Tuesday, December 7, 2010

new books

I have finally finished putting my new batch of books on Etsy. Please check them out and let me know what you think.

Monday, December 6, 2010



I am sooo sorry I haven't blogged for awhile! The holidays are in full force and my free time seems to be taken with getting product up on my Etsy site. I promise to be a bit more "Blogactive" in a week or two.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm having a bit of a sale at my etsy shop. Just in time for the holidays! Use the coupon code "thanks" for 20% off!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Patience from Glowing Heads on Vimeo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Toilet Paper Roll Art- Junior Fritz Jacquet


 There is a feel and an emotion to a material. It speaks to you. The beauty and history of the potential material tells you what it wants to be. The most frustrating part of an Artist's life is failing to do it justice, failing to express what potential is  in your chosen material is devastating. This, in my humble opinion, is why we hoard. When we are unable to release the material's potential, we have to protect it till we are able. I am sure everyone has some hidden stash waiting for their artistic expertise comes close to the level dictated by the precious stash.

 I love this Junior Fritz Jacquet's work. His uses paper like Michelangelo used stone. What he makes comes from the nature of the paper.

It was at the tender age of 14 years old when he first learned of his enduring love for origami art and its principles. It was an average day at school when his teacher instructed the students to build their own origami model. Jacquet connected immediately with the art form, understood its applications, and that they could be utilized far beyond a single piece of paper. Since that time, he has perfected his skills and techniques in a never-ending exploration of folding and crumpling paper to his will and design.

Blogging advice

Okay whilst reading another Artist's blog, I found the following information:
  " In order to have a successful blog, you should blog as many times as you eat through out the day."
 I see may problems with this. 1) I am a "Man of Size", who likes to eat... a lot. 2) Who has this much time to write all of this, and who has the time to read it all?

  So I am posing a couple of questions to you:
     1) How many times a week to you sit down and read through your chosen blogs?
     2) What type of things would you like to see on my blog? More tutorials? General observations? Interesting Links?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Folder Review

 I can't believe I am doing a review of paper folders. This is a tool that is sooooo basic and soooo unremarkable, yet soooo important to any kind of paper crafts. One would not think that there would be a whole lot of variation on the old tried and true Bone folder... but alas... there is.
   The basic paper folder is made from animal bone. Usually the leg of a cow is used, but They can be made from virtually any sturdy smooth bones. 

   I have drooled over hand carved folders made from Horn and exotic woods. Despite the fact that I would love one of these, I know when I broke it opening my Coke Zero I would have to cry.
Oooooooooo so pretty....

  So I brought it home and low and behold it does not leave marks on dark paper. It worked amazingly! Also, because of the slight flex of the Teflon, you are able to get a sharper fold.  I was shopping the other day and cam across a new type of paper folder....Teflon! I am sure they are not really a new technology, but being the tool whore that I am I HAD to have one. Picking it up I noticed a major difference..... It's slightly flexible. The material is much less hard then Bone. I read online that Teflon folders will not leave a shinny burnish mark on darker papers. Well seeing home I use mostly colored and a whole lot of black paper, I was intrigued. Not that that fact was going to change my mind.... whatever the advantage was, it's a new tool, and I needed it to be mine.

 .................... I do believe I am in love.
Various paper folding tools... yes I have used a butter knife (Eeeeeeak!)

Teflon Folders are a lot more expensive then regular bone folders, but when you spend that $10-$20 for beautiful handmade Paper from Napal, the extra cost is so worth it.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I took a lot of paper making classes in college. The process was a blast. I found an awesome video on the process. If you EVER get the chance to try making your own paper... DO IT!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a very cool video


Monday, October 4, 2010

A book store with just books about books


So I found this AMAZING bookstore, Oak Knoll Books and Book Press. Imagine this..... A 3 story book store with just books about books! And it's about 20 minutes from where I live. Kinda blows the mind. They specialize in used books on every conceivable subject about books.... Collecting, writing, printing, binding, illustrating, & paper making. If it has to do with the art of books it is there .

 It was the coolest place. I found 2 treasures. One on making headbands  and a cool hippy binding book from the 60's. I haven't poured through them yet because I had to jump online and share the experience with you guys as soon as I got to my computer. So as soon as I am done with this I am hoping in my comfy chair and delving into my new found treasures.

Please forgive the photos... they are from my iphone.

From Oak Knoll's website:
    Oak Knoll Books was founded in 1976 by Bob Fleck, a chemical engineer by training, who let his hobby get the best of him. Somehow making oil refineries more efficient using mathematics and computers paled in comparison to the joy of handling books. Oak Knoll Press, the second part of the business, was established in 1978 as a logical extension of Oak Knoll Books.
Today, Oak Knoll Books is a thriving company that maintains an inventory of about 23,000 titles. Our main specialties continue to be books about bibliography, book collecting, book design, book illustration, book selling, bookbinding, bookplates, children's books, Delaware books, fine press books, forgery, graphic arts, libraries, literary criticism, marbling, papermaking, printing history, publishing, typography & type specimens, and writing & calligraphy - plus books about the history of all of these fields.

