Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sushi Anatomy: How I Make My Books

Completely by hand, and it's no quick process my darlings. Good news is that I enjoy it! This post tells you a bit about Sushi books and how they're made. What's in these things, anyway? I take a couple of boards -- whatever material would make a suitable book cover -- drill some holes in them, and put together a unique design using fancy papers. These papers are usually high-end scrapbook swatches, but I've been known to recycle found print designs and use the paper from there. One of my books came from a city bus map. As long as the product looks cool and functions well enough, I love using recycled components.

The inside stacks of paper, called signatures, come from 24-32lb stock (this might vary as I venture into other new and unusual projects). It's FSC-certified, which means it comes from a responsibly-managed forest, and contains recycled content. Sandwich these signatures between two-of-a-kind book covers, and we're ready to sew it all together!

A million Egyptians can't be wrong

Sushi books are sewn together using the Coptic stitch, a near 2000-year-old bookbinding method. This style was developed by the Copts, a sect of native Egyptian Christians that popped up in the first century AD. Coptic-bound books were a heluva lot more convenient to port around than scrolls, being compact enough to tuck into one's priestly robes. This method stuck around (and so have the Copts, for that matter), and is mostly used by craftspeople for making specialty journals and books. Not only is the exposed stitching attractive, but the books can open 360 degrees (depending on how you embellish them). And it's entirely functional too! I sometimes get questions about whether the book will hold together; yes indeed, those Egyptians made a clever stitch and your book will not unravel.

When you buy a Sushi book, it's guaranteed to have been hand-sewn by me and that I stabbed myself with a sewing needle at least once.

Sounds time-consuming. Why you do this?

A lot of work goes into these babies, but its good times. I've always loved books for reading, writing in, and just plain having around. Also, as a graphic designer by day, I'm always on the computer. Bookbinding is a way I can ditch the mouse and monitor and be creative with other tools.

Your name is ridiculous.

I know. Around the time I decided to label this little venture, I was not up for pouring lot of thought into a brilliant, meaningful name or logo. I do that all day at my job, you see. Really, I was just going for fun and easy. And I had this cool octopus graphic I made sitting around. Apologies if you came here looking for instructions on how to make origami models of sushi; that what I found when I Googled Sushi Papercraft. While you're being disappointed, please check out the gallery.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Welcome to the Sushi Papercraft blog! Visit often to learn about Sushi's handmade books and how to get 'em. You'll also find posts about crafting, design, and anything else artsy.

For starters, here's where you can get your hot little mittens on a handmade journal or sketchbook:

July 4:
Downtown Farmer's Market
Jasper Ave and 104th Street

July 11:
Downtown Farmer's Market
Jasper Ave and 104th Street

July 18:
Handmade Nation screening & Make It sale
Trans Alta Arts Barn

Monday, June 22, 2009

This is a test!