Archive for July, 2010

Writing, Bookbinding, and Letterpress in Nebraska

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Reflections from Lindsay Zier-Vogel on her residency in Nebraska.

I spent the last month at a writing (and letterpress!) residency at Art Farm in Nebraska – it was brilliantly inspiring.  I created a writing studio in the back of what will one day be a fully functional print shop.  The space houses towers of salvaged paper, 240 fonts and a bunch of printing presses.  This is where I set to work learning how to use the letterpress.

lzv letterpressing, photo by jJenny Lederer

I printed two books while I was down there – each page was hand-set and hand-cranked, and of course, hand-bound.

Using the press required me to slow down my process.  No more crank it out in an evening books.  Instead, I’d spend days setting the type, prepping the paper, and getting the ink exactly right.


18-point font seems huge in the land of computers, but I tell you, those commas were the teeniest little things. As soon as I got to the press and rolled the heavy handle, though, I’d forget about all the curse words and foot stomping and fumbling fingers of typesetting and be delighted and amazed at each printed page.


I printed my first book, love. on salvaged paper, with maps of Nebraska for the end papers and cover detail, with my favourite Nepalese paper from The Paper Place for the cover. The paper’s fabric-y enough to hold sewing machine stitches easily.


For A Miracle Somehow, I used a variety of papers including found gridded paper, and the most glorious ivory cotton St. Armand papers that I brought down with me (also from The Paper Place.) The text was so clear and rich and printed so beautifully, it’s all I ever want to print on from here on in.


I’m now home and can’t wait to start playing around with more Letterpress in Toronto.


Boku-Undo Suminagashi Marbling Kit

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

boku-undo suminagashi kit

I have always wanted to try paper marbling – so I finally decided to do some suminagashi experiments with the Boku-Undo Marbling Kit we sell at the store.

alternative medium

alternative mediums

Aside from the inks provided by the kit, I experimented with inks and paints that I had at home. Out of the alternative mediums, Pelican Tusche worked the best. I also used iridescent Liquid Acrylics and that also turned out nicely. However, the rest of the mediums I experimented with sank so I wouldn’t suggest them.



You will need a large container to hold the water. You can remove the dust on the surface of the water with a piece of newsprint before starting. The kit comes with floating papers that you apply the ink on to in the water. These little circles can be reused after drying. If your floating papers start to sink, I’ve read that you can replace them with light weight cardstock.


After applying the inks, you can create designs by blowing on the ink lightly with a straw. You can also use a needle to drag the inks out. If you want to have white spaces between the marbled layers, you can dip a brush soaked with soap into the design.


The results varied with all of the different papers that I tried.  I found that an ideal paper for suminagashi should be lightweight and have long fibers.



Sewn Booklet Project by Arounna Khounnoraj

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Another great project from our friend Arounna at Bookhou.
This project is making simple and easy journals using batik papers from Nepal.
This project requires a sewing machine.  If you don’t have one, you can use a needle and book binding thread, however, it is advisable to pre-make holes using an awl. (these materials can be found at The Paper Place)

Sewn Book - what you need

Things you need:

-  Batik Nepalese paper (cut to 4.25 x 5.5 in.)
-  Paper for your pages (anything will do.  A great opportunity use up papers you may already have) –  cut this paper to 4 x 5.25in. I used 8 sheets in each book.
-  Sewing machine (or thread and needle)
-  Craft knife
-  Metal ruler
-  Cutting mat

Sewn Book - step 1

Step one:

Once the paper is cut to size, lay the pages inside the book cover and score down the middle with your finger.

Sewn Book - step 2

step 2-3:

Sew along the centre of the book – holding all the pieces together.  If you like, you can use a close pin to hold all the pieces together so that the pages don’t move.

Sewn Book - finished product

All done – make lots and give them to friends and family for sketching, note taking, journalling or for lists.


Ahhh… Shucks. Shout out from the Paper Demon!!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Please check out this amazing post about us by Karen of Paper Demon Jewelry – we are blushing just a little bit :)

Also, while you are there, do yourself a favour and check out her amazing paper jewelry! A fellow Japanese paper lover indeed!!


Letterpress & Screenprint Workshop at Bookhou

Monday, July 19th, 2010

This past Saturday, six of our customers were in attendance for a letterpress & screen printing workshop at Bookhou.  Arounna was kind enough to take some lovely photos.

Letterpress - type

Letterpress - type

Letterpress - type

Letterpress - type

Letterpress - type

Letterpress - type





Screen printing

Screen printing

Screen print

Screen printing

Screen printing

Screen printing

The day was a huge success.  We will definitely be offering this workshop again!

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