Hesitation – Brown Paper Journal
My latest bookbinding project started with an idea from this blog post:
I didn’t have any paper grocery bags because we use reusable canvas bags. So instead I tore up some brown paper that I’d saved from a cardboard box delivered to the house. The vendor used brown paper as packing material instead of styrofoam peanuts, excellent!
Wet and crumpled and dried and ironed paper as instructed. Some of my thin brown paper tore badly, so I applied washi tape to the worst tears. Folded in half and creased with bone folder. Nestled into four signatures of three sheets each.
Covers? The inspiration didn’t have much of a cover. Just some gauzy tarleton folded over and a cardboard spine slathered into place with acrylic gel. I decided not to go that rough and that wet. Besides, I needed to finish my 10th Coptic bound book. So I used some paper from the Tibetan paper store as covers. It is soft but rather thick paper, feels great in the hand. It has large leaf prints embedded into it, which show up well on this 9×9 book.
Now for the binding. I had leftover white thread from the last book but was it long enough? I found a blog post with a handy calculation for required thread length – and it worked!
After getting the binding done, I stopped for the day. This book brings me a lot of satisfaction, maybe more than any I’ve made so far.
- I enjoyed my research, especially love the thread length calculator.
- I feel good about the modifications I made to make the project my own.
- I am really happy that I was able to use materials I have on hand. Especially thrilled to have found a use for the leaf paper.
- The Coptic binding went really smoothly. Not perfect, but utilitarian and good enough.
- I love the size of the book, the soft floppy feel, and the rough aesthetic. I love the washi tape repairs, they make me want to cry.
Now what! I’m afraid to work on it further. I don’t want to mess up a good thing.
But when I get over my hesitation, I would like to paint the covers with watercolor for more depth. And then fill the interior. Gouache? Charcoal?I feel like I need to practice first on crumpled brown paper, but this journal is supposed to be for practice!