This post is slightly different, but I needed to put it somewhere accessible and my blog seems as good a place as any. It's certainly poetry-related!
A friend of mine is working on making her first chapbook. She had some questions about the procedure and was curious as to what kind of a device, if any, I use to facilitate putting the holes in the spine. I went down to my studio to take a picture of said device (which Ted made for me; it's very handy having a handy person around), then ended up employing the "picture is worth a thousand words" technique and photographing the whole sequence.
So, here we go. I'm sewing a copy of George Bowering's chapbook, Los Pájaros de Tenacatita.
|The wood device Ted made me that is responsible for the next 19 pictures!|
|Make sure your pages are as square as can be|
|Keep as much of it as you can perfectly lined up|
|Gently coax it so that the edges line up as perfectly as possible (which won't be completely perfect as a rule)|
|You're now ready to lie it down and crease the spine|
|Meet the bone creaser, so named because they were originally made from bone but now are made of some sort of hard plastic. While you're at it, meet the awl I use, which is only here to show the relative size of the business end.|
|Obviously your going to hold the book down as in the picture directly above while you drag the bone creaser down the spine. There was only so much I could do whilst taking this photo!|
|Now you're ready for book to meet that wooden thing Ted made|
|I just eyeball the hole positions. Do the middle one first, then the other two.|
|Starting from the cover side, insert needle through the centre hole.|
|Now go back through one of the other holes|
|Note that you've left a tail about 2.5" (just over 6cm) long in the middle. Now take a giant step and go back through the remaining empty hole.|
|Your last sewing moment is to go back through that same middle hole and come out on the cover side.|
|Make sure the two loose ends are on either side of the long stitch|
|Tie a square knot around that long stitch. Tie it tight. Trim the ends to whatever length makes you happy. Mine are around an inch (which we all know is 2.54cm).|
|Here's a fuzzy look at that fan-creep you end up with. It's the nature of the beast.|
|Meet my guillotine. I realize most people don't have these in their basements. You can bundle up your sewn books at this point and take them to your trusty printer who probably has one that's a lot fancier (and more accurate) than this one.|
|I'm going to trim about 3/16" (1/2 cm) off the edge. I'm not going to show you a picture of this because the guillotine is very sensibly made to only work when you employ both hands pushing buttons that are far away from that blade!|
|Voilà! All done. And remember, as in all things practice makes perfect.|
And here, by popular request (okay, one person asked), are pix of all four of my own chapbooks.
Actually, I have one more chapbook with about four or five poems in it, titled Tea in a China Cup, but somehow I didn't hang onto a copy of that one nor get a picture of it. It was cute, too. Sort of square, if memory serves. I'll have to try to track one down.