Shirley made me do it!

Shirley of Paper and Threads recently posted a tutorial on retrofitting a book into a sketchbook.  Well, I have instructions for this in 5 other places and nearly took Diana Trout's online class to do it, but something about Shirley's tutorial set me on the course and on that course I am.

I had a rather badly treated Moleskine diary calendar in red that I bought in Catania (Sicily) in 2003, a year long gone and decided this would be the trial by fire test of whether I have the patience to meet this task head on.

It's not as if I haven't made a book, from scratch.  I've even made books that some bookbinders consider "too difficult," like the Belgium Secret Binding journal with Emily Martin.  And the summer of 2003, I traveled up to Easthampton, MA and spent an entire week with Daniel Kelm at the Wide Awake Garage making the most complicated  book you'd ever encounter except of course in the Smithsonian.  I was the laughing stock of the class, with good humour, with lots of chuckles from my workshop mates who took all this far more seriously than I apparently did.   Least you think I am lame, and occasionally I am, I was a member, in good standing, of the Center for Book Arts in New York for many years and took several workshops there, leaving with book in hand.

Gutenberg Bible, Lenox edition, via Wikipedia

But, but, but, my books never looked like the Gutenberg bible or one from the hands of Wendy Hale Davis, or Roz Stendahl.  

Moleskine Diary with exacto knife

Moleskine Diary cover (in good shape)

Empty Binding (not in great shape, especially the pocket)

As this is a 3-1/2 x 5-1/2 book, it took nearly a milli-second (read 15 minutes or less) to eviscerate the old calendar pages from the body without harming myself or the covers.

Presently distracted by making a living or rather writing an article, this project will take me some time.  The next step I believe will require much patience: making the folios.  It is the cutting them that may get me in the end.

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