手取川製本 ~ Tedorigawa Bookmakers
Ep. 250: Kaija Rantakari and Making Glue

Ep. 250: Kaija Rantakari and Making Glue

August 5, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week: (今週の製本者)

Kaija Rantakari, at Paperiaarre, lives in Helsinki, Finland where she is a bookbinder, poet, and mixed media artist. I know nothing about her personally, but her books and art are elegant, unique, and fill one with creative thoughts. Casually exploring her blog might inspire all who do to be more creative! More often!

Bookbinding (手作り製本)

aheart_priests_fronta59xn.jpgBefore I cased in two books (at left; left is Heart of November, right is The Priests of Hiroshima) this last week, I did something I’ve never done before. Last week my envelope-pushing event was learning to use a sewing machine.

This week it was making methyl-cellulose glue using powder I picked up in San Francisco about three years ago. The first bit was way too watery and barely kept two pieces of scrap paper together. Eventually I made it thick enough and used it on the two books I cased in.

aheart_page97s8s.jpgA5 in size, 184 (Priests) and 230 (Heart) pages, soft cover, with Japanese-y book cloth. The spine on one is the cover on the other. 

I just wish I had printed the titles on the front cover and spine (probably difficult on the spine with the black.) as they seem fairly anonymous as they stand now. I’ve made books with titles on the spine before – sometimes successfully, sometimes not – but from now on novels require a front cover that identifies it.

Fiction (作り話 • フィクション)

(Just as an aside, fiction in Japanese is フィクション - pronounced fikushon - but is also related to lies, fabrication, and falsehoods. Look at the kanji: 作り話.  It literally means Making a Story. As a fiction author I am a liar, yes? Of course.)

Growing_Slurry_COVER_copy_8ctk4.pngI wrote a bunch on Growing Slurry, Sister Amelia: Assassin, and another book I haven’t titled yet. It might be called Kanazawa Monogatari which means Kanazawa Story but that’s a pretty presumptuous name so I’m looking for something Better. And, of course, I have to finish The Sound of Fear (Book three in the Fear Trilogy); a trilogy that should have been finished long before the coronavirus urged everyone to stay home.

Ep. 249: Matthew Reinhart and My Mother Would Be Proud

Ep. 249: Matthew Reinhart and My Mother Would Be Proud

July 22, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week:

Matthew Reinhart at matthewreinhart.com is an extraodinary pop-up book artist. He has a dozens of videos up on his site and on youtube. He’s enthusiastic about making pop-up books and exploring the possibilities of pop-up books. His instructions are clear and clearly aimed at novice artist. 

Bookbinding

Growing_Slurry_COVER_copy_8ctk4.pngNothing! Not entirely true, I’ve designed a few covers for novels I’ve completed. I’ve learned how to use a sewing maching — something my mother tried to teach me in the last century, but I wasn’t interested in sewing then. She was a child of the Great Depression where everyone was DIYing what they could in order to save money. I was not. Now, in the post-2008 current Coronavirus Depression of 2020, I am. She’d be proud. (Plus, I can mend my ripped and torn jeans now instead of forking out for a new pair.)

Fiction

I have written on two incomplete novels: Growing Slurry, and Saint Amelia: Assassin; I have also worked on two textbooks. One textbook is for medical students and one is for learning to speak (or read) Japanese.

 

FearZero_2Cover.pngI plan (famous last words!) to finish Growing Slurry soon so I can start the fourth book in my trilogy Fear the Dead! So I can upload it to Draft2Digital and offer the trilogy (and free introductory novel: Fear Zero) for sale.

 

It would be fun beach reading material if people were silly enough to go to the beach to read books and share the coronavirus; hopefully they are not and will download the intergalactic war story to read in the comfort of their own homes. With popcorn and the beverage of their choice!

