Book binding

The meditative power of making with your hands

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m learning book binding these days.

I’ve noticed that making something with my hands, while being highly time consuming, is a highly energizing and calming activity. The sense of accomplishment that I get from making something functional and usable with my hands is unparalleled. What might seem like “just another notebook” to someone else, feels like a “piece of art” to me – the maker 😀

Of course, I’m biased. The hours that go into the smallest little detail – “Should I use case binding or long stitch binding method?” “Should I use archival paper for the pages?” “What size of journal should it be?” “What kind of leather should I use?” “How do I achieve the raised cords effect on the spine?” “Should I try some etching on leather?” “How does one etch leather?”, and so on – make the final end product so gratifying!

I made a small little green leather journal this weekend. Once done, I cannot help but admire the details (mind you, there are enough flaws in this book, but hey – it works! 🙂 ).

Note: I’m using scrap leather from a furniture manufacturer for my books.

Leather bound journal with gold engraving
Fun end pages

As I’ve been making books, I’ve been giving them out to family and friends for them to use. It’s given me so much joy to see my journals being used! 🙂 I really think there’s a difference between making something digital, and making something physical with your hands – I cannot describe it, but being able to engage additional senses such as your sense of touch, sense of smell, and being able to hold your product, is a different experience. I highly encourage all of you to make stuff, any stuff, to help disengage and recharge.

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