Dye Painting and Printing Book Papers

I making progress with my paste paper book “Sampler”. Some of the papers shown in my previous post have now been incorporated into an accordion-fold artist book about papers painted with natural dyes, the aim being to integrate form and content.

I have based my “Sampler” design on the “Pocket Flag Book” shown by Alisa Golden's lovely and instructive “Expressive Handmade Books” . I am taking Alisa's design for a little walk…going down a few wrong turns, taking interesting detours, gathering some new companions on the way, tripping over stuff in the dark, exploring always…

First, let me tell you about the African handcarved blocks from Oshiwa Designs in Namibia, designs you see on some of the paste papers. I love that I can read the names of the artisans on the blocks – thank you, Joseph, Paulus and Ndumba! My friend Paula Benjaminson introduced me to their work when she lived in Ottawa. Read about Oshiwa on Paula's blog http://www.paulabenjaminson.blogspot.com. Paula lives in Gabon at the moment where she explores surface design with an African esthetic.

Samples of Oshiwa blocks in my collection:


After folding my paste papers into accordions, pockets, signatures and spines, I used glue and stitch to finish putting the basic book together:

Accordion structure, back view. That band on the bottom was a glued -on addition because I had cut the paper too short…The papers are monoprinted with madder. The colour of the madder changes with the paper used. The band is white paper while the accordion is buff- coloured thin cardstock.

Accordion from the back, folded. Signatures inserted on the front, sewn pamphlet style with red linen thread, waxed. Red because that colour relates to madder. I put the knots on the outside because I liked their texture, all lined up. Alisa's model book did not include sewn signatures but I was desperate to see what happens if…You know how that goes… The holes are rather too big but they have a certain shaggy textured charm…but rats! and one set of holes is out of line…Not sure how that happened because I did use a piercing cradle to hold the signatures…

Accordion spine, from the back

The structure, top view, showing three-slot pockets made of paste papers, four-folio sewn signatures and a double wee spine insert to hold the “flags” when I get to that stage. Manila tags are inserted into the centre slot-pocket. They will play their part for book content down the road.

Sampler book from the side, accordion spine on the right, paste paper pockets and folios on the left.

I like how the folds and the bands create coloured planes with the intersecting lines.

The diagonal line is the side pocket fold; the darker red rectangle below is a wide band of printed silk organza wrapping around the bottom of the pocket to enclose it, to keep inserts from slipping through the opening. Alisa's model created two side pockets. I have added a third pocket by gluing on a band to connect the two side pockets along the bottom.

To the left are the folios, in the centre is the mini spine which will hold “flags” and to the right are the paste paper pockets, with an Indian block print in logwood.

The signatures are stitched pamphlet style, knots outside on the spine.

Some text content about the dyes

How the pockets work

More on the functional aspects of the book form

Just a few last pics of the book's accordion spine

In future posts:

The book covers

The endpapers

The “flags”

The closure device

The text

The pocket inserts

A bientot!


About wendyfe

I am a fibre artist working in mixed media textiles with a focus on vintage cloth reworked with stitching, natural dyeing, eco printing and rust printing . My work can be seen at www.wendyfeldberg.ca.
This entry was posted in book arts, dye plants, eco prints on paper and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dye Painting and Printing Book Papers

  1. Roberta says:

    Beautiful work! I look forward to seeing more of what you do with these amazing papers you create.

  2. Your post makes me anxious to try my hand at book binding. Tell me again why there are only 24 hours in a day?

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