The Day After Christmas

Obviously, Lev Yilmaz has met me. Clearly, he knows how I feel today.

Lev Yilmaz's Tales of Mere Existence: "Ready"

Yilmaz is a San Francisco-based animator and cartoonist who considers himself an "Ambassador to the Alienated." On his MySpace page he lists among his heroes Rod Serling, Kurt Vonnegut, Matt Groening, Alfred Hitchcock, Egon Schiele, Iggy, Ziggy, and Adam West. Check out his Tales of Mere Existence on his web page.


Playing for Change

This post has is not about my usual topic: books, but it it speaks -- if indirectly -- to the season. The video is part of the documentary "Playing for Change: Peace Through Music," released by the Playing for Change Foundation (PFCF). Among other projects, PFCF is building and supporting a music school in the township of Guguletu, South Africa, as part of its program of uniting communities through the arts. Following this is an inspiring and informational interview with Mark Johnson, co-director of the film and co-founder of PFCF, by Bill Moyers on Bill Moyers' Journal (it has a nice bonus: "One Love," from the documentary).

Enjoy both.

Playing for Change: Song Around the World: Stand by Me

Bill Moyers Journal: Interview with Peace for Change's Mark Johnson


A City Made of Books

Here's a must-see video commissioned by UK publisher 4th Estate and created by Apt Studio. According to the post on 4th Estate's blog by Peter Collingride of Apt Studio asked Apt "to create 'something stunning' that would help them celebrate [their 25th anniversary], as well as celebrating books and [4th Estate's] ground-breaking, international, literary agenda." The result is wonderful three-minute film: 25th Estate: This is Where We Live (see the embedded video below).

According to Collingridge -- his post is a well-worth-reading appetizer to the film -- "more than twenty animators and model-makers worked with over 1,000 books to build a world, and an everycity, made from the world's literature."
"The film incorporates works from many of the 4th Estate's acclaimed authors: Jonathan Franzen, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Fay Weldon, Simon Singh, Dava Sobel, Nigel Slater, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alaa Al Aswany, Giorgio Locatelli, Robert Fisk, Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Francis Wheen, Alexander Masters, Joan Didion, Michael Chabon, and many others.

"My personal favourite moments are those of almost hidden detail: zebra crossings made from the paperback jacket of The Corrections; the Imperial War Museum modelled from Robert fisk; the Greenwich Observatory made out of Longitude; the cinema made out of all the film tie-in editions, and the homage to The Corrections when the father falls out of the boat. The film is stuffed full of these references, and whilst they were a labour of love, they are (to me) what makes the film sing."
This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

P.S. Collingridge mentions that the pages of the books were influenced in part by artists Thomas Allen and Su Blackwell. See my earlier post about extraordinary paper artist Blackwell here.



This video -- made by Canadian director Andrea Dorfman using Tanya Davis's song, Art -- reminded me of the joy that art brings me. Making it, appreciating it, discussing it -- what kind of person would I be without it? I have much to be thankful for, and today is art's turn.

My mother tells me that when I was three or four years old, I memorized the words of a children's book she often read to me. When we had visitors, they would point to a page and I would "read" it, to their surprise.
Was that my first memory of the rewards of reading? Maybe. What I know is that books were my portal to the person I am today. Reading led me to many of the other art forms that I've enjoyed over the years: theater, foremost, but also dance, music, the visual arts, photography, design, and the handmade object.

And now a different kind of "book lust" is opening new doors. Book arts has introduced me not only to the craft of making books, but to art forms -- like printmaking -- that I'd only admired at a distance in the past. The more involved I become, the more I realize that the beauty of the handmade book is its ability to take on many forms, both literally and conceptually. It can exist on its own as an artfully-made object -- a blank journal, say -- or it can serve as a vehicle for expressing large and small ideas that incorporate a range of art forms -- as in artists' books.

In my case, my appreciation of book arts is directly connected to my lifelong love of books and reading. And yet, some of my book artist friends are not readers. Hmmm. Sounds like a subject for another post. Happy Thanksgiving, all.


Slow Blogging

Interesting article in the Sunday Styles section of today's New York Times about "slow blogging" and the apparent shift in blogging patterns. Turns out that Todd Sieling, a technology consultant from British Columbia, wrote a "Slow Blog Manifesto" in 2006 positing that "not all things worth reading are written quickly." Hard to disagree with that.

