Concertina Sketchbooks

One of the projects I started when I should have been finishing old ones was making concertina style sketchbooks. Having seen sketchbook artists using them over at Urban Sketchers, I wanted to give the format a try. It just happens that I have a roll of watercolour paper, inherited from Paul’s dad, which meant I could make a concertina book with no joins.

The paper was old and though still in good condition, it had been rolled up for a long time and was very disinclined to uncurl. I rolled it out as far as I could in my workroom, cut it and then rolled it up the other way and left it for a few weeks. This was enough to make it flexible again.

Then I worked out how many books I’d make and what size. I decided to use the mount board cut outs I got from Reverse Garbage.

I cut the paper into strips. The last one I left with the ragged edge at the top.

The next part was to score and fold them. I tried a couple of different methods. One involved marking every second fold, then just folding the middle section in half. I thought this might help to line the pages up accurately, but it didn’t.

So I marked every section on the next one… and made mistakes so I and had to cut two sections off. Finally, I settled on making myself a measuring device by marking the correct spacing on a strip of paper and using that as my ‘ruler’.

Keeping to the theme of using stuff I bought at Reverse Garbage, I decided to give the wallpaper samples a try:

The up side to using wallpaper is that you’re meant to be able to wipe spills off it, so I could wipe off any excess glue. But the down side is that PVA struggled to stick it down. I made sure that I squished the covers overnight under some heavy books, and then the finished books for several days.

The pinkish one is the one I had to cut sections off. The green ones are the cut off sections. The yellow ones are the two full length vertical ones…

… the grey book is a horizontal one.

And the one with the rough edges along the top side…

… has heavy watercolour paper glued on for covers. I decided I was going to have a go at making an art journal-ish thing with it. Playing with it has been keeping me sane while our kitchen is being renovated. Details in the next post.