I’m so excited to unveil a new style of handmade artist book. It features a luxurious Japanese silk book cloth cover, with precision circle inlay that features stunning, one-of-a-kind marbled paper. I like the idea of a book containing a hidden surprise, so I used the same beautiful paper for the inside endpapers as well. This book is for sale in my handmade journal shop.
Choosing the thread
When it came time to choose thread color, I had many options. Usually I start by looking at the colors in the paper I’m working with, and pull a few that match. With purple, I could have had a more “blended” look, with the sewing blending into the color of the silk fabric. White would have brought more attention to the paper circle inlay (this gorgeous paper was hand-marbled by Leslie Grossman). Blue was a close call, but in the end I went with pale green, since the overall feel of the paper was more green than blue, and green is one of the secondary colors, along with purple and orange. Secondary colors are the colors in between the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue, and so they all coordinate in the same way that red, blue and yellow do.
Sewing the book together
The type of bookbinding that inspired me for this book is called “Coptic stitch”, a braided binding dating back to the early Christians in Egypt, around 200AD. I typically sew a style called “single needle” instead of “double needle” or “paired needle”, that I prefer because it allows me to sew the book in the air. I learned it from Keith Smith’s Books Without Paste or Glue. I wanted the binding to contrast with the cover design, so I did a ladder-style transition between stitches in the middle two stations (which are also the height of the circle).
I love how the whole book came out, the secret colorful inner pages, and the high end silk book cloth paired with the hand-marbled paper inlay. I’m excited to create more in this style, too! Marbled paper is so pretty, and I love being able to pull out one special part of it to highlight.
It could be yours: Marbled Circle Artist Book – Handmade Journal Shop
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