Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's been a while. I didn't intend to take so long, but things have a way of happening. We have a very sick cat and then my camera died and I couldn't do the images to go with my planned texts.
Since I am planning to teach an altered book class (see below for the June 13 entry) I thought it would be good to post a short tutorial about selecting a book to work on.

I have my camera back and have some pictures now. Soooo... without further ado, here is that short tutorial.
  1. Look for a book in reasonably good condition. A little worn and messy is OK, but the binding should not be severely broken. Experienced artists can fix a lot of things but you don't want to start your journey in altered books with a problem

  2. Inspect the book to see if it is sewn rather than glued. A glued binding will not hold up to the stresses of altering.

  3. Check along the header tape for the scalloped shape of each signature.

If you open the book so that the center of a signature is exposed (that's the opening in the middle of the set of pages) you should be able to see evidence of the stitching. This book will hold up well as you work in it. The next step, which I will post next week is about prepping the book to work in it.
Next is an example of a book that won't work for altering.

Below is an example of a glued binding. The glue isn't always so obvious, but you can see that there is no evidence of the kind of scalloped shaped that characterize a sewn book. This particular example is a Reader's Digest Condensed book and is typical of these publications. Although the book itself isn't a good candidate for altering, you may want to try to use the attractive covers for another purpose