July 11, 2012

Crushing on Keith A. Smith

I have most of Keith Smith's commercially printed books. They are excellent resources for multiple types of structures and sewing. I think he is brilliant and would like to live in his brain for a day.

Although I have referred to these books many times, they were mostly treated like coffee table books. I'd look at the various sewings and admire them. I'd marvel at the sewing schematics. There would be a lot of "ooo"-ing and "ahhh"-ing and "that would be cool to do" but never any actual thread to paper action.

Inspired by the various drawing/photo/collage/etc.-a-day projects where people actually do something instead of thinking about it, I decided to pursue the various sewings in Keith Smith's "1-2-&3-Section Sewings; Non-Adhesive Binding Volume II". However, being the lazy non-structured and distracted diverse person that I know myself to be, it's not going to be an everyday nor follow the book in sequential order kind of affair. As appealing as that is to the obsessive side of my personality, I know it's not going to happen and, really, would just suck out all the fun of doing it. I want it to be an exploration of technique rather than the completion of a task.

So, I am going to go through the book, picking the sewings that appeal to me and actually do them. The added bonus being I can use up some of my stash! In fact, "shop at home" will be my mantra. The only thing I'll be concerned with is paper grain (and paper weight to some degree).

The fun begins with the "Soft K" stitch (page 90 if you have the book, and you should):

(My camera hasn't been behaving correctly so the colors are a little wonky, even with Gimp intervention.)

It is a two section binding. I used a vintage bingo card for the cover, paper by Southworth Company (from a box of stationery never used) and waxed linen thread. I allotted twice the spine height per signature (plus tie offs) and this was plenty. (Although I'm pretty generous when I measure the thread so when I say "spine height", in reality it's the length of the spine plus probably two inches.)

More to come!

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