Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bear With Me

Bear With Me, ©2008, 5.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 (closed). Museum board, topo maps, collage, photos, handcarved rubber stamps, handcarved pencil eraser font, transfers, memories, dreams. Wire edge binding. More photos of Bear With Me here.

This book started as a quick project to do over the Christmas holidays. I wanted it to be fast, reproducible as black and white photocopies and very cheap. I planned to give them away, or sell them for under $10. How much of this did I accomplish? Zero. I couldn't give up the colors, I decided to make multiples on my color printer. I made 4 or 5 pages several times because I decided I didn't like an element already glued down and it couldn't be collaged over.

I was thinking about bears when I started the book. I dream about bears occasionally. I know bears are important in American Indian thought. And I love the idea that they are powerful spirit figures. But in working on this book, I decided for me they may represent my animus. Just as I finished the book I dreamed about a huge sleeping bear. I wanted to poke it and make it come after me. I wasn't afraid, and as I woke, I was about to poke it.

This is wire a edge binding, developed by Daniel Kelm. The page above has notches cut in the spine for the wire and strips of paper holding a piece of 18 gauge wire along the spine. I covered all the edges of the board (page) with map. I found the binding instructions in Books Unbound by Michael Jacobs. It feels a little more floppy than Coptic binding to me. The effect is similar, it works great for board or single sheet books. And it is much easier to do. I just connected all these pages with a square knot.


ainesse said...

hello again Judith

re this wire edge binding , which you are describing and explaining beautifully ( for which I thank you ).
Re. putting of the wire along the edge do you think this could be applicable, for a single page?? Would one then be able to bind all of these together??

Judith Hoffman said...

Hi Aine, I'm not sure what you're asking, do you mean: could you bind a stack of single sheets with a wire along the side of each one? Bear with me is a single sheet book, I connected all the sheets with square knots. Would a closer shot of the spine help? Or a sketch? I'd be happy to clarify. The last photo above is one sheet of museum board, I have covered all the edges and am about to paste the book image on.

Judith Hoffman said...

I put more information on wire edge binding in this flickr set.

Aijung said...

hi judith,

all of your books are beautiful and i love the sense of fun and spontaneity in them, even when using "serious" materials like metal.

thank you for posting these tutorials on wire-edge binding. i see that most of the examples are for putting the wire inside sheets of paper, but how do you do this binding with hardcovers? does the book you mentioned "books unbound" discuss the techniques for this? i've been trying to find a tutorial on the internet, but no luck so far.


Judith Hoffman said...

Hi Aijung, Thanks for your comments. About using board for the cover in a wire edge book - each page of 'Bear With Me" is a piece of heavy museum board. You can make a board cover in the same manner - either covering the whole board with paper, as I did. Or using a strip of paper only along the spine to hold the wire in place.

Both book projects in "Books UnBound" are made by gluing a strip of paper over mat board to hold the wire along the spine edge of the book. Look at the last photo above - instead of a mitered edge on the spine paper you would probably want it to be square with the top and bottom of the cover. The board is mostly visible.

Danniel said...

merci pour cette info.