With bull-like determination I'm slowly turning things out.
Today I listed a great little pamphlet book in my Etsy Books Shop. Honestly I love this book - not only the linoleum cut design on buckram book cloth - but the structure itself. This is the book I was sewing in this post. I used a variety of colored end sheet papers so there'd be a bright splash of color in between the charcoal-dark cover and the off-white text pages. After sewing I tipped (glued, in plainspeak) on the covers, just at the spine, so the sewing is not exposed and the cover material is seamless and smooth. I used buckram rather than chip board or card stock due to its suppleness. Buckram is a coated cloth, often used on vintage library books - it has an almost plastic feel to it (probably because it's impregnated with some sort of polymer), but it still has the look and flexibility of heavy sail cloth.
I wrestled a little with pricing these fine fellows. On one hand, they're simple pamphlet books, very similar to a Moleskine journal, without even some of Moleskine's bells and whistles such as pockets or removable pages. But this book is handmade from start to finish, from the cutting, folding, sewing, gluing, printing, trimming and corner rounding. I think my final decision is one I can live with.
In the not-so-great, reality of making things by hand, taking a risk and trying something new which doesn't work out category, I decided not to go forward with the other book cover designs I had been working on this week.
I have a stack of small, blank books that have been ready for some sort of cover for quite a while. Recently, as I was holding one in my hand, I realized that it was perfectly "pulp fiction," paper-back rack-sized; which led me to the natural conclusion that these should be soft covered with graphic, high contrast, B-movie, sleazy pulp type imagery. Which is fine, except it hasn't worked out for now. My lino cuts didn't work well with the book cloth I had chosen, and since the books are already trimmed to their final size and really can't go any smaller, doing a case like I had planned was technically difficult, if not impossible to make look good.
I'm still in love with the idea of creating my own pulp fiction covers to narratives that don't exist, but for now I've decided to put the cloth in the reuse/recycle bin and start over. It's difficult to make that choice since I'm crunched for time trying to make enough work for next weekend, but I'm happier knowing that I can stand behind my work 100%.
Next on the agenda:
1. 2011 calendars. They are still planned and on their way, hopefully to be finished this Friday.
2. A few more winter card designs, suitable for winter holidays, new years, all kinds of occasions...
3. Case bound, hard back books. Sometime in the second week of December.
4. More prints!!! Northwest themes, Portland lore, trees, dark primeval forests...