Later in the article someone who studies popular culture and technology says that bloggers who tend to write short posts -- ones that mainly point readers to something they should read or see -- are moving to other venues, like Twitter or Facebook. Barbara Ganley, the blogger featured in the article, seems to agree. Her motto is "blog to reflect, Tweet to connect." As for me, I've yet to Tweet. For one thing, I like to communicate in complete sentences.

I suppose it's inevitable that there would be a blogger shakeout. Burn-out, lack of time, and loss of interest are probably the major factors for those who stop blogging. I'm certainly guilty of the second, and very occasionally the third.

I wonder how arts/artists' blogs fit into the discussion? Most of them, I find, are less about analysis (e.g., political blogs) and more about sharing and inspiration, and that may set them apart. I blog about books and book arts (and occasional asides) partly because the passion I have for these encourages me to share what I learn with others who have similar interests. And over the months that I've blogged, I've been so inspired and delighted by other bloggers' contributions that I feel a certain responsibility to give back, to contribute to the whole.

I'll be interested to see how this develops.


Slow Book Salon Exhibit

I'm fortunate to be part of a group of regional bookmakers, the Slow Book Salon. The title is modeled after the "slow" movement: things done with attention, intention, and care. For the past three years, the group has been invited to show its work at the Design Gallery in Burnsville. Burnsville, a small, charming town about an hour northeast of Asheville, and about 15 minutes from Penland. The Design Gallery is a lovely space, featuring the work of regional artists, and the exhibition coincides each year with the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, which Burnsville established and hosts. The book exhibit plays on the theme of the Literary Festival, which changes annually. This year it was "The Beloved Community."

I love seeing the work of my fellow bookmakers together in one venue. As happens whenever I'm lucky enough to visit an exhibition of book arts, I'm delighted by the variety of the work, and the many interpretations of the book form. At this exhibit, I particularly enjoyed learning more about the personal aesthetic of each of the members of the group -- some of whom I know well and others whom I see only occasionally.

Here are just a few of the books in the exhibit, which closes this week.
A detail from Annie Cicale's book -- incorporating watercolor and calligraphy -- is at top right.

The images in Susan Doggett's The Red Thread are linoleum block prints on mulberry paper.

Kathy Steinsberger's Happily Ever After includes collagraph prints & photopolymer prints.

Each year Carol Norby makes a "slinky" book using postcards from the prior year's exhibition.

In Boundaries, Lisa Blackburn created a -and-box combination that s handmade paper and image transfers. This is one of the spreads.

Bryony Smith presented an ancient book form.

Margaret Couch Cogswell's mixed media creation, The Village Idiot

Another mixed media work, Carol Norby's These Beautiful Counties

Priscilla Hill created a mixed media book with mica covers and pages.

Sharon Sharp's linocut print was the centerpiece of her book.


Sneak Peek at Interlude Editions' 2008 Small Book Edition

I've been meaning to write about Interlude Editions, and now's the perfect time. IE is a small organization that funds residencies for artists who want to create limited editions of artists' books and fine arts prints for education, exhibition, and distribution.

A group of book and print artists living and working in Western North Carolina founded IE in 2007 to address the needs of artists working the book form for space, equipment, creative resources, and dedicated time to create editions of their work
(in the interest of full disclosure, I'm on IE's all-volunteer Board). You can read more about the artists' residency program, eligibility, and the application and selection process here. IE Artists are resident at BookWorks, which provides studio space, the use of specialized equipment, and staff support.

Currently, IE's budget is tiny, and includes provision of a small stipend for the IE resident artists, which typically pays for supplies the artist is using in her/his project. IE's first resident artist is Frank Brannon, a letterpress artist and papermaker. During his residency, he created an edition of more than 80 books featuring the paste-papers of "Larry Lou" Foster. Foster, who lives in Alabama, is a book artist, fine binder, and teacher, and is particularly known for her innovative paste-paper designs, many of which are based on traditional motifs. She and Frank will be at BookWorks in March 2009 to talk about her work and their joint project.

