All the pretty little clamshell boxes

Finally! Among all the not-quite-right clamshell boxes, a clamshell box that fits my pencil portfolio, How To Be In The World! Goldilocks would be proud. (Remember my first clamshell here?And that first failed box for this portfolio here?) The finished box is pictured here, housing the portfolio and resting on the ones that didn't quite fit.

During this process, I ran out of bookbinding board (aka binder's board). Given the state of my bookbinding board, I wasn't absolutely sure about that. In my quest to finish the box immediately (hah!), I ended up organizing my motley collection of board. Which included a trip to the hardware store a digital caliper tool. So efficient, yes? Not. Now they're organized by thickness and grain, and I was able to ascertain that yes, I had indeed run out of the particular book board I needed.

This organizing led to some research on what thickness of board I should be using. Turns out, the 0.074"/1.9mm board I was using was just right, while 0.06"/1.5mm board is good for smaller books, and the 0.12"/3mm board I have on hand would be good for very large books and boxes. I usually stick with Lineco board because it's available locally. Davey Board (link is to Talas) is popular, but difficult to cut, I understand.

By the way, there is some great information about bookbinding board in Matt Roberts' and Don Etherington's dictionary of descriptive terminology on the website of CoOL (Conservation Online).

Well, now I've got the box-building bug. I've thought of so many things in my studio that need clamshell boxes, but I have some pressing deadlines right now. Look for posts later in the fall showing clamshell boxes for ... my collection of artists books, especially, but so much more that begs for a box.

Bookbinding classes on the internet

Clamshell box and flat-back cased-in book.. Lavender from my friend Rose.

Early in the summer I came across the "Summer Bookmaking Series", a variety of online summer offerings of University of Utah's book arts program. You can see what was taught here (you may have to scroll down). One could sign up for the whole series, or do it a la carte, which is what I did.

I took the Flat-Back Case Binding on August 3, and made the green book pictured above with Emily Tipps during the two-hour session. I was impressed by both Emily, for teaching it so clearly in the allotted time period, and me, for following along successfully in that same two hours! The recordings of the classes are available a month after the live class. (Yes, I have some shiny spots on the spine front of my book. I could have avoided that by taking a little time taken to cover the surface when bone folding, or by using a Teflon folder instead. It's a model. I'm happy.)

The Clamshell Box was not part of the series, but a stand-alone class. I signed up too late (in May!) to get into the live August 15 class, but there was an option to buy the session recording and materials kit. This is what I did. When the recording became available a few days after the live class, I watched the seven videos and made my clamshell box with very little trouble.

I'm very pleased with what I learned in both classes, and will make a few more of each before my time for viewing the recordings runs out.