Last session we had got to the point of two bound signatures. However to bind the third (and all subsequent) signatures you must perform a kettle stitch. This is a little tricky to get the hang of, as it has to be pretty taught, because it holds the tension in the spine. It is pretty common not to get this exactly right on the first try, I know I certainly didn’t! I stressed this to the girls, and it might be the case that it is best to snip the thread and start again. Like getting the tension right in knitting, sometimes it’s just best to unravel and begin all over.
So how to perform a kettle stitch. You must be on the outer side of the head or tail (top or bottom) of the signature, so as the thread is outside the spine. You then pinch the spine to remove any extraneous space. The stitch is then made by sewing your needle under the connecting thread of the previous two signatures and pulling tight.
There are various things that can go wrong with this stitch, and during the session did. A few people didn’t quite get the hang of the tension, and as I say annoyingly the only solution for this is having another go! But another common mistake is pulling too tightly and tearing the paper. This can be remedied with a little piece of tape to stop the thread slipping down. But once again must be learned through trial and error.
Fortunately most of the girls picked it up pretty quickly, once you’ve got the hang of it it’s fairly intuitive! It was just a case of knotting the thread together to complete the circuit, as it were, to finish off the binding!
While this was going on however, we were having a think about what exactly we could call our exhibition! This was a collaborative effort, as I want the girls to feel as though they are part of it as much as possible. After all, it is their work we will be showcasing!
With some paper and pencils we began calling out and jotting down names. This was of course under the threat that if they didn’t think of anything good I would chose something and it’d be rubbish.
We started to consider what exactly we’d been doing during the sessions, and how we could weave this into the title. Natural forms, printmaking, and bookbinding have been the focus so with this in mind we started coming up with names and taglines. This is what we came up with:
A Sign of Spring/the Seasons
Printing the Seasons
A Book of Natures Transient Beauty
A Compendium of Nature
A Book of Seasons
Once we had all of these we did a quick yes or no to create a shortlist, leaving us with Signs of Spring, A Compendium of Nature, andA Book of Seasons. These we then had a bit of a vote on. Deciding that Signs of Spring didn’t quite encompass our whole project (it in fact having taken pale entirely in autumn and winter) this was out. With this we decided on the following:
Book of Nature: a study of natural forms through the medium of printmaking and bookbinding
And so it begins! Stay tuned for our last few makes, and news about the upcoming (and named!) exhibition and private view dates. Next week we vote on branding!
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