IE's Small Book Edition came to life in 2007 as one way to raise funds for the residencies (the Cold Mountain Collection is another -- more on that later!). Fourteen book and print artists each created a handmade book, each book no larger than 3" x 3," for the collection. The books were placed in a handmade display box, and the collection was auctioned at BookWorks' annual BookOpolis event. The winning bid was from Western Carolina University, and the 2007 Small Book Edition is now in the collection of the Fine Art Museum at that school. (You can see a photo of the 2007 collection here.)

This year we're holding a raffle. The 2008 Small Book Edition includes 17 books. Inspired by Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, the collection is housed in a wonderful one-of-a-kind handmade box with "movable rooms" created by mixed media artist Sandy Webster. The books incorporate a variety of printing and binding techniques and include both traditional and nontraditional books forms.

IE is selling raffle tickets at $10 per ticket, or $25 for three tickets. We're selling only 200 tickets (I told you our budget was small), so chances of winning are excellent. Having seen the full array of books, and the display box earlier this week, I've already bought more than a handful of tickets myself. The winning ticket will be selected on September 26, BookOpolis' opening reception (see more about BookOpolis here), and you don't have to be present to win (which is good for book arts friends who live elsewhere). By the way, there's also time to submit a book for the BookOpolis exhibition!

Here are some pix of the 2008 Small Book Edition collection and just a few of the individual books. The photo at top right is the amazing "box" that contains the books. Enjoy!

the display box, opened to reveal its treasures (the "egg" book on the 3rd floor is by Margaret Cogswell, whom I wrote about recently; there's a tiny "room" in the attic for Dan Essig's book, "next door" is Heather Allen-Swarttouw's book (see below)

a spread from Annie Cicale's accordion book, Poetics of 204,
about the building of a new family home

Matt Liddle's tunnel book (I took a printmaking class, which I loved,
from Matt at PBI this spring)

a spread from Frank Brannon's letterpressed book
Eye Think A Lot About Potatoes: They Make Me Quite Round
(Frank is the first Interlude Editions resident artist.
He's teaching a letterpress concentration at Penland this winter)

Heather Allen-Swarttouw's untitled contribution to the collection


We Now Interrupt This Program...

A brief break from my posts about this summer's Penland experience, occasioned by my discovery of the blog slow reads. Glancing through the New York Times' books blog, Paper Cuts, I read a comment to a post about the lack of good essays in the current crop of literary blogs. The author recommended several blogs that he felt provided just that. One of them was slow reads. I plan to dig into it further, but the main conceit of the blog, the pleasures of reading slowly, struck a major chord. For me, not all books merit slow reading (what, as English majors, we used to call 'close reading' in college): if I'm reading nonfiction, and purely for information, for example, I rarely slow down. But there are books that offer many more rewards to the slow reader than they do to the speed-reader.

I couldn't resist including a few quotes from an essay by writer Teju Cole, reprinted in the blog, and titled, naturally, "slow reader:"
"One day I went to the bookshop and selected a pile of books—Svevo, Kafka, James, Calasso, about a dozen in all—and from each I read page fifty. Naturally, I often found myself in the middle of a sentence at the page’s beginning or end. But these are the fragments from which a life is made, like those snatches of conversation one hears on the subway, which are free-floating pages from a much larger and more intricate narrative. I eventually left the bookshop, late late in the afternoon, and it was as though I had been to the world’s greatest luncheon..."


"As for Love in the Time of Cholera, don’t even get me started. I've read the first hundred pages of that book no less than three times, Saint Ursula is my witness. The first time was out-loud to my wife, three pages a night. Maybe or maybe not I will eventually read the rest; more likely, I’ll go back and read the first hundred again..."


"Life is too precious to waste on fast reading; I bet Neruda says something like that in his Memoirs, but I haven’t gotten to that part yet."
And here's the first paragraph of an essay by Dave Bonta (who blogs at Via Negativa, another blog mentioned in the Paper Cuts comment), about the joys of second readings:
"Reading something for the second time is so much more satisfying than that first read-through. So many books withhold their full treasures from the first-time reader. Not that the first time can't be special too, of course: surfaces are beautiful, and not to be taken lightly. During that first, heady encounter with a text, it is not merely the words that entrance us. The typefont, the design, the texture of the paper, the look and feel of covers and slipcovers, even the smell of the bindings - if new - or the patina that comes with good use: these too are manifest occasions for pleasure and surprise.

