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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book 198-A Chinese Red Perfect Bound Notebook

This neat little notebook with a perfect binding features more of the Chinese paper I bought a few years ago in Portland, OR. I seem to be on an Asian kick right now. Ah, red and gold... pretty!

Perfect binding makes a very  neat package. The pages of this book are a heavy cream paper with a felt finish. The side edges are cut; the bottom edges are hand torn. With a perfect binding, you stack the cut pages up with a very clean, neat cut at the spine edge. When you're sure the spine edge is really tightly stacked and all the pages are even, you clamp the pages together and paint that edge with a special glue called padding compound. To get a good bond, you fan the pages just slightly in each direction while gluing. When it's dry, the pages are attached together.

I used book board for the front and back cover. They're covered with a gorgeous bronze-colored paper with a swirled satin texture. Then I glued the red-and-gold Chinese paper on the front. (If anyone can tell me what the Chinese characters  mean, I'd love to know.) For a tad bit more interest, I added a piece of  red-and-gold joss paper just inside the cover. Finally, I covered the spine with a piece of red duct tape, well burnished down onto the glued edge of the perfect binding.

This is a neat book, solid in the hand, nicely squared up and easy to hold. As a journalist and editor, I've done a fair number of interviews in my life, without a tape recorder. This notebook would work for standing up note-taking because it's narrow enough to hold in one hand easily and stiff enough to write on while holding it.

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