Right now I'm participating in another one of Melanie Testa's online workshops at the Clever Guild: Dream journal (you can still sign up!). You can find some images of what I've done so far (not much, as usual) in my Flickr photostream. This workshop explores different techniques that you can use in your sketchbook or visual journal. And since I can't find the kind of sketchbook I want in the shop, I have custom-made my own sketchbook. A page in this book is only 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inches), which is a nice little format to work with if you're like me and easily get performation anxiety or fear of the Huge White Page. I can choose to work on a small single page, or on the 30 cm spread. I used smooth hot press watercolour paper (300 gsm/140 lb) for the pages, and cardboard for the covers. I covered the cardboard with my own breakdown printed fabric. Fun!
The signatures are sewn together, and the covers are also sewn onto the signatures. I used a technique I haven't tried before and which I learned from Laura Kemshall in an episode of DMTV. Before this book I've tried Japanese stab-binding, small pamphlets and the thirty minute multiple-pamphlet journal taught by Gwen Diehn in her book The Decorated Journal (follow the links for a look at the books/pamphlets in question). This binding method was both fun and easy, and here's the result;
I was a bit hesitant whether this kind of structure would work for a watercolour sketchbook, but figured that I'd just try it out to see what would happen. As you can see below, there is a gap between the signatures that can be problematic with watery paint.
However, I've decided that I'm not going to be bothered about it. If I want to lay a wash over a spread with a gap, I can always tape the gap or glue a piece of paper over it. Things are only a problem if you make them a problem.
Isn't this a beautiful binding method? I love the loops that form over the spine and the exposed signatures.
Now that I have the book, it's time to start filling it. This week's assignment for Melanie's workshop is to make 10 starts, that is to do something - anything - to 10 pages somewhere - anywhere - in the journal. Sounds like fun!
Thanks for reading, and see you again soon! - Annika