Ep. 248: Duncan Birmingham and Two Covers

Ep. 248: Duncan Birmingham and Two Covers

July 1, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week:

Duncan Birmingham is a paper artist/engineer/pop-up book artist with a large number of very good tutorials on YouTube called the Pop-up Channel. His instructions are clear, repeated, and simple to follow for even the most complex designs. Or dullest students such as myself. After watching some of Colette Fu’s work, I slipped over to Mr Birmingham’s channel to learn how to make pop-ups. He was quite instructive, detailed, and complete. His channel is a good place to start if you find yourself wanting to make pop-up books.

Bookbinding

I managed to sew another book; this time The Priests of Hiroshima. I now have two sewed books. I glued on the spine paper and mull.

I also made two covers for two books but have not yet cased them in. I’m so lazy, eh?

I experimented with the width of the spine piece and the gap between the spine and the book board; always a problem for me.

Fiction

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I spent a goodly number of hours doing two things in fiction: Reading Moby Dick and Writing Growing Slurry. The former influences the latter. Obviously, I mean, a book written 170 years ago can hardly be influenced by a book yet to be finished. 

Gina & Sliven are the two main characters. They meet in a coffee shop and discover a mutual ‘like’ for Moby Dick. 

As they talk about it — and each other — stories emerge from their past.

Sliven is a retired forensic accountant. I’m still working on what Gina might be.

I also discovered a novel I started, thought about but never got past the first two chapters, and forgot.

It’s a violent revenge story titled, so far, Sister Amelia, Assassin. Being a victim herself, Amelia sets out to right wrongs, punish the bad people, and find help for the victims. 

HeartofNovemberCover2.png

She is a character from my just completed and edited novel Heart of November. This is her spin-off novel, her sister novel, her sequel novel. Her chance to grab the spot light!

I hope I finish it.

Ep. 247: Colette Fu and a Typewriter

Ep. 247: Colette Fu and a Typewriter

June 17, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week:

Colette Fu is a pop-up book artist. She makes incredible pop-up books that an adult can sit in, if you so desire. You can check out her pop-up books and her photos at ColetteFu.com. Watching some of her videos on YouTube inspired me to make my own – very simple – pop-up books. Hers are outta sight mechanically and visually. And big.

Tedorigawa News

Before rushing off to discuss myself, let me talk about myself. The Tedorigawa Bookmakers podcast is on Spotify, if you wish to use that service. I suspect this link links to my podcast. You can search for Tedorigawa or Tedorigawa Bookmakers. Both, hopefully, will get you to the podcast. Tedorigawa Bookmakers will get you there faster. 

Bookbinding

PriestsCover500.jpgThis week I sewed Heart of November and The Priests of Hiroshima. This is my first sew-up of Heart of November but not for The Priests of Hiroshima. Heart of November has a lot – I mean A Lot – of graphics, typographical twists & turns, tricks & tumbles. I was hoping they transferred to both the printed page (they did) and the ebook version (they also did, I think.)

I also glued a re-covering attempt on HeartofNovemberCover2.pngmy 30+ year-old Japanese textbook which is less a textbook and more of a detailed explanation of the language. It’s part of the Hodder & Stoughton publishing house’s Teach Yourself Books series; 14th printing in 1978. I probably bought it in 1979 when I first descended on these island shores.

After I upload this episode I will get to work casing in all three books.

Fiction

In moving my workshop/office from Place A to Place F (for free) I accumulated a lot of boxes; boxes for books, supplies, materials, unfinished work, attempts, and templates. Buried deep in these boxes were boxes I hadn’t looked in in several years. We’re talking at least two decades. Maybe more, as we shall see in a moment.

GrowingSlurryCover_copy_7z9sh.png

This week I opened them to sort them out in two piles: throw away or store. I found… Fiction. Short stories, plays, a few screenplays (mostly finished), and the scribbled outline of a novel that I never started and probably never will. I read the outline, didn’t like it so much, thought about it, and tossed it. Some of the fiction was typed. As in, typed on a typewriter. Yes, a typewriter. I haven’t used a typewriter since 1989. 

