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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Book 132 - Cased-In Codex Hand Made Hand Bound Journal

This is the first time in this challenge that I have made what non-book arts people would probably call a "real book" -- a traditional codex with a stitched and glued book block cased in. It was fun to do and I will do a lot more, but it's frustrating when you don't have all the right tools. Especially when you learned in a studio with ALL the toys. That would be my sister's. She has all the right presses and hand tools and a hydraulic cutter so the blocks come out perfectly trimmed.

Me? No stitching cradle. No book press. No gluing press. I've got some paper wrapped bricks and some heavy cardboard boxes of Arizona maps for weights. I didn't have any mull to glue onto the spine but I found some ribbon that worked.

I guess part of the "challenge" aspect of this whole thing is making it work when conditions are not optimal.

Anyway, I made the case for this book from davey board covered with some marbled paper I made in a workshop literally years ago. It's been sitting on a shelf ever since. The liners are some scrapbooking paper I bought a long time ago. The six signature are folded text paper sewn on tapes.

I think it's a pretty book and I want to make more, but first I'm going to pop over to the Talus website and place an order for better glue, thread and papers.


  1. This is my favorite book for personal diaries, since it is a lay flat book and the right size to comfortably write full sentences. I love the marbled paper too.

  2. Where do you sell your books online for those of us who live outside your area?

  3. Frances - Thanks for your interest. At this moment, my books are not for sale online. I've been planning to open an etsy shop for books, but I have to build up some inventory. I originally planned to put these challenge books up for sale, but I have a show scheduled for early next year to show all 365 books, so I need to hang onto them for now.

    As soon as I have enough inventory to open an etsy shop, I'll post it here.


  4. Looks like comments might be working today? I hope so since I want to say that I have loved all the recent books where I couldnt comment and this one is a real beauty. What fun to think they will all be in a show.

  5. I'm so glad the comments feature is working again. It was beginning to feel pretty lonely in here!

  6. You can get some cheezy presses from Ebay, like I did. Some guy who installs kitchens, makes a two-boards-with threaded rods-and-wingnuts press out of two sink cutouts screwed together. The colors may be a bit random, depending what color kitchens he has been installing. User sq12tk, I think.

    You can make a stitching cradle out of a cardboard box. Take the box, cut 2 triangular notches in the ends, make two boards each a couple of inches longer than the box and wider than your signatures are likely to be, glue a piece of cloth to the two of them lengthwise so there's a space between them. Bend so they fit in the notches, and voila. I haven't done this myself, but I suppose you'd have to replace the cloth now & again as it got too pierced. It's in "Conservation & bookbinding by hand" by Laura Young. http://www.oakknoll.com/detail.php?d_booknr=42513

  7. Thanks for the suggestion on the press on ebay. I'm going to check it out. I have found a fairly decent cradle for punching holes is an old telephone book. And for some reason, we seem to have a whole stack of them. I use one for punching and save the other for gluing. Slap the glue around, then just tear off the page and you have a clean glue paper!