Tag Archives: journaling

100% Recycled

I've been working on this idea of some 100% recycled sketchbooks. I've been fascinated for some time with the idea of gesso'd  pages made of newspaper or magazines. I first experimented with this idea back in 1999, I gesso'd a hundred or so pages of newspaper and drew on them. I have no idea where those pages went or what ever happened to them. All I know is that I love to draw on gesso, especially when it's on top of chunky paper. The rougher the paper the more i like it. So why would I want to experiment with gesso on magazine apges? Color and pattern. It takes away the fear of the precious white page, the empty the making of the first mark.




The first mark is there just whited out with gesso. I used a thin layer of gesso to cover up the words and images from a national geographic special magazine. I snagged 3 copies from the trash, chopped and stitched it up into a 3.5×5 inch book that is just a hair over 1 inch thick. The binding is a standard button hole style binding. I fouled up the spine a tad, but the spine is made of a recyled tyvek envelope that I had recieved somethign in. The book is about 98% recycled. The book board inside is not recycled and the thread is of course new material, but the rest all recycled.



I digress. I went through the book with brush and  gesso and put a thin layer of gesso over images and words. I lightened pages that were too dark to write on. My first intent was to draw in this book with a ultr fine point sharpie or pigma pen. The pages are so slick that thegesso adhere'd well but will still scratch off, which leads to more ideas but wasn't what I had planned on. My initial goal was to use this as a sketchbook and journal. Sketching is easier in this book than writing. Mainly due to that issue witht he gesso scratching off.

I intended for this to be somethign of a prototype of sorts. I wanted to do a limited edition with pre-gessoed pages BUT it took so long to gesso up the 300 pages (all day) that I'd have to charge an exhorbitant amount to sell these and recoup any profits. Anyway, I'm in love with the size and chunkiness of the book and I've been using it a little bit here and there. I am going to make a few one of a kind versions of the book. BUt be aware you'll see some more sketches on here than you have in the past.


Book Review Monday: Book Binding for Book Artists: Keith Smith and Fred Johnson

 This is Keith Smith's first book on book binding and a great one. All the styles he lists in this book require no specialized tools or equipment and can be made by anyone with patience and determination to create books. While this book was not my first on binding it is one to which I return to for clarification when I have a question. These styles of binding are those that once you learn them you'll be able to make them again and again without referring to the book or diagram.

The entire first section is devoted to paper and tools. It's an excellent introduction to basic bookbinding tools. In this section Smith gives the most detailed and best description and instructions on pasting I've ever read. The instruction starts with simple pamphlet sewn books and moves its way up to more complex styles.

This is an introductory book but it is an excellent reference book for those of us who have been binding for years. It's not the easiest starter book out there, but if like me, you tend toward liking clear excellent diagrams and detailed descriptions this is a good book to start with. I would also recommend it if you are simply looking for a good reference on binding or are looking for a great introduction to pasting your own book cloth.

I give this book 5/5 binder needles and 2 paint covered thumbs up.

You can find most of Keith Smith's books on binding at his website www.KeithSmithBooks.com

Inspire Me Thursday

I just found this site via SuziBluTube’s blog it’s called Inspire Me Thursday. It has prompts and ideas to inspire you in your art and journaling. They say this:

Welcome to Inspire Me Thursday…   A weekly dose of inspiration for
mixed media artists and creative types to nurture their muses and CREATE!

I think that perfectly fits the bill. It’s a simply laid out site site that focuses on the inspiration. The center column has quotes for inspiration, the right most a dialog about the prompt for that week, and below that is an area for people to leave comments- with links to your blog with images of how the site inspired you. At the very bottom are random bits of inspiration- a font site and flickr.

I really like the concept of this site- give a little inspiration then readers add to it and create the content- something like a wiki but with added inspiration.

Head on over and check it out!