I put one of them (There Is No Time in the Land of Nod) on InDesign and will probably upload it in a collection of short stories in the not to distant future — famous last words. I found a screenplay that I might turn into a novel called Sewers. As in people who sew. One character, the female of course, works in a factory making fancy jeans for rich people while the male character works for the department of water and power, ie in the sewers. 

I have been writing Growing Slurry and reading its inspiration: Moby Dick. I’m a bit surprised at Moby Dick. After several attempts at starting it, I am finally reading it and one observation is the number of people who say they can’t get through it because he talks so much about whales seem to have missed the point; I couldn’t get into it because of his language style; now I can. Melville talks about whales a lot, yes, but as they relate to either the main characters, landlubbers, or a philosophy of life. 

Ep. 246: Keri Schroeder and My History

Ep. 246: Keri Schroeder and My History

June 10, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week

Keri Schroeder is a very active bookbinder hailing out of San Antonio, Texas. She operates the Coyote Bones Press and curates the Books in the Wild podcast. She has exhibitions in many places and her artist books are in a variety of collections. She got an MFA from Mills College and worked with Julie Chen around that time. And, importantly for learners, she conducts workshops on occasion. She has some very emotional and deep books as well as being artistic and creative. She can be reached on Facebook, Instagram, and, of course, her books can be viewed on her website at KeriSchroeder.com 

Bookbinding

I have Incomplete projects. In fact, I have Four Incomplete Projects. To be more specific and honest I have four Unstarted But Supposedly Planned Projects. They are:

  • recovering two broken paperbacks one of which is at least forty years old (two projects)
  • case in The Priests of Hiroshima
  • create an art cover for an as-yet-to-be-determined book.

I looked at the books I have made over the years and noticed some phases I have gone through – I have also noticed my skill level as increased. Fortunately. The phases are:

wooden covers — Japanese style sewing — coptic bindings — small — large — and finally settling on sewing and casing in like a regular book. Along the way I also dabbled in pop-up books and tunnel books, both of which I enjoyed making, enjoyed using, and enjoyed showing off to other people.

Looking at all the books I have is both inspiring – I’m amazed I did what I did – and a little sad – Why do I have them? Why haven’t I sold them? Mostly though I find comfort in my improvement over the years.

Fiction

GrowingSlurryCover_copy_7z9sh.png

I have unwittingly and sadly discovered something about my writing style. First, there are two kinds of writers: those who outline –some in great detail – and follow the outline religiously. Many are quite successful. I fall into the second category: writers who sit and let the plot, story, characters et al grow organically, let them flow into the consciousness. Many are quite successful as well. 

I have outlined two books in my life. Neither of them did I finish. I usually start books without an outline. Most of them I have finished. I finished them mainly because I wanted to see what happens. Sometimes I have the end and I want to see how I manage to get there. I think I didn't finish the outlined books because I knew what was going to happen, who would do what to who and where et cetera. Tomorrow I’m going to toss out one of the outlines and write my old way; just to see what happens.

Growing Slurry is my latest non-outlined work of fiction. So far, as it is far, far from completed, it is about a mysterious stranger immersed in Moby Dick. His life goal is helping people in trouble. For that role he dons his super-hero costume of red, yellow, green, and blue shirt, pants, and a black basketball cap equipped with a Go-pro camera. He calls himself Slurry Man! Created when his super-hero T-shirt came back with a typo: Slurry instead of Surly

Don’t forget, the offer of a free short story is still up for grabs. Shoot me an email with the subject line: Free book and I’ll send you Eternal City as my way of celebrating finishing a novel (Heart of November) with absolutely no relation to Eternal City.

Ep. 245: Susan Mills & November is Finished!

Ep. 245: Susan Mills & November is Finished!

June 1, 2020

You may have noticed a new look to this blog. Yes, you are observant, my friend. This has a new look; one that I am still tweaking as you read this.

I uploaded a YouTube video to, uh, I guess YouTube which you can watch by clicking on this: ClickBait. It doesn’t go to click bait so much as a quick tour of my very cozy new studio/office.

