The end of a piece of copper wire showing the sharp end after cutting it to length. Also show are the jewelers files that will be used to take the sharp edges off.

A Wire Bracket for Displaying or Photographing Miniature Books

Some designs and details of making wire brackets to safely hold small books open. more

One copy of Don Drake's mini flip book 'The Day I Met George'

The Day I Met George - Video Overview

This video contains content 'spoilers'. For a non-spoiler preview visit the project gallery more

Part 2: Designing Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road

See the article so far
Preliminary sketch overlay with production notes for Don Drake's book 'Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road'

I've learned to leave myself many notes as I work. Even if I never refer to them again, the act of writing them seems to cement them in my memory. And if I do forget as new ideas sweep me along, they often pull me back to beneficial trains of thought.

Last updated: 2016-08-02 | Published:

Part 1: Designing Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road

See the article so far
Preliminary and planning sketches on vellum overlaying a first draft of text output for Don Drake's book 'Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road'

I still have the ongoing distraction of a bathroom remodel (which is my wife's summer project for us), but I feel I've been too long away from the Chicken book. (Obsessing with the election is not helping either)

Illustrating this book and planning how I want to print it is far outside my comfort zone. So legitimate delays quickly become a problem of overcoming creative inertia.

So, to alleviate my growing sense of 'stuck', I pulled up the sketches and studies I've accumulated and started a new design overlay on the text output. I'm finding I'm a little more able to visualize what I want in certain areas. So the time away bore some fruit. The December deadline should be attainable. But my October appearance at the [](Book Arts Jam) may not be possible. I'll have something to show but probably not a finished book.

Last updated: 2016-08-02 | Published:

A 45 minute box filled with material scraps

45 Minute Box

Learn to make a professional looking box to exactly fit your books, prints, card collections or other objects. Topics discussed include factors to consider when scaling your box, techniques for cutting accurate parts ... more

The ends of various rolls of bookbinding materials.


Becoming familiar with a range of materials and understanding the working properties of them will expand your scope for creative expression. Workshops in this section carry many lessons from the bench skills workshops... more

A close showing good technique in the use of a knife when cutting paper

Bench Skills

The workshops in this series focus on skills and tips that, while small, will pay big dividends in the cleanliness, accuracy and ease of your work. more

The spine of an accordion board book that uses magnets in the spine to simulate a bound book structure

Binding Sturctures

Who doesn't love to add a new binding structure to their repertoire, or to add a new variation to a known structure? That's the focus of workshops in this group more

A detail image of he spine of an open clamshell box covered in gray cloth

Box Making

Well made boxes can be the finishing touch, setting just the right tone before revealing your beautiful work. The can also provide storage solutions and protection to valuable items. Dig into this series for challengi... more

Several hand made bone folders, and a few similar tools in a random pile

Tool Making

Tools can be expensive and are often a bit impersonal. And they may not perform exactly as you wish. Workshops in this category can improve your craft by improving your tool kit. more

Paper labels for a book binding project being lacquered in preparation for use.

Book and box titling options

There are a wide variety of titling options for your project. Stamping may be done directly on the cover material. Labels may also be used. This choice really opens up the range of techniques that might be used, a... more

Design comp for a notebook to be used as a guest book

First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill 150 Year Anniversary

I've been having good results doing design sketches in InDesign or Illustrator. Especially when title labels are involved. The sketches are allowing me to work out rough color, proportion and content information a... more

Would you like to be notified of new posts?