbled handmade papers, and gold leaf.
But basic book binding is something you can do for free, with materials you could find in an alley:
cardboard, paper wrappers, and string.

When a friend recently said she'd like to learn how to make a book, I set myself a project, in guerrilla spirit: to document and blog the steps of basic book binding, with stuff you probably already have on hand.

This scruffy book, above, right, is the result of the bookmaking process I present here, step by step, on this blog. It is made from stuff I mostly scrounged. (Of course you could make it more elegant, if you so choose.)

"We're gonna make us a book, Dog."
I am no survivalist! but I am somewhat inspired by the vision of Mad Max (left, from the 1980s Road Warrior movies), living after an apocalyptic war over oil, in a world without electricity and energy.

Who knows if we'll always have these nifty computers?
It's a good idea to remember how to do basic things with our hands and our brains.

(Btw, the dog with Max is named Dog. He's a Blue Heeler, an Australian working breed.)

Note: I taught myself to bind books years ago, from a Xeroxed pamphlet of handwritten instructions: Binding Western Codex Books at the Kitchen Table and Other Methods (1980), by Jno Cook. I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Cook.
(According to a 2007 resume, Cook teaches photography at Columbia College, Chicago, and this pamphlet still exists only in Xerox form.)

P.S. There are lots of other sites and books on the topic. For instance, for an admirably clear and simple set of online instructions, go here:
How to Make a Simple Hardcover Book.
Nonetheless, I am going to publish the process all over again, for my pleasure, with the help of Maja and her hands.

Also: You can follow the exact same steps to make much more finished looking books too: just use different materials, and measure more carefully than I usually do.
I actually used a ruler to make the books to the left here.


Rudyinparis said...

Why, WHY must you be so cool?

Love the photos of the demonstration, too, BTW.

fresca said...

Gosh, R., I didn't know anyone who would promote signing a birthday card for Bill Shatner could still be considered cool! (Uh oh, maybe you didn't know about that and I've just blown it.)
Glad you like the site. It's been more work than I thought, but it's been good work.

Bookworm said...

I've been dreaming about making books since reading this blog! I've now made my first one and although it's a bit crinkly (too much glue) I'm very pleased with it. I can't wait to make more.

Many thanks for the inspiration, from a friend in the UK (hope Waxo is behaving himself). H.

fresca said...

Hey, Waxo's Maker!
That's great you made a book.

Yeah, it's a common mistake to use too much glue--a little goes a long way, and too much, as you point out, will warp paper, same as water will.

Try, try again!

Jasmine said...

Beautiful blog you have here. I think I will enjoy returning and reading more of your posts :)

Fresca said...

Thanks, Jasmine!
Glad you enjoyed this. I see you're linked to art sparker--she really is an amazing connector! I'll pop over and see your blog too.
My main blog is at gugeo.blogspot.com.

Found art blog said...

Thanks for stopping by! Glad it all inspired you to reach for the paper and glue!! IT MISSED YOU TOO!

Kleurrijk said...

I just found your weblog. Very interesting. I am happy I found It.
Greetings from Geri

nylon spandex fabric said...

a cool man

Steve Finnell said...


When the subject of Christianity has been debated the majority has never been right.

The majority of first century Jews rejected Jesus as the messiah.---The majority has never been right.

John 4:25, 26 The woman said to Him. "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."
26 Jesus said to her. "I who speak to you am He."(NKJV)

The majority of world rejects Jesus as the only Savior.---The majority has never been right.

Acts 4:10-12 ...the name of Jesus Christ.....12 "Nor is there no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."(NKJV)

The majority of those who claim to be Christians believe the false doctrine of original sin. They believe that because Adam and Eve sinned that all men are guilty of spiritual sin at birth. They believe in inherited sin.---The majority has never been right.

Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (NKJV)

No man has inherited the guilt of Adam. Men will face spiritual death because of their own sins.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned---(NKJV)

Death spread to all men because all men have sinned.

The majority of those who claim Jesus as Savior believe that modes of water baptism are sprinkling and pouring---The majority has never been right.

Mark 16:16 Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned. (Complete Jewish Bible)
Mark 16:16 He who has believed, and has been immersed, will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (The Better Version of the New Testament by Chester Estes)

There are no translations that translate Mark 16:16 as such, "He who believes and has been sprinkled or poured shall be saved."---The majority has never been right.

The majority of Baptist believe that water baptism is not essential to the forgiveness of sins and that once you are saved you can never be lost---The majority of Baptists have never been right.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)
Galatians 5:1-4.....you have fallen from grace.(NKJV)

The majority of those who claim to be Christian believe that their church denomination is the final authority when it comes to faith and practice of the Christian faith---The majority has never been right.

The word of God found in the Bible and the Bible alone is not only the final authority, but the only authority for mankind.


Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.(NKJV)

If the majority were always right there would be many who find life eternal, however---The majority has never been right.

Luke 13:23-24 Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter the narrow gate for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.(NKJV)

YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

Posted by Steve Finnell at 8:11 AM No comments:
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