 They also had some beautiful hand bound books on display. These books were amazing. All of them were constructed from precious metals and velvet. Next time I go. I promise to take my regular camera and I'll get some better shots.

This one was marked at $9,000
So if you are ever in my neck of the woods, make sure you make a point to visit Oak Knoll!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scissor review

Okay So I really like tools. I buy way too many. I have to try out the latest and greatest. This obsession sometimes gets in the way of my bizarre cheapness. Despite the fight between these natural traits of mine, I still have managed to amass massive amounts of tools. I think this harks back to my days as a studio goldsmith. All of the tools were specialized and expensive... but oh sooooo cool!
  Anyway....where was I... Oh yeah... scissor review. As we all know having a nice sharp pair of scissors is very important. Most people think that any old pair will do. Oooooh no.... I regularly use 5 different pair. And yes I get VERY annoyed when I see people using my scissors to cut things that they were not intended.

Forgive my messy work area!

(1) Cheapo dollar store scissors. I use these to cut all of those nasty things that I should not be using scissors for... Tin, aluminum, sand paper...etc.
(2) Tonic Non-stick Serrated scissors.  These are the one's to reach for when you need to cut thick stuff, leather, cardboard, plastics, and rubber. The non-stick is rather handy when it comes to cutting things with adhesive already on them. The serrated part is not my favorite. The cut edge is not as smooth as I would like. But The serration keeps the scissors from dulling when cutting the chunky stuff. I suppose function has won over form.
(3) Fiskars Titanium Fabric scissors. I LOVE these. They are super sharp. I cut nothing but fabric with these. anyone who works with fabric knows that you should reserve scissors for just this purpose. There is nothing more frustrating then trying to get dull blades through expensive cloth. Titanium is harder then tool steel, so these will keep their edge longer.
(4)  Tim Holtz signature Tonic studio Non-stick micro Serrated scissors.. (whew!) These puppies are awesome. I use these medium duty scissors for pretty must all of my paper cutting needs. they are my work horse. I was a bit standoffish about the Micro serration, but it is so fine that you don't really notice. The non-stick, once again, is quite the bonus.
(5) Cutter Bee micro scissors. I like to think of these as my traveling pair. I use them only for sewing threads, and I sew all over the house, on the road, where ever. So these little buggers have done some traveling. The blades are very sharp and the tang is very pointed so they are excellent for sewing threads. I love the fact that they are yellow. They spend a lot of time on my bench among all the rest of the detritus covering my work area.

Tonic Studios 814 Kushgrip 5-Inch Non-Stick Serrated Scissors with Protective CapTonic Studios Tim Holtz 817 Kushgrip Non Stick Micro Serrated SnipsFiskars 12-9653 6984 Titanium Nitride 9.5" Shop ShearsEK Success EKCB01 Cutter Bee Precision-Cut Scissors

Book Review: Paper Transformed

Julia Andrus's book Paper Transformed is one of my favorite technique based books. There are hundreds of swatches of useful techniques for altering paper. Her instructions are clear and to the point. Probably the bast part is that she doesn't use a lot of expensive equipment or supplies. Most items can be found at your local craft/art store.
Paper Transformed: A Handbook of Surface-Design Recipes and Creative Paper Projects

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Save the Arts: Jeremy Deller Poster

Save the Arts: Jeremy Deller Poster

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A bit of a warning

Very cute Kittens and working on 4 needle Coptic stitch books do not mix very well. Just imagine curious Kitten and 4 strings with shiny things bobbing about.... FAIL...
oh yeah... they are always cute when they are asleep!
1/2 sewn book after much untangling!

New Glue Review

Okay so it's not really a New Glue Review per say... That would indicate that there is an Old Glue Review. I just liked how the title sounded so I went with it.
    As with many things I have a bit of a fetish for glue and adhesives. I am always willing to try something new. As with friends/lovers (just kidding P!), no adhesive can fulfill every need. There are a few however that I favor.

