Back to Work

I had to take a little “break” from working on the book to finish a 30 x 20-inch ink drawing, and now that it’s done, I’m back to the Dan book. Here’s that drawing, by the way, called Runaway Cakes:

This is on a pink, handmade paper imported from Nepal. It was slightly difficult to work with. The size was not exactly square either, but I’m taking it to the framer next month. He’ll float it inside a maple frame, the way I frame most of my works on paper.

While I was finishing that up, my new Woodzilla Press arrived. I think I’ll play with it this weekend. Ultimately, I’d love to accomplish getting the die cuts made on all the Medicine Dan covers. Wouldn’t that be something? That might be asking for a lot since I’ve never even tried it yet. It could require some trial and error, I don’t know, but I’m going to enlist Hannah’s help.

In the meantime, I’m back to sewing these two pages of the book, which take a lot longer than I’d hoped.

Maybe it looks easy, but it has to be done carefully so I don’t dent any part of the sheet. I have to carefully pre-poke each hole over a couple of layers of scrap felt so I can see where to enter from the backside and turn the sheet over back and forth a stitch at a time. I don’t mind it; it’s just time-consuming. I’ve only completed two books so far. So, six more to go.

But I finished these little pouch pages that hold four stickers in each pouch:

I’m waiting on a drafting tool, which will arrive today from Amazon. It’s a simple, 10-inch, 90-degree metal triangle. I had a 12-inch plastic one, but the edges were all chewed up for some reason. Why? How? Not important. I consider it trash now. I need it to trim the right edges of the signatures to the best of my ability. The buttonhole binding process, at least from all the tutorials I’ve learned from, seems to leave all the pages untrimmed. Do I like that “look?” Not really. Does it need to be “perfect?” No, but I’d rather the pages be a little easier to turn. Uneven pages on the right edge are difficult to turn.

You’re supposed to cut the pages as exact as possible before the binding process (when the pages are attached to nothing!), but that doesn’t work. The pages that fold toward the center of each signature will stick out farther than the first page that’s wrapped around the top. And depending on the weight of each piece of paper, that can also vary greatly. Then, when you start binding, all the pages get pulled to and fro differently, too. It’s almost impossible to trim this kind of binding. It definitely winds up looking like a handmade book, that’s for sure.

The metal triangle will help a little, but again, a lot of work to peel off a sliver at the edge of forty signatures with an X-acto knife.

Here is the “dummy” binding, which was done with thin typing paper, but it shows how the signatures will be showing through at the folds:

I finally ordered the custom Plexiglass cases for the books yesterday. That was both exciting and expensive. Since I’ve already pre-sold the first copy, it didn’t sting too badly. They will look a little like this in terms of shape:

I feel like I was going to talk about more updates than this, but I guess that’s all I have? Yup. That’s it. Back to work.

5 thoughts on “Back to Work

  1. Kate Riley December 16, 2023 / 5:18 am

    Wow Ayin! I would love to buy a copy of your new book! However much would it cost me- and to get it to UK?
    I simply love your work! Thanks so much, all love xxx

    • Ayin Es December 16, 2023 / 7:01 am

      Hi Kate. Thank you. It’s best to email me. I don’t know the price quite yet, but I can hold one if you really want to purchase one. They won’t be under $850 or over $1000. I haven’t figured them out fully until they are complete. 🙂

  2. Hannah December 16, 2023 / 11:55 am

    Another incredible hand-made book. It beggars belief, I tell you!

  3. Hannah December 16, 2023 / 11:57 am

    Another incredible hand-made book. It beggars belief, I tell you!

    • Ayin Es December 16, 2023 / 2:45 pm

      I think you might have a little bit of a bias at this point. 😉


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