Bookbinder of the Week:

Susan Mills makes very unique books covering a unique variety of topics. She teaches in Nova Scotia and other places, plus she hosts the Bookbinding Now podcast  (upon which I was honored to be interviewed once) where other hosts interview guests from fields closely related to book arts such as paper making, weaving, and printmaking. You can see many of her books here: Susanmillsartistbooks. And enjoy their structures, design, use of paper, and the thoughts that support them.

Bookbinding

Cara_Cover.jpgI cased in half a mystery/detective novel today. It has been edited so there is a lot of scribbling on many pages. I didn’t use the best quality material but I practiced quality control. I worked also on getting the cover width correct. I almost managed, too. 

A5 in size, incomplete it is 180 pages, about 10 or 11 signatures, and two different colored endpapers. A simple brown paper cover and very thin book boards.

New Video: I posted a YouTube video of the casing in of Caraculiambro here.

Fiction

Stealing_November_Cover.jpgI completed Heart of November. Finished. Crossed the finish line. The final words are spoken by the main character: “What’s it about?”

A teenager goes the the Democratic Republic of the Congo, meets with sex traffickers, drug dealers, and antique booksellers. Violence ensues. Based very loosely on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness but with many obvious allusions to it. The main bad guy’s name, a false one as it turns out, is Kurtz. When the teenager gets back to his high school his English literature assignment is to read Heart of Darkness so he asks the question above.

If you desire, I will send you – Free! – a short estory “Eternal City” in celebration of me finishing Heart of November. “Eternal City” involves a female executive who is harassed by a senior executive and kills a vampire.

All you do is email me Here!

Yet to be finished: The Sound of Fear and the above mentioned Caraculaimbro.

Communication

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Ep. 244: Siuyuett and a Perfect Heart of November.

Ep. 244: Siuyuett and a Perfect Heart of November.

May 17, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week

Siuyuett (aka Teresa Tsang) is a Hong Kong-based bookbinder active on many media sites including twitter (@siuyuett). She has photos of her creation posted by others on Pinterest.She is also the subject of a YouTube video which can be found at this YouTube Video.
She is creative, imaginative, and inspiring. At least she inspires me. I’m sure she’ll be an inspiration to you all, too.

Bookbinding

IMG_1085.jpgIn the final few hours I edited a short movie about my new studio space. In order to have content, I made a perfect binding book. A perfect binding is glue on the edges of the pages. Most paperback books are perfect binding. Next week I hope to finish both the perfect binding and the video.  The perfect binding is a blank notebook of many, many pages. I have no idea how many. Nor do I know the size as they were cut from US letter sized paper. From the US IRS thanking me for my many contributions; they were kind enough to add blank pages and it is these that I am using for this Perfect Binding experiment.

Fiction

Stealing_November_Cover.jpgI am still, yes, still both writing & editing Heart of November (and Priests of Hiroshima). I decided yesterday that I should write first and edit later. This resulted in me writing about two chapters in the early morning hours. I think it is a successful venture.

Heart of November: A teenage high school students spends a month (November) in the Congo. He meets and gets involved with violent sex slavers. He and a Congolese friend save a group of women, including an Australian woman. While in the Congo, he discovers he has an interest in ancient books. 

There are three sections in this novel: 1. He becomes interested in the Congo, 2. He goes to the Congo, 3. He becomes a literature teacher but wants to find old manuscripts and books. Naturally, these are not presented in order. They progress at different speeds and in different orders.

Communication

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A New! Exciting! YouTube video is on the way!

When? Soon, I hope.

Ep. 243: Mark Cockram and More Priests

Ep. 243: Mark Cockram and More Priests

May 5, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week:

Mark Cockram is a very skilled bookbinder out of England. He bound Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte for the Booker Prize. He has a bookbinding course which is probably very intense and valuable. Take a gander at his blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

Bookbinding

Nothing! I have, however, organized, re-organized, and moved bone folders from the right side of my work bench to the left. Progress is slowly being made on the Bookbinding front. I do have two books that need casing in. Hopefully, I will get to them soon. As soon as I get re-re-organized, of course.

