Yesterday I said to Chloe that I wanted to get a new sketchbook to take with me to visit Nick and Joyce Bantock this weekend.
I told C that it has to be a Goldilocks sketchbook…you know…not too hot, not too cold, just right. But I couldn’t find anything Goldilockish enough. Mole sketchbooks are beautiful, but common. Other sketch books had bad covers, or too thick paper, or not smooth enough paper…basically either too hot or too cold and not just right.
Now it’s no secret that I have a huge crush on Nick and Joyce and admire their work, and, as I was running thru Nick’s books in my mind, I had a thought, “Wait a minute, what do you bring when visiting the Artful Dodger, the Trickster, when walking into the Forgetting Room?”
A handmade sketchbook. 😀
Anyway, how hard can it be?
So, in the art store, I bought a couple 5.5″ x 8″ black cover essential sketchbooks, (which just happen to have lovely smooth Goldilocks paper), and at Booklovers, my favourite used book store, I found the perfect Goldilocks old book.
I took the black covers off the essential sketchbooks and started taking the pages out of the old book.
I separated the two sketchbooks into six bundles of 8-10 pages. (Apparently the bundles are called signatures! Now you’re in the know…lol)
At first I thought I would keep two or three original pages at the beginning and end of the book, you know, to pay homage to the book and author, but the subject was so tragic, that soon all the pages, except for the endpapers came out.
Then I used a makeshift bookbinding stitch and heavy cotton thread to bind the six
bundles signatures together.
At this point I looked for a way to attach the paper back inside the covers. The only advice I found included using an awl to pierce the spine and sewing the paper back in. That was a nonstarter with me. I really didn’t fancy piercing that beautiful spine, so I decided to just glue it in. Now the advice was to use a bookbinding glue…which I don’t have…so I improvised with a cement type of glue. I also included a length of black ribbon as a book marker.
Anyway, what’s the worst thing that can happen? The paper will start to come out and I’ll go and invest in a good bookbinding glue…lol.
Then I clipped my book together, stood it on its spine and weighted it down with some iron weights, and left it on my silversmithing bench in the garage overnight.
This morning I ran to the garage to see how it worked. Oh my gosh! IT WORKED!!! 😀
Look at the spine of my beautiful new sketchbook. Isn’t the title just perfect?
Look at the beautiful pages inside.
The stitched together
bundles signatures seems to be holding firm inside the covers.
But I still wanted to pay homage to the original book, so I composed myself a little love letter from the old pages.
This was a bit harder to do that I thought because the book is about a tragic heroine, the French Revolution, guillotines, death, hopelessness, but after searching thru almost all of the 200+ pages, I got somewhere.
So here we go.
From the inside cover:
“What kind of nonsense is this?
“Oh, it’s a long story.”
“So I made an original Lovely! book
with paper a dream and love
“It has occurred to me that it would be a good thing
“That doesn’t do any harm,”
“I have a good eye for beauty, art a gift
So Why not? Why wouldn’t it work?
Why didn’t I think of that earlier?”
“I know.” “I don’t think so either,”
“Is there anything else to it.
“Take my word for it, Creation is the jewel of living
“Because you have the bravest eyes
“good child, good child,”
“How about you?
Come on, I’ll write it for you.”
How does that sound to you?
“Now let me read it,”
what is living about?”
“Perhaps I can find that out. Do you want me to try?”
Now the story I heard is on the pages of the book.”