After finishing my last Japanese Stab Binding book, I became interested in doing one using the Japanese Binding In Board approach I found on youtube. Both Sage Reynolds and Peter Baumgartner have some excellent videos out on this. I was particularly fascinated with the elegant way in which Peter Baumgartner dealt with tying off and hiding the final knot in the stitching process. So I selected the images I wanted to use and this time printed them on 8×10 inch Strathmore Drawing Paper. I really do like the paper. Of course it does not give the same photographic quality that proper ink-jet paper gives. However, for the images I wanted to use I thought the paper would work very well, and I like the feel of it.
When I approach projects like this I like to as much as possible, use material at hand. One of the materials one is supposed to use when covering board is bookbinding cloth. I did not have any, and the piece I tried to make myself did not turn out. I thought of buying some canvas cloth in town, but then decided to just use brown kraft paper, of which I have a roll standing in the corner.
Using some of the techniques show in Baumgartner’s videos and some of those shown in Reynolds’ videos, I made, what I think, is a pretty serviceable book. It has a bit of a wabi-sabi quality to it, which I appreciate in a lot of my work, and which might turn some people off completely. When I frame photographs the traditional way, I do not incorporate a wabi-sabi aesthetic into the finished work. In framing I usually become a Modernist.
One reason I think that I am turning to book-binding is that we simply do not have any more room to hang framed photographs in our house. The books are a wonderful way of gathering a portfolio or suite of images and having them handy and out of the way at the same time.
There is something about the stab binding process and look that really attracts me. I plan on sticking with it for a while, and do hope that my next ones are a little more mistake free, while retaining that wabi-sabi feel.