A Book a Day? What's Up With That?

Hi, and welcome to this year-long project. So what's this all about and how did it happen, you might ask. In mid 2007, artist Noah Scalin decided to make a skull out of anything he could find, every day for a year. It stretched him in ways he never imagined, as an artist, a writer and a person. His experience turned into a blog that went viral, and then a book.

Others have picked up on the idea: 365 Hearts, 365 Masks, 365 Bears drawn on a cellphone, 365 paper napkin mustaches.
I wanted to play, too, and I chose books. I love books, I know a bit about making books (thanks to my talented book-maker sister, Marilyn Worrix), and they're broad enough in definition to give me a lot of creative leeway.

The whole point is not really the books. The idea is to stretch myself in many ways as an artist and a person, to set up a discipline, stick with it and see what that teaches me.

I hope you'll join with me and follow along on the journey chronicled here, and let me know what you think.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 63 - Look Ma! No Glue, No Stitches. A Slot & Tab Book

I'm intrigued by books that use no adhesive and no stitching, just folds and cuts. This Slot & Tab book is one.

Again, I owe the structure to Alisa Golden's great book, "Making Handmade Books: 100 Bindings & Structures." But a warning: her instructions are usually spot-on and easy to follow, but in this one, the instructions on making the cover just seem to stop half way through and the cover diagrams are misleading. It took quite a bit of trial and error, based on how the rest of the book went together, and one complete do-over with a new sheet of cover paper before I got it right.

The pages and cover of this book are basically interleaved. You cut tabs at the top and bottom of half the pages and a slot down the spine fold of the other half. Then you roll up and slide one tabbed page through the slot of another to form a 4-page signature. Then you do the same maneuver to connect all the signatures to each other. It's easier to do and show than to explain.

The nice thing about this book is that the pages lie completely flat when it's open. But it feels pretty fragile to me. The way the tabs and slots need to be cut make for a lot of vulnerable places in the spine and it's very easy to tear the paper while you're sliding the tabs through the slots. And, too, my particular example today is, well... it's frankly boring.

I don't know if I'll ever make this structure again, but I'm glad I know it now. Maybe I'll try it again later with better paper.


  1. Guess that is the great thing about this "365 day" project, you are trying out of the ordinary books....and deciding whether or not you will attempt them again. Following you is so much fun...your site is the 1st I visit in the morning...can't wait to see what you did each day! Thanks again!

  2. Cheryl - The last part of your comment really made my day. Knowing people are looking forward to what I post each day keeps me on my toes and motivated whenever I really want to say "Oh, I'll just skip this one day." Thanks.

  3. Donna,
    Here it is June 11th and I just discovered your blog thanks to a book arts friend. I LOVE IT! I've read through 2 months now and finally had to comment. I, too, love and have been reading Alisa Golden's book, and the instructions for this one had me puzzled also. It's good to know I'm not the only one. I'll now look forward to reading your blog daily. Thank you!

  4. Welcome aboard! I love knowing people are scanning through from the beginning. And your comments are ALWAYS welcome. It's nice to know someone's out there.