For those of you who may not know, PLAY is an annual journaling retreat hosted by Teesha and Tracy Moore. One of the features of PLAY is a optional swap. For the past two years, I’ve bound a small 3 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ pocket journal for each participant. For the last two years I’ve made the same book, I settled on the design the first year because they’re easy to make and sew and since I’m putting about fifty of them together, well… you can see the logic. I do change the cover design and last year I also included a second small book which was based on the design of a Moleskine Cahier.
I thought about doing some small leather books this year but as time got tight, I decided to do the same one yet again. This year, I ran into a problem with the covers. I make the covers using two sheets of paper glued together, I use Rives BFK on the outside and black Rising Stonehenge on the inside. In the past I’ve decorated the cover with a simple acrylic wash and then printed the cover art with a Gocco. I wanted a little more texture this year so I went with Paste Paper, when I Gocco’ed the design on the prototype I found that the text and the artwork got lost in the design or the paste paper. I mentioned the problem to Cindy Iverson at The Paper Studio and she suggested using the letterpress; we set up the job so the design would have a little punch. The embossed quality the letterpress lent to the cover makes it work. Here’s a photo of the printing job in process.
Once the cover design wan printed the rest of the process was fairly straightforward, throw on a movie and just keep sewing like a madman until their all done. I ended up making 53 books, enough for everybody attending and a couple of extras — one for Andrew Borloz at Urban Paper Arts and one for Cindy at The Paper Studio for her help with the letterpress. Here are a couple of photos as they near the end of the process, the Gocco printing of the Colophon and the books waiting to have the Colophon pasted and then get packed up.