The Rooster Coop

We’re Crafty: Bookmaking with Etsy & the AIGA

Posted in Stuff We Like by Jessica on September 29, 2011

Handmade at the Etsy Lab

As designers here at Rooster, Ricky and I love getting our hands dirty – sometimes with ink and sometimes with leftover pastries from a client meeting. I’m a fan of the AIGA’s Handmade series, but they always seem to sell out before I can say “DIY.” However, with my quick clicking reflexes and Ricky’s southern charm, we managed to secure ourselves a couple of spots at this month’s Handmade event – Bookmaking at the Etsy Lab with Esther K. Smith.

Esther K. Smith of Purgatory Pie Press (center) engaged us in a show-and-tell of books she has written and published through the Press and with other publishers. Purgatory Pie Press celebrates letterpress and bookbinding as artistic crafts, producing lots of beautiful eye candy for all to enjoy.

Once we got settled in, Esther demystified the bookmaking process for us all by teaching us the Japanese Stab Binding technique – a simple and easy-to-learn bookbinding stitch. If you would like to learn more about it, there are many tutorial sites and videos out there that show how it’s done – here’s one.

Armed with a thick stack of paper, strong needle, linen thread – and beer – we got to work.

Ricky sailed through it all and finished two books by the end. I learned a lot of things that night: it’s best to use a needle that’s as thick as the holes you make in the paper; mixing beer with book binding  is a precarious combination; you can make a book out of anything.

Despite almost sewing my finger to the back of my book, I came home triumphant and with a new tool in my design-y toolbox. Guess what everyone’s getting this Christmas…

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