"But few of us possess the skill as readers to avoid succumbing to that first-time excitement and finishing the book too soon. And to lay it aside at that point, never to return, would constitute not simply callousness but profound disrespect. Unless the book at hand be some cheap, manupulative thing, in which case even a single reading amounts to little more than "an expense of spirit in a waste of shame," as Shakespeare once said about something else entirely."


Penland 08 - Part 3

One of the pleasures of my two weeks at Penland was getting to spend a little time with my friend, Margaret, one of Penland's resident artists. Part of the fun was visiting her studio and taking a look at some of her new work. Margaret is one of ten-or-so resident artists at the school, which has a highly-competitive resident artist program, providing artists with studio space, housing, and most importantly, a community of like-minded folk, opportunities for artistic collaboration, and an intensely creative atmosphere.

I met Margaret Couch Cogswell in an artists' books class we took at BookWorks. My first introduction to her work was by way of her project for the class. The shape of a canned-ham can had caught her eye at the grocery store. She didn't want to waste the ham, so she took it to the local homeless shelter and kept the can. She painted it, attached wheels to it -- reminding me a bit of a vintage Airstream travel trailer standing on one end -- and made a book that hung inside the can. The result was both weighty and whimsical and so...., well, so Margaret.

Next, her cloth books captured my attention. It wasn't just the way that she combined colors and fabrics -- although that made me look twice; it was the elements she worked into them -- geometric and organic shapes that turned into characters, whether or not they were definable as such. These characters, which find their way into many of her mixed media pieces, seem to be related, residents of a community that exists in a parallel universe in a corner of Margaret's brain.

Then there's the eclecticism of Margaret's work. She makes crowns that no self-respecting, self-anointed, prince or princess should be without (see image above right), fanciful figures that beg to sit on your desk (see the pencil, clip, and paper creation below), cool stuff on wheels, lovely calendars, and cheerful metal and wire repositories for unique books (see one such piece from an exhibition at Penland's Gallery last year).

Visiting her studio at Penland made me salivate. It's spacious, with large double doors at one end to let in light, breezes and views (they're huge windows, really, since it's a second-story studio, and stepping out the doors would make for a long drop). Margaret's dog, Tessie, no fool she, has claimed the spot in front of the doors as her lounging area.

Margaret teaches both at BookWorks and at Cloth Fiber Workshop.

Looking in from the large double doors

An accordion book

Prints. -- These two sold while I was in the studio.

I love the pairing of these utiliarian objects with a book-page tutu.

A wall piece with layers and stitching (and great colors!)

A book with its own means of transportation -- a movable feast, so to speak.


Penland 08 - Part 2

The instructor exhibits at the Penland Gallery are always favorites of mine. You get the see the work of teachers that you're working with or with whom you've studied before, or whose work inspires you to consider learning from them in the future. Of course, I'm always drawn first to the work of the book arts instructors, and I took some photos of new work by Dan Essig and Julie Leonard.

The pieces on display were examples of their more sculptural work. As to some of Dan's pieces in particular, I can already hear some viewers asking "so, what makes this a book"? It's a topic that book artists and their audiences have been talking about for many years -- although admittedly, it's the academics who seem the most excited about the dialogue. For me, the more artists' books I experience, the less interesting the question becomes. So I guess we'll have to ask Dan.

Kelly O'Brien at Designing a Life was lucky enough to take Julie's class at Penland in the session before mine (check out some of the work she produced via the prior link). She tells me that Julie invited Dan to the class as a guest artist. Now if I'd only been able to take two classes at Penland this summer instead of one...(sigh).

Check out both Julie's and Dan's work in The Penland Book of Handmade Books.

I like the shadows that these books of Julie Leonard's cast on the walls.

Book of Nails III: Of Thunder, by Dan Essig

Horn Book: Wren, by Dan Essig


N'Kisi Bricolage, by Dan Essig

another view
In each of the three works shown here, Dan's included a perfect, tiny, coptic-bound book (or two). Here it's on the top side of the piece.

Notice the tiny "signatures" and the use of mica to hold the treasures in the compartments/windows.


Penland 08 -- Part 1

Another two terrific weeks at Penland this summer. I feel very fortunate to have this national center for art and craft virtually in my back yard. I'd been searching for training in using digital technology for surface design for a while, so when I saw this listing in Penland's catalog, I signed up in a flash. The class focused on inkjet printing on fabric, but I knew that I could adapt the techniques to paper, and I've also been interested in incorporating cloth into my book work.

