JournalFest – Day 2

Today’s class was Carla Sonheim’s Blobs & Sidewalk Cracks. If you don’t know Carls, she’s an amazing artist who paints wonderful animals that are vibrant, full of life and have awesome character. Carla “finds” her animals in peeling paint, blobs of oil on the ground, cracks in the sidewalk and in random marks. She loosened us up by starting with some contour drawings and once we were thinking in terms of the line, we went outside and wandered around with some paper looking for cracks and blobs.

We drew out what we found on the paper and then went back to the classroom to flesh them out into pen drawings of animals. I ended up with a seal. Next, Carla gave us some cards that she had painted blobs on and our task was to turn those into creatures as well. The best part of the class came after lunch when she demonstrated how she creates her depth of color through layering her watercolors. We then tried her techniques ourselves and created our own colored blobs to work on, I ended up with some Cookie Monster looking thing, a mutant hedgehog and a green shark.

The night wrapped up with the vendor event, Carla Sonheim, Dan Essig, Traci Bunkers and others were selling their art and other wares. I managed to get downtown before the even and headed to one of my Port Townsend favorites the Hanazono Asian Noodle House. I had a wonderful bowl of Udon but there was strangeness at the noodle house. Toes were everywhere — apparently these creepy toes were the halloween decorations, it was just weird.

JournalFest Day 1

When I decided to come to JournalFest I decided I would take some classes that pulled me out of my comfort zone. I have certain beliefs about books and journaling and one of the things I don’t like are sculptural books that have no utility. I want my books to be used and to accumulate the patina of use. With that in mind, I took Dan Essig’s class on making a mica book.

I’ve admired Dan’s work for sometime and I though his instruction was thoughtful and well planned. He provided us with a materials kit that allowed us to experiment with a variety of techniques such a trapping, inlay, sewing and staining. Over the course of the day, he demonstrated each technique and then we stepped through it with the materials in the kit. BY the end of the day, we had produced a seven page book that was made entirely out of mica and bound with a two needle coptic stitch.

I actually like what came out of the class and I’ll amend this post in a couple of days when I have a change to take some photographs. While I don’t know if I’ll produce another mica book, Dan provided a lot of information about mica and its properties and I can definitely see incorporating it into my wood and polymer books.

We closed out the day with a fire at the beach and journaling in the Beach Shelter, a small structure down by the waterfront. There were hot dogs and marshmallows and pens were flying.

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The Emergency Journal Kit – Part 1

Back in January of 2008, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with Tracy Moore and he confided to me that he hadn’t documented some event because he didn’t have a journal with him at the time. It was one of the most shocking revelations I had ever heard; anyone who has known Tracy any length of time knows that he always has a journal with him. For a while, I though he actually might have had a secret pocket sewn into his underwear to store them in. I remember making a joke — something about needing an emergency journaling kit, I even drew it out in one of my journals later that day.

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As I was thinking about what other things I might like to make to trade at JournalFest this year, I thought that a few of these kits might be fun and different. I started as I normally do by using a sheet of plain bond paper to work out the measurements. Once that was done, I used Adobe Illustrator to draw the design I wanted and scaled the to the measurements I’d worked out. I printed the design out on a sheet of French Paper Company’s Pop-Tone card stock. These kits will eventually be filled with some paper so when I calculated the initial measurements, I made sure that they’d be about 3/8″ deep for the paper to fit into. I used a Scor-it board to score the card stock so that when it’s folded, it will be able to house the sheets of paper that will go inside. If you study the image below carefully, you should be able to just make out the scoring.

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The next step was to trim out the areas that wouldn’t be part of the case once it was folded and after some experimentation with a couple of prototypes, it seemed like rounded corners would be a good ideal as well.


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With the trimming completed, the next step was simply to fold each case on the scored lines to set the creases into the right position.

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The case will be kept closed with a string and some paper buttons, similar to the ones you find on inter-office envelopes. After fabricating the buttons from some scrap I attached them using some standard grommets which pretty much wrapped up the exterior for this project.

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Stay tuned. I’ll post part 2 as soon as I figure out exactly what I’m going to put inside.

The Flatbacks are here!

Not much explanation needed… I’ve been casing in the book blocks I made and they’re just about done. These are the first four that have been completed.

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Ready for Casing

Over the past week I’ve been putting together all the ingredients for some small flat backs. The book blocks have been sew and glued up and I sliced up the paste paper I made a couple of weeks ago and used it to cover the cases that I’ll be putting the book blocks in. I’m going to add headbands to the book blocks but because these are meant to be lightweight journals I’m just going to use pre-made headbands that will just be glued in. Once that’s done, I’ll add the endpapers and then I’ll case the book blocks in. The photo below shows most of the finished parts before assembly.

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