New Books Emerge from the Box-O-Blanks

I’m in the process of rebooting my blog and I thought I’d start by binding some new books. I recently came across a box of wood blanks that I had cut some time ago for binding journals. The box got used to the back of a shelf and I forgot about it; I might have cut these for a class I was going to teach or because it’s too hot to do it in the summer, I really don’t remember. I’ve been through the box, and there’s a pretty broad assortment of domestic and exotic hardwoods including Bloodwood, Paduk, Cherry, Walnut and Maple Burl.

Box of Wood Blanks

Box of Blanks

I typically work in several journals at a time normally have a small, medium and large one in progress at the same time. When I get down to the last signature in a journal, I bind a new one for myself. I’m asked all the time if I sell my journals and I do occasionally, but it’s not like have have a bunch of them sitting around on the shelf at any given time. I’ve decided to take the blanks in this box though and go on a holiday binding binge and put some of them up for sale. I walked away from Etsy a few years ago for a variety of reasons so I’ll probably just put them on eBay.

I’ve already dipped into the box and bound three journals, and here they are

Carved Cherry

This journal is approximately 3” x 4” and contains 8 signatures of Extra White, 140 Lb. Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper. The cover is Cherry which has been carved, washed with Milk Paint and then finished with Danish Oil. The journal is Coptic bound and sewn with 4-ply Irish Linen thread.

Carved Cherry Journal: Front View

Carved Cherry Journal: Binding Detail

This Journal is currently available for purchase on eBay.

Walnut Burl

This journal is approximately 3” x 4” and contains 8 signatures of Extra White, 140 Lb. Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper. The cover is Walnut Burl, wood that was rejected by a furniture maker in the midwest. I like the striations and patterns in burled walnut so it’s finished simply with several coats of wax. The journal is coptic bound and sewn with 4-ply polyester thread.

Walnut Journal: Front View

Walnut Journal: Front View

Walnut Journal: Sewing Detail

This journal is currently available for purchase on eBay.

Inlaid Walnut Journal

This journal is approximately 3” x 5” and contains 8 signatures of, 140 Lb. Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper. The cover is Walnut Burl and inlaid with a strip of Red Oak which has been carved and then washed with milk paint. The covers are finished with several coats of paste wax. The journal is Coptic bound and sewn with 4-ply polyester thread.

Walnut Journal with Oak Inlay: Front View

Walnut Journal with Oak Inlay: Front View

This journal is currently available for purchase on eBay.

I’ll be teaching with 21 Secrets

I happy to announce that I’ve been selected as one of the 21 artists that will be teaching in the Spring 2015 Edition of the 21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop! 21 Secrets is a wonderful online site for classes created by Hali Karla and Connie Hozvicka at Dirty Footprints Studio.

I’ll be teaching a a new online class title “Bound to Journal.” My journaling is a conglomeration of intentional art, random thoughts, ideas in work and the overflowing debris of my brain. In this workshop, I’ll take you through my process from end-to-end. We’ll start by taking a tour through one or two of my journals and my journaling bag. Next, I’ll teach you how to bind a twelve-page folio journal which when completed, can be bound into a larger book. I’ll focus on journaling with some materials that are typically used for creating urban art.

I often incorporate photographs in my journals so I’ll demonstrate some simple techniques for taking control of the camera in your phone and taking great photos will allow you to document events and create distressed or distorted images. Finally, we’ll tie the techniques I’ve show you together will create a series of rich pages that will speak to who you are.

For more information on the Spring 2015 21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop. Click Here.


Teaching the Coptic Stitch (Better)

I’ve been teaching the Coptic stitch a lot lately and I’ve been thinking about how to teach it better. When it comes time to teach the stitch during the class everybody gathers around to watch and that’s where the problem is. Everything is too small. with a half-dozed or more people gathered around looking over my shoulder it’s hard to see what’s going on. I’ve tried doing things like sewing with two different colored threads but at the end of the day, nobody can get close enough to see what’s going on during the demo.

I’ve decided to scale up and build a demo rig so everybody can see what’s happening during the demo. I just started working on it today and I hope to have it done soon but here’s what I’ve got so far, I hope to have it done by the end of the week.



Worn by Time: A Coptic Bound Art Journal

Art Unraveled has been going on for the past week or so and it’s been a great event. This past Saturday the Shopping Extravaganza took place and a wide variety of artists and vendors where there selling everything from handmade journals to stencils. Classes start late on Saturday so everyone has plenty of time to shop and I had just enough time to check everything out before teaching my class, “Dug from the Ruins: A Polymer Clay Art Journal”.

Today, I taught my class titled “Worn by Time: A Coptic Bound Art Journal.” In this class, students use Milk Paint to transform ordinary oak boards into a 3″ x 5″ journal. The morning was spent drilling holes for the binding, building up layers of color using Milk Paint and the distressing the surface to reveal those layers and simulate the look of wear and age. For many, the Coptic Sewing is hard to learn so the rest of the day was reserved for sewing demonstrations and hands on help with the binding.

Students finished their books by setting a small image into a bezel and attaching that to the cover and then installing a simple closure that was fabricated from brass. It was a great group of students and their books turned out exceptionally well. I hope to see them again in the future at other events.


A student distresses the covers of their journal in the “Worn By Time” class.

Art Unraveled is Here!

Art Unraveled kicks off in Phoenix tonight with a meet the artist event. If you haven’t attended, Art Unraveled is a week long art event that features classes taught by internationally known artists. There are over 125 workshops that cover a broad range of media like painting, book making, jewelry making, metal work, journaling, fiber/fabric arts, sculpting and assemblage.

I’ll be teaching three classes at Art Unraveled this year, Dug from the Ruins, a journal created from polymer clay; Work by Time, a coptic bound art journal with wood covers and the Inlaid Wood journal wood covers with small circular inlay.

If you’re attending Art Unraveled this year, stop by and say hello.


Dug from the Ruins

Dug from the Ruins

Worn by Time

Worn by Time

The Inlaid Book

The Inlaid Book

Graduation Gift

It’s graduation time again and a family friend, someone we’ve know since he was a wee tot has managed to survive the elementary school system and go over the wall. He’s a talented drummer and over the past couple of years he’s started to journal sporadically with a goal of doing it regularly. I thought it might be nice to bind a journal for him; maybe he’ll go to it more regularly if it’s more meaningful than an off the shelf sketchbook.

Graduation Gift Journal 1

Front View

Graduation Gift Journal 2

Spine Detail

Graduation Gift Journal 3

Back View

Zebrawood, Chata Kok, Maple Burl, Brass, Leather, 300 gm Fabraino Artistico 4-ply Polyester Thread