For years I have wanted to make my own books. Small books, big books, beautiful, wonderful and creative books. I bought several books about making books. I've checked out books on book making from the library. I've seen wonderful hand made books on Etsy and at art shows. But I was always too afraid to try making one myself. I thought they would be too difficult to make and take too much time. A few weeks ago, I made a few small books that I put together and hand stiched to include in block printing kits I put together. They turned out kind of cute, they were fairly easy and I was happy with the result.
Last week, Artlandish Gallery offered a workshop in traditional Japanese bookbinding and I was privileged to attend. The workshop was taught by artist Sonya Nicholson who did a great job of breaking down the steps to building a book. (Check out some examples of Sonya's work here).
I really love the way my book turned out and it was not as difficult as I had always imagined it would be. Isn't that the way with things we fear? Mostly, they are never quite as bad as we build them up to be? The other thing is, that since I was able to finally make something I had always wanted to make and I liked the result, I felt very happy. I still love looking at my beautiful book and dreaming of a whole new avenue to release some creative energy. As if I really needed another thing to add to my list of things I love to make! Oh well! :)
Here are some photos of my first book made with Japanese bookbinding: