Jan. 9th, 2014

Bookbinding

Jan. 9th, 2014 02:33 am
elana: (squishy)
Whoops I've become obsessed with bookbinding.

I have a huge amount of scrap paper left over from a photo shoot a while ago (we needed music charts for the shoot, whatever), and I've been carefully curating it in fat stacks held together with a binder clip, to use as scratch paper. I have the urge to write quite frequently, but lately I realize that a janky stack of paper in a binder clip just doesn't feel that nice to write on. I want some sort of cover for it, something that will hold the pages securely, and feel elegant and luxurious. As far as I can Google (I even tried "designer clipboard"), no such thing exists.

So I went down the rabbit hole of learning about making my own notebook out of it, and discovered Japanese stab binding. Doesn't that sound like exactly the sort of thing I would want to get into? All it requires is some good string, a needle, a proper awl, and know-how. Naturally there are many fine purveyors of art supplies who would also like to help you along, with very special string and fancy awls and tools to fold well and cutting surfaces etc. etc. Even better, traditionally the pages are folded in half, with the free edges sewn into the spine — the classic Chinese way of achieving double-sided printing. Of course, they would put the printed side on the outside, but I would do the opposite.

Of course, buying an awl and fancy string and spending a bunch of time on it would seem to be an excessive (read: non-zero) expense in order to use up paper which was literally free to me. But that's what my mind is fixating on right now.

I leave you with a link to an abandoned blog called A Yen For Paper, where you can see some truly amazing creations. My favourite is this stack of stab bound notebooks with covers made of handmade Washi paper:

I have no delusions about making any artworks like these, but if I can figure out how to attach a solid, reusable cover to a stack of sheets bound in that style, I will have solved a very pleasant problem.

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