10/27/2010

Japanese Bookbinding Workshop



The four little Japanese style books pictured above are the results of a very enjoyable workshop that I attended last weekend. The teacher was excellent and I met a lovely, friendly bunch of people from near and far.

We made the books in a traditional manner using hand made paper string to secure the pages prior to sewing. The covers were made using beautiful Chiyogami papers, which are silk-screened using Japanese kimono patterns as their inspiration. Some of these papers have gold and silver details, all are sumptuous and a delight to work with and gave the notebooks an elegant feel.



Each book was sewn with a different decorative Japanese stitch pattern: four-hole, kang-xi, hemp leaf and tortoise shell using silk thread. We also made the cloth covered traditional Japanese Maru-Chitsu case in which to keep them, which is held closed at the foredge with a pair of Japanese bone fasteners.



I learnt much from this weekend workshop and feel that I could adapt this simple structure to bind my own books in the future and feel very inspired to make some more!

26 comments:

  1. Now I have book envy!

    What a useful and inspiring weekend's work. And those papers are just beautiful!

    Celia

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  2. Surely you could not possibly have made each of these beautiful books in one weekend? Even if you are not exactly a novice, I am still amazed that such a lovely tradition could be so successfully passed along so quickly.

    Please do continue to make these books. Just viewing your photos brings tranquilitiy.

    xo

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  3. How beautiful! Aren't workshops like that a treat?

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  4. Frances, the teacher did an enormous amount of work beforehand, cutting all the board, paper etc. She also did all of the planning and design which helped to speed up the process.

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  5. Beautiful.... Japanese papers are so amazing, well, I love their design styles, especially textile designs. And the books look lovely. My students are about to begin their final projects... I get to teach a bookbinding workshop, but, unfortunately, I don't have such beautiful papers!

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  6. Those books are exquisite Valerie - isn't a good workshop inspiring.

    I am getting such pleasure from the prints you sent me.

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  7. How beautiful, and I can see that it would be quite engrossing and gratifying work. I love Japanese design, strong in form and delicate in detail, and their papers are yet another art form.

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  8. I can see I have a long way to go - I made my first simple book last week! Yours are very elegant.x

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  9. Your books look beautiful. I was at a craft fair at the weekend and saw some lovely examples. I am sure you will be able to use your new skills to your own designs.

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  10. Valerie, this is definitely an art form. Gorgeous! Not easy to master.
    Diane

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  11. How beautiful these are - I would have loved to do this workshop - I think like you I have started to get the bug for Bookbinding!
    The papers are exquisite - lucky you!

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  12. Gorgeous papers and very lovely books. What a great workshop to do!

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  13. valerie they are exquisite! will they show up on etsy any time soon. signed - greedy steven!

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  14. These are lovely, that workshop sounds as if you had great fun.

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  15. How could you bear to write in them?

    Lucy

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  16. I want to know how! They are quite wonderful.
    Kat

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  17. How beautiful, acornmoon! I'd love to have a try at bookbinding, but I'd probably make a mess!

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  18. It is so life affirming that, through all the mayhem and mechanization of the past century,
    artists and craftsmen around the world have continued to practice their ancient craft and pass on their skills and artistry to succeeding generations.

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  19. Wonderful books!! Beautiful blog....gorgeous artwork!!

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  20. Oh Valerie, these books are just beautiful.. This is something I have always wanted to try... Now you have truly inspired me with our beautiful work.
    Blessings,
    Penny

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  21. Hi, Valerie. My comment is totally off-topic --- I was just looking to see who else has the same favorite books as I do and --- you and I are the only two people in all of blogland who list The Hidden House! I love it - so gorgeous. :-)

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  22. Oh I am envious of these - beautiful. Time I found out how to bind books instead of eyeletting them all. You have inspired me. Thankyou.

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  23. Hmmm ... now you have me thinking .... did you tell me way back then, and we've already talked about out shared love of The Hidden House? Oh well, nice to reconnect!

    Your books are lovely.

    Have you seen this?
    http://vimeo.com/7694315

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  24. Oh these are beautiful, what exquisite papers!

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