My two children live in San Diego and I’m always looking for an excuse to go down to visit. I have loved Daniel Essig’s books for years and the idea that I could actually see and handle his books was reason enough to book a flight. Even better, he was offering a three day workshop to make a sewn book with wooden covers. I’ve done little sewing so I knew this was going to be a bit of a challenge. It was. However, I loved working with wood and all of the tools: drill press, power tools, hand drills, and my personal favorite, the industrial lathe tool we used to create metal posts. I enjoyed sewing the caterpillar but the stitches along the edges drove me batty (and I’m sure Daniel too). But. Now I know I can actually sew these stitches and maybe even begin to understand Keith Smith’s instructions on the same.
The covers were created using wood covered with handmade crumpled flax paper made by Bookmakers Inc.. Covers were painted with layers of milk paint, sanded to reveal the layers, and then waxed with shoe polish to add luster.
One of my favorite students in the class was the high school woodshop teacher who volunteered his beautiful and well equipped classroom for our workshop. He had no bookmaking experience and created a wonderful book with patience and good humor.