Saturday morning saw those of us in the bookart-o-sphere who wanted to make Dos-a-dos books gathered together at Phoenix Gallery. Vanessa Marr was our inspirational, and very patient, Tutor, and we almost all managed to complete a handmade book, with others finishing off at home with most of their work already done.
Vanessa teaches at the University of Brighton as well as running other courses, so had all the know-how for us. She provided some brilliant handouts and masses of lovely papers, and then we began.....
We chose the card for our cover and cut it to the size we wanted for our finished book, folded it into 3 and then chose the paper for our contents pages (known as 'signatures' in the book art world). As lots of measuring and cutting went on it became very quiet as people were concentrating, and making precision folds to ensure their books would be beautifully neat and tidy. Vanessa had a wonderful tiny guillotine which she brought along, passed on to her by her father, so technology of the old-fashioned and very useful kind, was present!
Excitement and joy set in quickly as we could see our work coming together, and some of us were already allocating in our heads future dos-a-dos books to give various people as presents, or travel journals and the like, made for ourselves. So many dos-a-dos to do, and so little time! What a fun time we all had, reminiscing about being back in childhood, in a group, making something special together.
Once all that had been achieved, we then approached the stitching together of the cover and the signatures. Expert bookbinders do lots of amazing stitching, and we had insights from Vanessa about the best way to stitch our books together, with linen thread. It's 'watch your fingers' time, as there are tiny holes, made with an awl, to go through and come back out of again. Much sewing took place.
Sense of achievement! We all put our books together in the middle of the table, and there we saw our varied and interesting selection of the handmade book in action.
WATCH OUT FOR MORE NEWS ABOUT ANOTHER, DIFFERENT WORKSHOP WITH VANESSA IN THE NEW YEAR. COME AND JOIN US FOR A MARVELLOUS WAY TO SPEND A SATURDAY MORNING. News of this will be posted in all the usual places.