North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Saturday, June 17, 2017


On June 10, Michele Kamprath led the NORBAG workshop on tacket binding. Michele took Margo Klass’s class on tacket binding at the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival in Oregon. “Tacketing is a form of exposed binding, in which each folio (we call them a signature) is sewn directly onto the spine, rather than combined into a single text block, with visible stitching.” (

Our tacket bound book had two signatures with wrappers for the signatures and a cover with a lining. Michele spoke not only about the structure but also about the creative possibilities within this structure. Signature wrappers, pockets, colors, folded ends and windows are some of the possibilities. Because we were learning a tacket binding, we had solid colored covers with contrasting stitching.

Michele brought several examples of tacket bound books that were made by our members at the Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival. She also brought a sample card for waxed linen.

We first folded our covers, wrappers and signatures (folios). While the signatures and signature wraps were simply folded in half, the cover and lining needed to have a 1/2” spine. Michele showed us how to make sure that the spine is centered by using a method found in Volume 4, page 43 of our compendium. (If you don’t have any of the compendiums, contact Dolores Guffey and she will let you know how you can obtain them. Her contact info is on the second page of the newsletter.)
Michele showed us a way to center a spine on the cover by using a tip in our compendium.

After putting holes in the signatures, wrappers and cover, we sewed the signatures to the cover. In the tacket binding version we used, we had two separate tackets attaching each signature using either waxed linen thread or perle cotton. We had the option of using the same or different color for each of the tackets.

We all use different types of tools. For example, in the three above pictures, two people use artist awls and one uses a carpentry awl. We use everything from phone books to sewing cradles while punching holes.

In this picture, the patterned paper is the wrapper for the signature and is being sewn onto the grey cover.

Each signature was attached to the spine using two sewing stations with two holes each. The well-waxed thread was put through both holes two times and then the remaining thread encircled the long stitch. In this picture, you can see the bottom tackets of both signatures, one yellow and the other is blue.

The signature had two sets of two holes and this shows that a single signature used different colors in each sewing station. After the first signature was completed we sewed the next signature to the spine.

 The results were quite varied. And you can tell from the photos that we had a good time.
Valerie left long tails on the four tackets and will be adding beads.

Lara and Sarah (mother and daughter) laughed throughout.

Beth is holding up her two wrapped signatures that will be put into her orchid cover.

Edge decorated her cover with some old maps from our local library.

 We also have something new that we are doing at our monthly meeting.  It's a "show and tell" table. It's for things that members are working on. Donna G. brought in several books: one bound with an eight needle Coptic stitch, one with a buttonhole stitch and and another had exposed tape with a french link stitch. 

Eight needle Coptic stitch

Exposed tape with French stitch made during a play date with Edge

Buttonhole stitch

The exchange book photos will be on Flickr near the end of the month.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

FAVORITE BOOKS at the Humboldt County Library

The current exhibit in the kiosk at the Humboldt County Library features some of the favorite books by NORBAG members. The books were made either by the member or received in a book exchange and made by another member. This exhibit will likely be up into the month of July. 

Many thanks to the members who loaned their books and to Lynne Gurnee for arranging the display.