Celestial Cartography:


I present you with yesterday afternoon’s labor. This piece evolved from an unfinished ballpoint sketchbook doodle. This is one of the rare times where I sketched the image free handed directly on the linoleum before carving, adding to the design as I worked, instead of completing a drawing first and then transferring it with graphite and tracing paper.

Most of these images were shot last night, ergo the poor lighting/quality but I was absolutely convinced I’d post them before bed. Alas, this did not happen, but here they are now.

unfinished sketch that got this whole process going
phase 1.
phase 2.

inked block.
I still have some cuts left and fine tuning before I’m ready for the nice paper but once proofing results are satisfactory the plan is to ink and print the block with a dark blue gradient roll.

An Amateur Adventure in Self-Taught Bookmaking

A growing infatuation with book arts hath been brewing within me for a couple of years. Up until this weekend though, I've held off on trying my hand at bookmaking because I was never quite satisfied with any concept I came up with for a book.

Viewer discretion is advised. If you or anyone next to you scrolling through this post have any legitimate or even rudimentary experience/skill in book binding, you may wish to avert your eyes as the following images depict the slapdash efforts of one who chose to forgo any written instruction and instead sallied forth armed with naught but scrap paper, thread, tiny binder clips, rulers, old sewing needles of various sizes, and a mental+virtual inventory of inspiring hand crafted books.

You have been forewarned. 

The first booklet has no cover and started as an exercise in reminding myself that I can't hope to make anything half way decent without a considerable amount of risk free play first. (Plus good luck getting better at something if you never start.)
approximately 4"x6" when closed
I went page by page through all my sketchbooks from the past seven years and tore out any sheets used, but void of images or text, primarily those used to test new watercolors, colored pencils, brushes, etc. 
I think I'll continue to make little booklets of the same size using future material test pages and eventually bind them all together to make a new experimental sketchbook.

Next. The covers on this notepad started as the backs of mussed Christmas cards that got put aside in the scrap card stock pile.
I like that I'll be able to print something on the front cover and that the back already has my initials printed on it.
 The cover on this last little guy was originally a linocut proof on some brown card stock that had been hanging abandoned on the drying line waiting for purpose. In this case, patience with its maker was rewarded.
just under 2"x3"
I attached some thread to the front cover to be wound around the book in order to keep it shut.
In case you haven't noticed, I am an absolute sucker for deckled edges.
And now, lords and ladies, I give you what has to be the sloppiest exposed stitch binding ever
In spite of the dismally shoddy stitching, however, I do like the way the print wraps the entire cover back to front, which is the only reason I'm showing you this embarrassing spine.

So there you have the results of my first bookmaking adventure. Hopefully I'll make a whole different set of mistakes on the next adventure, and thus maintain the learning cycle.

That's all for now, gentlefolk. Thanks for scrolling through.