Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Homemade Sketchbook

This summer I am taking a sketchbook course from the Cincinnati Art Academy.  The course takes place in Taos, NM and is taught by Amy Bogard, artist extraordinaire (check out her website here).  Our class met once at the art store where we discussed sketchbook options and Amy mentioned that she could also show anyone who was interested how to make a homemade sketchbook.  She brought her own beautiful handmade sketchbook that was to-die-for so of course I had to try and make one.

Amy was nice enough to invite me over one day and I watched how she made one.  Many years ago I was into making books from scratch (buying the bookboard and covering it with bookcloth).  Although I loved the results, it was time-consuming and tedious.  So when she described her method of buying an old book and re-purposing it I loved it.  Basically you buy a used book (preferably with a good title if you are going to let it show), cut out the pages, reinforce the binding with paper (or bookcloth), and sew in new blank pages with the paper of your choice.

In her sketchbooks she left the title of the original book showing.  I liked the title of my book (Blessings by Belva Plain), but the title was so big my sewing would have to cover it to properly hold the pages.  I therefore decided to cover the title with bookcloth.  I ended up making this bookcloth because I found this beautiful southwestern-looking fabric that I thought was perfect for a "Taos" sketchbook.  To make your own bookcloth you just have to iron heat-n-bond onto your fabric and then iron tissue paper onto one side.  I learned this by watching this youtube video.  I also ended up doing a little sketch on the front and back in the style of my favorite New Mexican printmaker Willard Clark.  I think I am going to glue some of my favorite prints of his onto the inside covers for extra inspiration.  The course hasn't even technically started and I am already loving it!  Hopefully I will fill it with something blog-worthy.  Will keep you posted!


amy bogard said...

That is SO beautiful Vanessa!!!!! For the record, I learned how to do this from a wonderful bookmaker named Cody Calhoun, who is now living in Texas! (read more about her here: http://cbasturnsthepage.blogspot.com/2011/07/farewell.html
But we each add our own touch to these books, as you did with the lovely book cloth. I can't wait to touch this book in person!!

Christina said...

I love it! Gorgeous!

Chuck said...

Wow! I'd be afraid to sketch in it! It looks like a travel journal by Covarrubias

Nessy said...

Yeah, I was afraid to sketch in it. Some pages are good, some bad. I will post some soon hopefully!