Fiction

Two items are being worked on this week: The Priests of Hiroshima and Heart of November. The first is a time-traveling piece of fiction that deals with antique books, Gutenberg, a priest in love with a nun and vice versa, a young craftsman in love with the boss’s daughter and vice versa, and Calvado roaming the time tunnels of an antique bookshop which also houses a talking cat.

The second is about a man - as of yet unnamed - who, as a high school student, travels to the Congo, gets involved in sex trafficking, drugs, and violence, and returns home to become an English literature teacher in a third-rate university. He also becomes an antique book buyer and seller. It is as a bookseller that he becomes involved in a murder while seeking a specific book for a client. The murder is related to the Congo and sex trafficking.

Communication

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Ep. 242: Bookbinder’s Chronicle and Priests of Hiroshima

Ep. 242: Bookbinder’s Chronicle and Priests of Hiroshima

April 23, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week:

Bookbinder's Chronicle has no spoken words. Filmed in sepia, it has nine videos but the information is clear and precise. Most of the videos are about 20 minutes long and, unfortunately, she is no longer making them. Fortunately, they contain a lot of information useful for beginning bookbinders.

There is also a blog about bookbinding and restoration.

Bookbinding

I moved. I went from a rented studio space to a free studio space (although much smaller). This new space has room for my computer set up and my binding bench but is a little bit sparse when it comes to storage. This is a benefit as I will have to use material rather than keep it for some unknown future project.

Fiction

PriestsCover500.jpgI am editing and proofreading book three of the Calvado Quintet called The Priests of Hiroshima. I am making it much, much better than when I first wrote it in 2012. More accurate information, more character growth, more conflict. And deeper: more character comments about life, religion, politics, history, the relevance of information as it is stored in books, and love (of course).

Communication

My attempts at communicating with the outside world can be found at:

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Ep. 241: Giapan and Sage Reynolds

Ep. 241: Giapan and Sage Reynolds

April 3, 2020

Bookbinder of the Week:

Sage Reynolds. He is no longer making books but his YouTube videos are still up. They are clear, understandable, and a wealth of knowledge. He tells you both what he is doing, how he is doing it, and why he is doing it. 

Bookbinding

Giapan_F_Cover.jpgGiapan is a Japanese artist but it is also the name of my novel about Giapan, Galatea, Teubner, Barahona and their adventures going from southern Spain to northern Spain in 1600. It takes quite a few hints from Cervantes’ Don Quixote

It is about 250 pages, B6 in size, with a so-called artistic drop cap first letter of each chapter and the G on the cover, and many pictures.

Giapan_BothCovers.jpgI cased it in twice. The first time the square was not right; the fore-edge was too big and the textbook sat a bit catawampus aka crooked. I ripped it apart and re-cased it in. It looks much better now. 

It has, as you can see, a kimono-esque back cover. I thought this appropriate because one of the main characters — and the title character — is a Japanese artist roaming Europe but is no in Spain.

Fiction

I am writing the third book of the Fear TrilogyThe Sound of Fear. It is coming along smoothly and I am using a different writing technique than I normally do. Normally, I think, write, rewrite, and continue on without an outline. A so-called pantser; someone who writes by the seat of their pants. On The Sound of Fear and indeed the entire Fear Trilogy, I have an outline. A so-called planner. 

YWOD_Cover_3_0_Small.jpgI have proofread the final book in the Japan Pentology. Giapan is one of the five books. The last book, and the most difficult to read, is The Year Without Days. It is a Conspiratorial Love Story between a blimp pilot, a store clerk, and the religion that seeks to destroy Tokyo in an attempt to get more believers.

The next up on my proofreading list is the Calvado Quintet. I am currently proofreading book one: Tristram’s Printer.

 

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