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Archive for May 2012

clam_open.jpgToday we have two creations in one. First, a B6-sized (7" by 5") blank notebook: Skewered. I used a coptic stitch with six stations. The cover paper is washi (link goes to The Japanese Paper Place) with small leaves embedded in it. I glued six thin bamboo skewers - usually used for yakitori -  onto the book board before putting the cover paper on so the cover has a rough and raised look about it. The endpapers are red to offset the paleness of the rest of the book. The book has five sections of four sheets each for 80 pages.

clam_front.jpgThe second creation is the clamshell box Skewered comes in. First, it has the same book cloth as the lined notebook in Episode 76. This is my second clamshell box and, except for a minor problem with gluing, it went much better than the first one (seen and heard down there in Episode 78). Using book cloth makes for a stronger hinge area, that's for sure. I had intended for the design to be on the front but neglected to watch what I was doing, so now it's on the back with a blank front. Oh, well.

clambook_open.jpgThe thing I liked about this clamshell box is that it fit the first time I closed it. No fiddling about for adjustments. Well, not much. I didn't have to cut or pare down edges in order to make it fit like I did with the Yellow Clamshell Box. This indicates either better measuring or blind luck. I hope it's not blind luck.


My next box will be a slip case. Books in Japan traditionally came in slipcases which showed the spine to the viewer but they are now reserved for the more expensive books like dictionaries and one-volume encyclopedias. I'm going to try it to see if I like it enough to include it with books I make. Plus I'll continue trying to improve my clamshell box creation skills.


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The Idiot Runs is my latest novel. It's about a Oregon coast man who travels back in time to Venice in the 16th century to work with Nicolas Jenson, printer, binder, and typeface creator of the Roman font.

I  wrote, edited, imposed, printed, sewed, and slapped a case binding on it. There are 160 pages of eight signatures of five sheets each. The book is bound in a tan burlapy book cloth with Japanese-esque endpapers (resembling mompei, discussed in Episode 75 when we were talking about another novel: The Priests of Hiroshima) with brown paper attached to the front.

The book is B6 in size - a handy pocket-sized book if you have slightly larger than normal pockets. And, surprisingly, it went together quite well over a period of a couple of days. Not the writing and editing. That took quite a bit longer. On the first evening, I sewed the signatures up. The next evening, after a leisurely dinner, I glued the spine, mull, and that extra Idiot_endpaper.jpgstrip of paper to the spine. On the third evening, I cut and pasted the endpapers; cut and pasted the cover and assembled the whole thing together. The third evening took about an hour. I wasn't rushed during the whole process and only made a couple of mistakes but nothing I need to point out here.

By the way, The Idiot Runs is the first book in my Calvado Pentalogy which contains the following books: The Idiot Runs, Calvado, The Priests of Hiroshima, The Venetian Slime Woman, and Tristram's Printer. Certain characters and situations show up in all five novels but not always blatantly obvious. If you're familiar with Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet you might recognize the structure in The Calvado Pentalogy.

Idiot_Back.jpgUpon finishing this and putting it on my improvised book press, I looked at my work table and discovered I have seven more projects to finish up. Seven! And where might I find the time to do them all? Heaven knows, eh?


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