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National Blog Post Month 2015

Several people endeavor to write everyday for the month of November (NaBloPoMo). For some, this means getting back to that novel they’ve been meaning to write. For others, it is a chance to post everyday on their blogs. I am with the second group and will make a push to do the same. Everyday, I’ll post on the daily happenings in the studio as well as some posts about things that have happened over the last year, many of which I didn’t have the time to address before. As someone who would rather work with her hands than update a website, this will be a great way to get back to checking in online about the happenings of Spring Leaf Press. As I am starting this on November 2, I will post again today to make up for yesterday’s missed post.


November 1, 2015

NBPM 11-1

I have a stack of twenty blank books in progress. The finished books will be sent up to Hook Potter Paper in time for their Annual Fall Sale and Open House this November 14 & 15. Of the twenty, nine are sewn and the rest are on deck with thread cut and needle at the ready. The paper was all cut by hand using my usual method (I will write about this method in another post), an the sections were folded and trimmed. The idea of stabbing the stations in the fold of each of these 120 sections sounded like it would take ages. So instead I clamped all of them together, making sure they were all in alignment and square. Then, I drew a line across the sections where each station would be. Then, I pulled out my Japanese saw, lined up a block to guide the cutting, and started the cut. The benefit of the Japanese saw is its precision…in wood. For the record, using a Japanese saw is not the same as a bookbinder’s saw. The blade skipped and I chewed up some areas. Luckily, the damage wasn’t as bad as I initially thought, and I will be able to protect these areas with my lining materials. I switched to a knife and a metal ruler, cutting at 45 degrees one way, then cutting on the opposite side of the line in the same fashion. This created a neat V channel at each station which worked out perfectly when it came time to sew. The V notch also gives some space for the sewing thread to sit into.

Doing repetitive steps over and over again is not for everyone, but I find it to be meditative and a welcomed break from things that take excessive amounts of brain power. For me, sitting down at the bench and sewing the stacks of folded sheets is a chance to let my mind wander a little as the needle finds its way in and out of each station…kind of like a mental hot tub. So I will mentally soak throughout the day and get these puppies to the point that they are ready for their spine linings.


If you want to see what a bookbinding-appropriate saw can do, see Henry Hebert’s post here.
Image of sewing stations sawed in, from Henry Hebert’s post for German Paper Bindings