I ended up going to another book binding class at Monster Gallery on the Thursday after I returned from Thailand. The class was called Japanese Stab Binding, and this time we learned 3 different stitches.
Japanese stab binding gets it's name from the stabbing motion used to create the holes in the paper. It's ideal for binding loose pages together; perfect for diaries, class notes, or reports. Aside from the stitch method, the main difference between Japanese stab binding and Coptic stitch is that with Coptic stitch you can open the book flat. Whereas with Japanese stab binding, you have to crease the pages at the seam which means you are losing about a centimeter of writing space.
The first stitch we learned was the 4-Hole Method. With each new stitch, we were given a little diagram card that we could line up with our books and know exactly which hole to thread through and where to begin. It made it so easy!
Each book started on the second or third hole in from the right-hand side. You can see the diagram we we followed in the picture above and below.
The second stitch we learned in this series was called, Hemp-leaf Binding.
All of the papers that we were given to use in our books were hand-picked by our teacher in a paper store in Japan. So everything is completely authentic.
The last and final stitch we learned during the evening was Tortoise-shell Binding. I thought it was by far the prettiest binding we did, and definitely the most challenging. You can see in the image below how the diagram looks. Several of the holes we had to thread through twice.
The workshop was from 7 - 10pm, but really I finished all three of my books by about 915pm. So for the remainder of the class, I looked at all of the examples of books that our teacher brought with him to the workshop. He had books filled with stitch diagrams. Look how beautiful these drawings are! Like illustrated dance step sequences.
As I get to know more and more about book binding, my plan is to start cataloguing images from my travels into books I've created specific to each trip. I can't wait to start putting them together. I found this little downloadable handout to help me get started at home.
On my way out, I noticed this print on the shelf: "idon'twanttodiewithoutscars". I love this print, and I completely stand behind the sentiment. I can't wait to see what my next adventure will be . . . Be it through travel or by learning a new technique in another Monster Gallery class.
Bring it on.