  YES Stikflat glue is evidently a rice flour based glue. This makes it mostly archival. I use Yes glue far more than any other. I has a wonderful tackiness, it's repositionable, and best of all water soluble. Okay so most adhesives are water soluble... Yes is different. Every one of us has had our sloppy day. No matter what you do you seem to get glue on everything. Well with YES, you really don't have to worry. It will wash out of a dry glue brush, wipe off your cutting mat, and scrape off your brayer. I am super anal about ANY glue showing on my work. If you get a bit of yes on your expensive (or cheap) paper it just takes a bit of spit on your thumb and you can do the old Mom thing and wipe the Yes away. It will not mark or stain your paper.  Yes glue can do no wrong in my book.
  My second favorite is Spray Adhesive. I recommend re-positionable Elmer's Craft Bond. Spray adhesive is basically two glues in one. If you spray the glue on both surfaces, let it dry and then stick together. You will NEVER be able to pull the two surfaces apart. Think rubber cement or construction adhesive. Once stuck, it's there forever. If you lightly spray just one side and let it dry you can reposition. Thing a stickier post-it note.  In my former life I was a merchandiser. This job required that I was never without my spray mount. I needed a holster. Two warnings...1) Spray adhesive is pretty smelly so unless you like working whilst being stoned. Spray is an area that is well ventilated. 2) Spray adhesive is is not very archival.
  My third favorite is Glossy Accents. This is not technically a glue. It was designed as a clear epoxy like coat for paper and various objects. It functions very well for it's intended purpose, but it is an amazing epoxy like glue also. Regular epoxy is a pain in the ass. Glossy accent will hold small parts together very well. It will not fill gaps or hold large embellishments but small things like eyelets or rivets... it is awesome.
  There are a whole bunch of other types of adhesives that I use but these three are the one's I reach for the most. Some day I will bore you with  my review the others.
   Thanks for reading!
Yes Stikflat Glue - Pint, Yes Stikflat GlueSpray Adhesive 11 oz canRanger Inkssentials Glossy Accents Precision Tip, 2-Ounce

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Metallic Waxed Linen Thread


     Okay So I have a bit of a bookbinding thread fetish. I have tried many different brands and colors. I do believe it was Patsy Stone who said "You can never have too many Gloves, Hats, & Shoes". Well in my world one can never have too enough  Paper, tools, & thread!
    Most of the time I use18/3 un-waxed Irish Linen thread and custom dye it to match my project. Up until now metallic thread has only been a dream. I have found a rather brilliant product called Gilder's Paste. This lovely stuff is like waxy metallic shoe polish. It is amazing for "gilding" waxed thread. Just pull the thread through the paste and wham bam Metallic thread! You do have to let it dry for 60 or so minutes, unless you want everything you own metallic. I haven't tried it yet, but the Gilders paste would probably work well to gild text blocks. Currently I am working on a book with Cordovan Leather and a red/gold metallic thread. I will post some pics when it's done.
    ~ Eric

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Secret no more - The Secret Belgian Binding


So I have seen many examples of the Secret Belgian binding online. After much searching I found some very readable instructions here. Thank you to whomever did this tutorial...good job!
  From what little info I could find, the Secret Belgian binding was re-discovered in 1986. It is composed of 2 covers and a spine that are woven together. The signatures are sewing to the inner weave.

 Here is an example of what is "should" look like.. Boy do I LOVE Dennis Yuen's work
Book Artist: Cailun/ Dennis Yuen
  Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel please follow the this link for the tutorial. After reading it as carefully as I could and following the directions as well as any male can, I do however have some observations.

  1) Do not use tape to hold your covers together while stitching... Tape and paper are never  friends. I  tried to use painters tape (which I do use a lot of in my studio). Even after sticking it to my shirt a few times to take down the adhesive a bit, it still pulled up and tore my paper.... FAIL....
  2) The instructions to not call for an odd number of sewing stations... keep your number odd. Believe me you will be happier
  3) Unlike some bindings, tension is key. Your signatures and cover need to be tight!

 I took some pics of my process. Please be kind, it was my first time.
First 3 stations sewn. Please forgive the horrible photograph (Warning: they don't get any better)
Inside cover completely sewn.  I'm a bit embarrassed of the cheap paper and the nylon thread I used

Please try this binding out. It really is quiet beautiful. I can see a lot of variations using beads or decorative threads that would be next to impossible of most bindings.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010



 I found these online .. cool as hell. The artist is Denise Kiggan. Her work can be found here

This Is Where We Live


This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

Welcome to our city - to our world - of books. This is where we live.

A film for 4th Estate Publishers' 25th Anniversary. Produced by Apt Studio and Asylum Films.

The film was produced in stop-motion over 3 weeks in Autumn 2008. Each scene was shot on a home-made dolly by an insane bunch of animators; you can see time-lapse films of each sequence being prepared and shot in our other films.

London Set Build Timelapse from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

  The word really should be made from Paper, books, scissors, and a glue gun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Piercing signatures

I have found a bit of an alternative way to pierce signatures. I read about sawing the holes from the outside in one of Kevin Smith's books. This method vs. the inside piercing works out well for me. It has greatly improved my accuracy. No more wonky piercing stations!

Kevin Smith's instructions involved using a hack saw... seriously... a Hack saw! This seemed a bit extreme to me. This is like cutting a sapling with a chain saw... can you say overkill! I scaled it back a tad. I use a jeweler's saw. I happen to have several from my goldsmithing days. Even if you are not a jeweler these are very handy things to have around. I have used mine for all types of projects including , in a pinch, cutting down a Christmas tree.
The trick is to use the saw to "mark" the piercing hole. You don't need to go all the way through. If you do cut through all of the signature the hole will be elongated and will rip easily when you are sewing the book. Use a traditional awl to finish the hole from the outside of the signature.

Saw Frame Jewelers Adjustable Metalsmith Wood Hand Tool
Jeweler's adjustable saw frame