Having taken a class at Penland last summer -- which, by the way, added a new dimension to the way I think about bookmaking -- I was less nervous this time about what to expect. The stars seemed to be particularly aligned: my room was in one of the more recently renovated buildings (some of the accommodations at Penland are a bit too rustic, particularly after spending a 17-hour-day working in the studio) and my dorm was across from Upper Textiles, the third-floor studio where I worked; and instead of the miserably hot mid-August weather that I'd been expecting, highs ranged from the high 70s to the low 80s, and I never used the small desktop fan that students were encouraged to bring.

Our instructor was Patricia Mink, an assistant professor in fiber at Eastern Tennessee State University, and an innovator in inkjet printing on fabric (here's an article from Fiber Arts magazine on digital quilts, which includes some of Patricia's work) . She uses her own photographs and inket printing as the base for the large-scale art quilts that she makes, working back into the fabric with sewing, embroidery, and other ways of creating layers and building texture. She's particularly interested in walls, and has been working on a series of quilts inspired by photos she's taken during her travels.

Here are a few photos to set the mood. The one to the right is of what I've come to think of as the Penland llamas, although, in fact, they don't belong to Penland, and only lodge there.

the dye shed

the printmaking wing of the new, light-filled letterpress/print studio

Upper Textiles, our third-floor studio. Lots of windows and large tables. That's my table-mate, Catherine, setting up.


Arts Criticism Goes the Way of the Typewriter

Yes, BookGirl is again thinking about arts criticism (or the lack thereof). BookGirl knows she'd be better off (or at least keep her blood pressure lowered) if she just stopped reading those darn articles about the importance of thoughtful professional criticism, but she just can't seem to stop herself. She's been hyp-no-tised.
So for those of you who care about such things, here's an article from the UK's Financial Times, whose writer opines about the state of arts criticism in the U.S., and the value of good critics. A sampling:

"Essentially, our civilisation is tilting towards anti-authoritarian contests. Audiences, not judges, select winners. Call it the American Idolisation of culture. On TV, contestants get voted off without explanation. Quality is measured by thumbs, up or down. Scholarly analyses have turned into irrelevant extravagances for snobs.

"Many US papers have abandoned thoughtful, detailed reviews altogether. Publishers, editors and, presumably, readers want instant evaluations and newsbites, preferably with flashy pictures. It is Zagat-think, simplicity for the simple-minded.

"Of the thousand journalism jobs reportedly lost during the past year, 121 belonged to specialists covering music and dance, film, books and television. The music critic at the Kansas City Star was told to walk after eight years of heavy duty. The Miami Herald’s critic was granted eight weeks’ severance pay. The Los Angeles Times no longer employs a dance critic. The Village Voice in New York and the Los Angeles Weekly have ceased coverage of “classical” music. The Seattle Times no longer employs a music critic. Even the relatively secure New York Times has found two of its venerable critics – one in music, one in dance – to be expendable. Time and Newsweek gave up earnest arts coverage long ago.

"The departure of a staff writer does not invariably mean the end of criticism. Sometimes the gap is filled by “stringers”, often inexperienced freelancers paid by the piece, and not paid well. Some papers rely on recycled wire service reports. Exclusive viewpoints are low priority, if any priority at all. When Rupert Murdoch took over the Wall Street Journal, he proclaimed his intention to compete with the New York Times by expanding arts coverage. The evidence of that remains slim and dim.

"...Historically, the best critics have guarded standards, stimulated debate and, in the complex process, reinforced the importance of art in society. They have been tastemakers, taskmasters and possibly ticket-sellers. Some have even written well. Despite automatic controversy, they played a role in aesthetic checks and balances. If their opinions were important, the reasons behind them were more important."

In short, while we all are entitled to an opinion, rarely does an opinion informed criticism make (more on that here). BookGirl thinks we need both.


One Reason I Heart NPR

In a welcome example of trend-reversal, National Public Radio is expanding book coverage on its web site, and adding six (count 'em, six!) new book reviewers, including a graphic-novel reviewer. Quoted by Publisher's Weekly in a recent article, senior supervising producer Joe Mattazonni said: "we're building up our book coverage because book content really works for our audience." Golly, a customer-driven web site. What a concept!

