Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tools of the Trade...

So I dug out my tool kit from the last time I made a tiny Japanese stab binding book, and retraced my steps using what I found in the kit. I had to rediscover what I did and this time I am making notes so I don't have to think so much the next time I decide to make one of these little books with this type of binding. So here are the essential tools that really make for a success with this project:

You'll see 1] a hand drill with a bit holder that separates to allow the shank of a drill bit to enter and then be tightened into place. Notice what I have in place there. A sewing machine needle for leather as it has a very sharp and strong steel point on it. At least I think those sewing machine needles are made of steel. It's strong in any event, 2] a sewing machine needle all by itself so you can see what it looks like and see the scale, 3] an awl needle and holder. It's just like an X-acto blade holder that tightens up by screwing (turning) the handle. Instead of a flat blade, this holder has a round entry point that tightens up exactly the same way the hand held drill is designed to work. I love this awl and it is likely my favourite tool; well in the top 5 anyway, 4] a roll of linen thread which I'm showing just because of the beautiful colour of it, and, 5] two finished Japanese stab bound in the hemp pattern little books~one I made a year ago and this new one I just completed. His little beak wound up with the very tip at the exact point where the middle hole is placed. I'll have to be more careful about placement next time. The size of these books are 1 & 1/8" X 2 & 1/2" {3cm X 63mm}.

 The tools are used thus: I start by placing the needle end of the hand held drill where marked for a hole, and slowly start turning the handle and keeping the drill perpendicular to the hole. I just turn and turn slowly until the needle works its' way through to the other side. I have a heavy piece of plastic on the tabletop surface so the needle won't damage anything when it reaches the bottom side. Of course the stack of papers is held together FIRMLY with 3 strong clips. Once the hole is drilled through I reverse the direction of the drill to help pull the needle out. When the needle is out I then go in with the awl and just work my way through slowly and carefully, wiggling the awl back and forth to enlarge the hole all the way through. Then I enter from the bottom side of the hole and repeat with the awl. When it comes to sewing the binding it is done with a large needle by hand. If the needle won't go through the hole because there are already 2 or more threads through it, I clamp the needle shaft with a pair of sturdy pliers and push the needle until it is almost all the way through to the other side, and then bring the pliers around to the other side, and pull the needle through. It works like a charm. So that's my helpful hint section of this post! It's been a fun drawing challenge. See you soon I hope! Norma, x

Friday, March 13, 2015

A wee book in the making

Making another wee book.
This is the cover of a wee book. You can see it's a hummingbird, painted in watercolor and with acrylic ink details.

Moving in a bit closer, you can see that the paper is heavily textured and a pea-green (my opinion) shade of green. This paper particularly inspired me to join the drawing challenge for this week. It's my ode to spring.

I've not held a paintbrush for many months so am quite the rusty gal here, but if I repainted it I could put into good use, all that I learned from this effort. The paper is so textured (completely hand made by my beloved Canadian paper mill St. Armand in Montreal.) This selection used straw for the plant bits. So the paintbrush travels right over top of the straw and the straw picks up the color from the brush. It's a bit like riding a bucking bronco. It bleeds like there's no tomorrow as well. But I love it. I plan to make a wee Japanese bound (hemp pattern) book with art paper inside. So, this is a small art book let's say.

Thank you to Veronica for inviting me to participate in this drawing challenge. Bye for now, Norma, x


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