Adventures in Book Making, Travel Version

Traveling in the winter is risky business, as I can attest by my experience last week with a non-stop, three-hour flight to Chicago that entailed landings in Nashville and St. Louis before reaching my intended destination in Springfield, Illinoiswhere I wasn't supposed to be until the next day12 hours later. I never actually landed in Chicago.

handmade book by Katherine Pauley
Katherine Pippin Pauley and her fruit books.

But it was worth the circuitous route in order to see longtime (not "old") friends and for the change of scene. I find that even if you are going from one cold, snowy place to another cold, snowy place, you still get a visual lift because of the differences in architecture (bricks vs. clapboard), landscape (hills vs. pancake-flat prairie), and landmarks (stone walls marking Paul Revere's ride vs. the St. Louis arch).

bricks for handmade books
I like taking photos of texture, like these unusual bricks I came across in St. Louis.
I might use it as a background in a book

I also got the chance to meet a new (to me) mixed-media artist, Katherine Pippin Pauley. The friend I was visiting in Illinois got word of Katherine's whimsical studio and thought I might enjoy a tour. And Katherine was kind enough to oblige.

Katherine, a retired art teacher, dabbles in all kinds of media spread out over three different rooms. I was particularly taken with the assemblages and handmade books she creates in her attic studio.

In fact, I couldn't stop looking at the bowl of books she'd made out of faux fruit. Each book has a hinged binding and opens to reveal concertina-folded pages with recipes, quotes, and hand-drawn pictures that relate to the fruit covers. Adorable!

My friends enjoyed poring over Katherine's handmade books that unfolded to reveal favorite quotes and one round book, bound with metal rings, about travel to Italy.

My friend Ann, who takes fabulous photos on her excursions here and abroad, marveled at how these books were created and bound. I tried to convince her that she could make something similar herself, but she wouldn't believe it.

door handmade book inspiration
The colors and details in this doorway, found in Springfield, inspire me.

I think I may send her Dea Fischer's new Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM video "Handmade Book Essentials: Learn to Make Folded, Side-stitched, and Signature-Style Books".  In it, Dea gives a thorough overview of how to bind a book including the tools you need (awl, bone folder, cardstock, etc.) and book-binding techniques like the concertina fold and Japanese stab stitch.

Dea's been involved in book arts for years and reveals a lot of tricks of the trade, like how to make uniformly sized pages without measuring.

I might also make a book based on my recent travels, using Katherine's inspiration and Dea's easy-to-follow instructions. My jaunt to the Midwest has given me visual fodder and renewed energy to dive into a  book-making project.

P.S. Have you made a handmade book based on your travel? What inspired you? Leave a comment about it below.

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Blog, Handmade Books

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