Back at Ardington School of Craft a few weeks ago to learn how to make a half leather bound sketchbook. I find book binding a very satisfying craft, and I love to make my own sketchbooks. I haven’t bought one for a couple of years now. This one looks almost professional.
Each time I go out drawing birds I produce anything up to four sheets of drawings or paintings. The question was what on earth to do with them. I already have a plan chest full of work which I have to edit down, i.e. clear out and burn, at regular intervals. So I decided to work at a fixed size page, 12in by 9in, and bind the finished work into sewn books. I’ve completed the first one, with about 24 pages and an old woodblock print on the cover.
I used the coptic stitch binding that I learned a few months ago. It’s a bit loose, but it makes a nice coffee table book, and at least it is easy to look at the pictures, which are well protected.
I spent a day at a coptic stitch bookbinding course at Ardington School of Craft last week. Produced two quite acceptable sketch books as a result. I don’t like these open backed books all that much, aesthetically, but they do work very well as sketchbooks as they open out completely flat. I may get to love them.