The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has always been my favorite harvest-pumpkin-Halloween story; and no one illustrated it better than Arthur Rackham.
Filled with Rackham’s skeleton-like trees [the Wizard of Oz Apple Trees are surely somehow linked to Rackham’s incredible trees],
the Rackham-illustrated version of Sleepy Hollow has a unique feel to it. The text alone is very descriptive; but when Rackham’s illustrations are teamed with the text, Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow literally springs to life.
40 years ago, I wrote one of my masters theses on William Blake; and his themes of innocence versus experience and also his dedication to making books by hand, self-publishing, both writing and illustrating, etc., have influenced my life and work since that time. I have numerous posts about William Blake in my blog. Search William Blake in my blog to learn more about his life’s work.
Books such as Songs of Innocence and of Experience were written, illustrated, printed, coloured and bound by Blake and his wife Catherine, and the merging of handwritten texts and images created intensely vivid, hermetic works without any obvious precedents. These works would set the tone for later artists’ books, connecting self-publishing and self-distribution with the integration of text, image and form. All of these factors have remained key concepts in artists’ books up to the present day.
“1. Cut two pieces of Mill board to 9″ x 11″ (23 cm, by 28cm), and then cut a 9″ x 1.5″ strip from each of these cover boards Use the smaller strips for the spine. Use the smaller strips for the spine.
2. Thins some PVA glue with water, making it the consistency of coffee cream. Then use a 1: sponge brush to apply the glue to the back of each cover board and adhere them to the inside of the decorative paper. Make the boards flush on the binding side (the left side) and centered, with equal margins of paper on the other three sides. Then fold the cloth over and turn the two corners in at a 45-degree angle; glue the paper to the board. Finally glue the endpapers to each board.” Making memory Books and Journals by Hand, p. 106
“Most books use cloth for all or part of the cover. Binder’s cloth is a strong, durable cloth with a paper backing. It can be purchased at binderies and paper stores. Other types of cloth can also be used. If the cloth you want is a loose weave or is very thin, it must be backed with paper to give it added strength and provide a surface on which to spread glue. Rice paper makes good backing material.
“Cloth and paper are adhered to a book using glue or paste. … polyvinyl acetate (PVA) is recommended. It is white, dries clear and can be thinned with water. You can substitute PVA with other white paper glues. …
“Professional binders use linen thread, which is strong but rather expensive. As a substitute, use thick cotton thread, embroidery silk, or even dental floss if the book is small. …
“The front and back covers of most books are made with heavy paper or cardboard, Davy Board, a type of cover board used by binders, can be purchased from local binderies or through catalogs….For practical purposes, the thickness of the cover boards should be about 0.08 or 0.09 inch, except in cases when a thin board, such as shirt board (0.02), is required.” Making memory Books and Journals by Hand, pgs. 18-19.
“All paper has one common characteristic–the grain. The grain indicates the arrangement or direction of the fibers. A book will be stronger, less likely to warp, and easier to fold if the grain of all of your papers is parallel with the spine. …For machine-made commercial papers, the grain usually runs the length of the paper. … A piece of paper folds easily and without cracking if the crease is parallel with thegrain. If you fold a piece of paper and it shows signs of cracking along the crease, you know the grain runs in the opposite direction. If you still cannot determine which way the grain runs, cut a small piece and wet it. As the paper dries, it will begin to bend in the direction of the grain. For handmade papers, the grain is of less concern. It is arranged in many different directions, and is therefore not as clearly defined as in machine-made commercial paper.” Making memory Books and Journals by Hand, pgs. 12-13
In the introduction to an old, but good book on bookbinding and art jounaling, Jason Thompson said the following about Journaling: “Faithfully keeping a journal is an art, a craft, a discipline, a ritual, and, for many journal keepers, a release–a conduit for the ideas, inspiration, experiences, and dreams that flow in and out of our daily lives. The techniques vary, but the inspiration is universal.The daily process for many journalers is a way to say those things that don’t get said in every day life. The insight we experience in quiet moments can gain strength and permanence when put on to page. Our personal communication can lead to growth, change, and self-awareness, or just importantly, simply serve as a memory of a time and place to look back to later on in life.” Making memory Books and Journals by Hand, p. 8