It’s been some time since I posted.  There just never seems to be any time.  Ah well.  That’s life, isn’t it?

I was lucky enough to be granted release time from my job this spring to pursue my bookbinding.  The goal of the release time was to work on non-adhesive bindings and to try and create a small studio space for myself at home.  Well, I kinda got that done and am now able to use my summer professional development time to try and document what I did as well as to continue bookbinding.

I began my spring project late, but I managed to complete several bindings: a coptic binding, a photoalbum utilizing screwposts, and a japanese binding featuring a hemp stitch.  I also purchased a board cutter and a stand for the cutter.

I hope to begin documenting the steps I took with each over the next few weeks.  I have photos and will hopefully remember each step in the process.  I’m about to begin another photoalbum for my niece, so that should help.


Wow.  I was so nervous yesterday about my display.  But it went really well.  Lorraine made a wonderful slideshow of my books and boxes with both finished and in process photos that kept going and had everything arranged so nicely.  Everyone was interested and asked a lot of questions too, which made it easier for me.

The items were moved today to a display case in Fortunoff Hall that everyone who goes in the building sees.  I can’t wait to go over and see it.  Those items that didn’t fit will go into a display case in the library.  I’m still in shock that my stuff is on display and will be for the rest of the month.

It’s a nice feeling.  I’m just all grins. 🙂


It’s hard to believe but my books and boxes will be going on display soon.  My College sponsors displays of different faculty, student, and staff artwork, and I’m going to participate.

There will be an opening reception next Monday, and I’m nervous about it.  After the opening, my stuff will be on display on the first floor of our library.  It’s weird.

I’m excited and I’m nervous.  I’m a dedicated introvert who is trying to become more extroverted, and this will certainly help in that regard.  Of course, my running off on vacation for a week after the opening, may put me back a bit. 🙂

I’m also lucky enough that my job encourages us to take time to pursue our research interests.  So, my application to take time to pursue creating a studio and continuing my studies of bookbinding was approved!  Yeah, I get to take one day a week to work on this for the spring semester.  I will most probably have to do this at my workplace though.  Working at home is still very hard.  My son (2 years old) demands all of my attention when I’m home, and I can’t blame him or resist him.

I’m thinking that perhaps I can do something fun with him in the mornings and then pursue binding in the afternoons.  Keep your fingers crossed.

I’ve gotten several of K. Smith’s books, and I’m going to use them for the basis of my continued studies.

Hopefully, this will also mean that my blogging will once again become regular.

Phase Boxes

Well, I made two more phase boxes for some photo albums that belonged to the Vanderbilt family today.  It all started out so well, but ended up not too good.

The first box went like a dream, but it’s just a smidgen too small.  I don’t know how it happened.

The second – well, I should have quit while I was ahead.  It started out well.  The measuring was difficult, but I thought I got it right.  Obviously not.

  • The top cover was longer than the bottom.
  • The hinge was curved upward and tied with some sort of leather.  The ends of which were on the underside of the album and had large metal pieces attached to them.

The laying out of the lines went really well.  Then the trouble began.  I marked the lines to decrease the tray by one board width on each side and started cutting.  I couldn’t believe it when I realized I had cut the wrong line.  I cut off a side wall!  Ahhhhhhh.

So I started again.  Somehow this box came out wayyyyyy too large.  The width was fine, but the height was off by two board widths.  I just couldn’t believe it.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have forwarded my calls to the conference room so that I could keep up with the administrative side of things today. It did keep distracting me.

I think I’ll just chalk this up to a learning experience.  I’m going to redo the boxes next week.  Fortunately, I bought enough board just in case something like this happened.

Giving Thanks

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for.  I had a wonderful sabbatical experience where I learned a tremendous amount and got to spend a lot of time with my son.  I’ve had a lot of support in my return to work and in assuming my new role in the department (I’ve current department chair, scarily enough).  And, the library sees the value in what I’ve learned and is encouraging me to do more.  Plus, the College is going to display some of the books and boxes I’ve made some time next spring.

I’m very fortunate to have a job that provides support for continuing education in both funds and time.   As a result, I’ve gotten the funds to buy a board cutter, and I’ve also been granted time to continue learning to bind.  Yeah!

I even got to put my skills to work at work today and made a phase box for a photo album from 1911.  I’ll be making more phase boxes for other items in our Special Collections as well.  It made me feel really good to do that.  It was especially nice to contribute to the department in a new way — other than writing scripts, that is.

I hope everyone has a joyous and happy Thanksgiving.

Interesting Sites

Decorative Paper (http://content.lib.washington.edu/dpweb/index.html)

Created by the University of Washington Libraries (my alma mater – yeah!), this online database showcases decorative papers from Germany, France, and Italy from the 17th to 19th centuries. It contains images of the papers along with information on their creators, as well as descriptions of the patterns. It is searchable, but a good starting point is the “Patterns Examples” page.

British Bookbindings: 16th to 19th Century (http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/bindings/index.html)

From the Special Collections Library at the University of Glasgow, comes on online version of an exhibition originally held in December 1970. Bindings can be selected by binder or by style of binding. The site includes photos of the bindings, a brief discussion about the design of the binding, as well as information on what text is bound.

Photo Frames

I’ve created a flickr page with photos of the two frames. I’ve had a flickr account for awhile to share pictures of my son – sorry, those are private – but now I’m going to add my binding projects as well. 🙂