Mattazoni noted that NPR.org has a mandate to develop original online content and that the new book features are part of that plan. In addition to the work of the new reviewers, NPR.org will expand its Book Tour feature, which takes recordings of readings done at D.C.'s Politics & Prose bookstore (a great bookstore, by the way), edits them, and offers them as podcasts on the site.

BookGirl readers may recall my angst last year over the continuing drop of arts journalists, particularly book critics, from the editorial rosters of newspapers throughout the country (look here and here and here for the sake of nostalgia), so it's a joy to hear that book critics are getting work, and that readers (and visitors to NPR.org's Books page) will be the beneficiaries. Gee, I just may send them a check.


Book Marketing

As both a book lover and a marketer, this video hit the spot. It's very funny, but a little sad too, if you think the many writers out there facing similar situations. Dennis Cass, who's both the creator of the video and its star, is a writer and journalist, and author of HEAD CASE: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain. And yes, the video is about that book, which was recently published in paperback.


The BIG Picture

The Boston Globe, on its boston.com site, has a neat feature it calls The Big Picture. It includes a brief news story, but the real story on the page is the very large photo that illustrates the news item. The photos, in addition to their unusual size, are usually arresting and interesting. At their least, they're a visual treat: witness the one below of indigenous Brazilian tribesmen protesting a proposed hydroelectric dam (click to enlarge and get the full effect).


Book-a-Day: Day 5

My few-and-far-between posts for Dan Essig's Book-a-Day class at BookWorks have become more like a book-a-month. But if not timely, I'm nevertheless tenacious, so here's the fifth and final installment in the series (scroll down -- skipping the X-Files post -- to see the rest). Our fifth book had us working with leather and another long-stitch binding. The stitch is surprisingly simple;the trick is getting started, since it's not an intuitive beginning. Dan demonstrated several closures, and I chose one of the simplest: one end of a long leather strip (trimmed to a point at one end, and wider at the opposite end) goes in through a slit in the fold-over cover, approximately three-quarters-of-an inch from the edge; comes out the cover via another slit approximately one-quarter-of-an-inch from the edge. Make a hole with a Japanese hole punch at the other, wider, end of the strip, through which you'll slip the end of the strip that's emerged from the slit in the book. Presto! You can now wrap the strip around your book and slip the pointed end through the space between the book and the wider end of the strip. Simple but effective.

I love this fat little book (approximately 3 1/2" x 4 1/8" closed). It's a perfect keep-in-your-bag journal. Here are a few photos of the book, and some additional treats:

My friend Priscilla and her collection

Lisa and three of her books

A long-stitch book from Dan's collection that he bought from a student in Boston. Every stitch is functional, not just decorative!

Some of the wonderful awls that Dan makes and sells.


Book-a-Day: Day 4

I've been moving -- slowly, I know -- through the products of my BookWorks class with Dan Essig. On the fourth day (this series is beginning to sound like an installment from Genesis) our focus was a concertina binding. Think of it as one, long continuous spine-guard that covers the spine-edge of each signature. The concertina adds particular strength to the binding. Folding the concertina EXACTLY is one of the challenges of making this book. In the photo to the right you can see the folds of the concertina between each signature.

It's not an easy binding to stitch, since you're trailing the concertina while you're attaching each signature, but it gets easier with practice (and, of course, as you keep attaching signatures, the remaining amount of concertina lessens). We used a coptic stitch with bent needles. Dan doesn't like curved needles, but straight needles don't do the job, so we softened the metal of our needles over a candle flame and bent the ends at a 45% angle with pliers. Personally, I love curved needles for coptic bindings.

The cover was attached in a style very similar to the one we used for the papyrus book on Day Two. With this fourth book, when we covered the front and back cover-boards with paper, we left a "flap" on each cover on the spine side. We sewed through the inside fold of each flap, treating the cover like another signature. We used Cave paper for our covers, so it was strong enough to withstand being sewn through. If you were using a lighter-weight paper, you'd want to reinforce the area with a material such as Tyvek, which is strong and thin.

We also practiced making insets in the cover (indentations made by lifting layers of board with an exacto knife before we covered the boards). I adhered leftover bits of paper I'd painted and used for signatures in an earlier book.

Dan's primer on concertina-folding

We had great fun, but worked pretty intensely too.