I’ve recently taken part in a couple of hand-made book workshops with Alex Hare and Lizzie Shepherd, learning how to make a simple concertina book and a Japanese stab-bound book.

For the first, I chose a series of my “accidental paintings” – close-ups of weathered boat hulls. I’ve had a couple of exhibitions featuring these, so the source material was fairly obvious, just needing to be sequenced for the book. As they were prints stuck onto the page, that was easy to do by shuffling them on the desk! I’d like to try some more using printed pages in due course.

Concertina book, open

It has plain Kraft paper covers to contrast with the brightly-coloured images inside.

The front cover

Today, I printed pages and assembled my second stab-bound book. Inspired by a recent series of watery close-ups, I looked through my catalogue and chose a variety of images of the sea, ordered roughly by colour:

I made up a template in Qimage to position the prints 2-up on an A4 page (the book is 14×21cms), and guillotined the pages to size. A matching sized cover in black card was cut, and I was ready to drill the holes for the binding. I have this rather nifty tool called a screw punch, which works on the same principle as a Yankee screwdriver (anyone my age will probably remember their Dad using one, rather than the power versions common today!) Finally, some black waxed thread to sew the pages together – a rather pleasingly logical operation and surprisingly quick to do.

I’ll use lighter paper next time, as this is too stiff to flip through and takes ages to drill.

And here it is!