Thursday, May 14, 2009

Make a Do-Si-Do Book

A do-si-do book, like the partner square dancing move, swings between 2 signatures. These books are like two books in one and are excellent for dual purposes, like drawings and notes, or double themes like opposites or pairs. Read on and you’ll be whipping up your own fine books in no time!

Materials & Tools:

  • paper
  • scissors
  • linen thread
  • needle
  • bone folder
  • awl
  • pencil

Step 1:

Prepare two signatures and the covers. To make each signature, fold 5-10 sheets of paper in half and trim to size. Choose a sturdy paper or lightweight board to use as the cover. Cut the cover to be the same size as the height of the signatures and as wide as three times the width of one signature. Fold the cover into thirds using a bone folder, so it forms a Z shape.

Step 2:

Make a sample signature that is the same height and width as your signatures out of a single sheet of paper. Measure and mark the placement for 3 holes on the sample signature. You’ll use this as a guide for making holes in your signatures and covers. Put one signature into one of the folds of the Z shaped cover. Using a bookbinder’s awl and your sample signature as a guide, punch 3 holes through each signature and cover.

Step 3:

Pull the threaded needle through the center of the first signature, leaving a tail of thread a couple inches long inside the signature.

Step 4:

Push the needle through the top hole on the spine of your book.

Step 5:

Pull the needle through the bottom hole on the inside of your book, skipping over the center hole and thread tail.

Step 6:

Pull the needle through the center hole on the outside of the book.

Step 7:

When you pull the needle into the center of the book again, make sure that the needle and thread is on one side of the long center stitch and the thread tail is on the other. Remove the needle and trim the threads. Pull each thread taut to even out the tension of the stitching.

Step 8:

Tie a simple knot over the long center stitch.

Steps 9-16:
Repeat steps 1-8 on the second signature.

Step 17:

Ta da! Do a little dance and away you go! Fill you book with notes, drawings, secrets.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Thermal Printer

After coming to terms with the demise of Gocco, I decided to save my pennies up and invest in a thermal imager from Welsh Products! These machines have been around for decades and are still used for creating thermal silkscreens, tattoo stencils, and transparencies. I first started experimenting with screenprinting with screens created with a Thermalfax machine back in art school. I am excited to incorporate this printing technique into my bookmaking and artmaking processes!

With the thermal imager, you can expose a thermal mesh screen by running the screen and a carbon photocopy through the imager. The resulting screen can then be stretched across a plastic frame and printed with screenprinting ink and a squeegee. (That's the process in a nutshell.)

Be sure to check out this blog post on Vitreosity, if you're interested in more of the ins and outs of various thermal screenprinting process and equipment. It's chockful of information and how-to videos (including my Gocco video!).

Here are some notebooks I made with covers printed with thermal screens. If you're interested, they're for sale in my shop.

My latest project in-progress. These will soon become notebooks.