This week I taught another book-binding workshop at Marchen Studios, and at the request of the participants, we sewed our books together using the Japanese Stab Binding form.  This beautiful style is one in which the thread that binds the book is “stabbed” through the covers and pages in one of a number of decorative stitching patterns.  Traditionally, these books are made with soft paper pages and covers, with every sheet folded and bound through the open ends of the folio, and the fore-edge opposite the spine left folded.  The other distinctive feature of this binding is that the corners of the text block are wrapped with paper or cloth before the covers go on, leaving an extra bit of color peeking out at the spine, top, and bottom edges.

Here are the books we made using pre-cut kits from a company called “Books By Hand”:

4 hole binding

4 hole binding

This is only one of a number of stitching patterns, but the easiest to start with…Japanese stab binding workshop (2)

These were fun and quick to do, but I could not let the opportunity pass without going beyond the traditional, and adapting the stab-binding for my own purposes.  In this case, that adaptation turned out to be a book tailor-made for my oldest son, another way of archiving some of his wads of drawings.  The jumping off point for this book was the cardboard Star Wars Lego box that the boys would not even think about throwing away…

perfect book cover!

perfect book cover!

I cut the box in half, scored vertical lines at every half inch, and used the Tortoise Shell style binding to sew it together with black linen thread…

Tortoise Shell pattern

Tortoise Shell pattern

C3PO drawing

C3PO drawing

and, most importantly, the artist approved!

finished book

finished book

ships and more ships

ships and more ships

Martian Chronicles?!?

Martian Chronicles?!?

the other side of the same page...

the other side of the same page...

can you tell he likes detail?

can you tell he likes detail?

Eventually I might get the reams of kids’ drawings I’ve saved similarly bound–at this point we’ve got stacks of fire-fighters, knights, pirate ships, armies in action, and miscellaneous-themed pictures–enough for one hefty volume each.  Phew!!  To call him prolific would be an understatement.

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