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Sometimes you just need a journal in a rush and you don't have time to make a case binding. I think paperbacks come in handy. But I still need multiple signatures to contain all the sketching I believe I'll get around to doing. Because of that I do a lot of experimenting with what I call "softspines." These are soft covered books (paper or fabric) with signatures sewn on the spine.

Whether you're painting the cover paper (book at far left), or making windows (book at far right; a Dottie carving), or collaging (center front), there is no end the the wonderful things you can do with these structures. I also find they are a great way to introduce students to bookmaking and mixed media techniques.

As with my hardcover books, the papers I use for the text pages in these books runs the gamut from toned to white, and suitable for the art medium I was interested in using at the time. That's another reason to experiment with these books, there are so many great art papers you can try out.

A book should suit your needs as an artist who likes to sketch or a visual journal keeper who wants to work in mixed media. The more books you make the more experimentation you get to do and the sooner you arrive at the way you enjoy working. How fun is that?!

Oh, and if you need a quick but elegant gift, but don't have hours and hours to let the glue dry, paperbacks are great.


Artwork © 2000 to 2003 Roz Stendahl; All Rights Reserved
Photo © 2003 Tom Nelson; All Rights Reserved