North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018


For the September workshop, Lara Cox will be teaching a book binding technique that is a variation of the binding taught in Keith Smith's book Non-Adhesive Binding Volume 1. Having seen this binding on various Pinterest and Bookbinding sites, Lara was inspired to research and make several different versions. She used book cloth over book board covers as well as simpler versions utilizing cover weight paper for the covers. This binding can be glued or not depending on your style choices, and offers endless possibilities for variation. Note: For this workshop she will be using the cover weight paper version.

Materials to bring:

  • One cover paper: Mi-Teintes, card stock or a similar weight paper, cut 5 1/2" tall x 15 1/2" wide. Cut grain short (grain running parallel to the 5 1/2" side). Feel free to bring decorative paper, colored pencils, etc., with which to embellish your cover.
  • Paper for the signatures: Text weight 8 1/2" wide x 11" tall, cut in half to size 8 1/2" wide x 5 1/2" tall. We will be working with 10 signatures which are comprised of 4 pieces of paper each. Don't fold the signatures until class!! Keep in mind that a portion of the folded sides of your signatures will be visible and you may wish to include colored or patterned papers as the "outside pages" of your signatures. If you choose to do this, you will need a maximum of 10 pages cut the same as your signature pages.
  • Colored thread for binding: Waxed linen or embroidery thread. Note that this thread will show on the outside of your binding and will be a decorative element.

Tools to bring:

  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife or similar tool
  • Bone folder
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat
  • Sewing needle appropriate size for your thread
  • Beeswax for waxing thread
  • Piercing awl
  • Piercing cradle or foam board for making holes in your signatures
  • Optional: glue, glue stick or double-sided tape

When:   Saturday, September 8, noon
Where:  Eureka Methodist Church, Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
RSVP:    Yes, by September 3 to Lara Cox (contact information in the newsletter)
Cost:     $1.00 for instructions

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


On Saturday, August 11, 2018, Donna Gephart led a workshop on this binding from Keith Smith's book 1,2 & 3 Section Sewings. This is volume 3 of 4 in his series of non-adhesive bindings. If you aren't familiar with Keith Smith books, don't think that Donna opened the book, copied a materials list with measurements and started the workshop. Keith Smith books have tons of information about sewing patterns and some info about materials but the rest is up to the reader to put it all together to complete a book. 

Donna did the math and made it easy for us.  The book has three sections (signatures) and the signatures are sewn onto the cover with a ribbon banding that is placed under the stitching. The cover is cut so that it can be folded back upon itself to cover the ribbons on the inside and to give a folded fore edge for strength and durability.

These are the samples that were in the August newsletter.

We had a full house for the workshop.

 Marking and folding of the cover

We started with the folding of the cover. We set a spine in the middle
 of the cover and scored the end flaps for folding inward.

Preparing the spine and jigs

Donna instructed us to mark the spine for the sewing of the signatures (sections) and then temporarily applying the ribbons to the inside so that we could mark the spine.

This is a closeup of the inside of the cover. We have three lines drawn vertically for each of the signatures. With the ribbons placed on the page, we marked the piercing holes. In this picture, you can see that there are two holes at the top of the ribbon and only one in the middle of the bottom of the first ribbon. Each of the next ribbons will only have holes on the outside lines of each ribbon. This means that the two outside signatures have a different piercing pattern than the middle one. So we made 2 different jigs.  Note: the ribbons are on the inside of the cover only during the set up for the jig. Ultimately, they will be on the outside of the spine with the stitching over them.                                                                       

We moved the ribbons away from the lines and made a slit where the ribbons
 would eventually re-enter the cover.

After marking all of the piercings, we moved the ribbons to the outside of the cover and slid the ends through the slits. (Note: we don't always use waxed linen. This member uses Perle Cotton generally used in crewel work, waxed it and used it as linen.)

Using folded cardstock and the cover, we made two jigs for each of the piercing patterns.

Sewing of the Signatures

The left and right signatures used a different jig than the center signature. Some of us used piercing cradles while others used the edge of a box or simply on a pad.

The stitching starts with the middle signature and then moves to the first signature. It is fun watching what each member does to control the signatures. Some used paper clips, others clamps and others simply work with the paper.

Throughout the process, Donna moved through the room helping where needed.

 See our results. At the end, take a look at our "Show and Tell" table.

As usual, someone had an interesting variation.

Last, but not least, the "show and tell" table. The books in the upper left are samples of what we will be doing next month. The three papers in the middle are batik on rice paper. The pictures on the right are some collages using Picasso prints to fit into our cat theme.

Sunday, August 12, 2018


The latest exhibit of artist's books in the Sherry Grover Gallery at BIMA is titled Chapter 14: Bound to be Art. This collection includes beautifully crafted bound books, some in luscious goat skins, metals, fabric, and other unique materials or bindings. The exhibit will run through September 22. The museum, located on Winslow Way on Bainbridge Island, WA across from the ferry station to Seattle, is open daily from 10AM - 6PM.

The following two photographs feature a very unique and fabulous chess set made from altered books. This is not in the current exhibit, but was shared at the latest book talk by Cynthia Sears, the collector of these wonderful books.