Monday, February 4, 2019

The Art of Japanese Stab Bindings

Here are the gorgeous books created at a workshop I recently taught on the Art of Japanese stab bindings, using hard covers.
Mine are the two on the bottom left with the green trees, and under it, the cover with the fishes swimming. As a calligrapher, I got into making books by hand.That was the technique used long ago, before the printing press. Everything made with care and precision, the book and writing, both  art forms.
My other book on the top right has  the purple and green flowers. This has a more complicated form of stitching. Look at the contrast of the thread on the brown  cover in front,which really shows the finished pattern. A lot more complicated than just two holes! These are experienced book makers I am teaching, so it is always a challenge to know more than your students.
Japanese stab binding has a long tradition, and were usually made of rice paper. Each hole has to be sewn at least two times, front and back, to complete the pattern. The sewing is always begun other than the first two holes to make the knot less obtrusive. For this lesson, I chose the hard covers, mat board covered in decorative paper.The six hole design is a real challenge. Therein lies the art!