Friday, January 21, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge

Well, I haven't sketched much of anything since I finished my art classes at college, so wanting to find a way to "make me" sketch, I joined in on the challenge that started Jan. 1st.  I am more of a "hands on" kind of guy, so I decided to assemble my own sketchbook.  I started with an empty textbook cover - it had never had any pages (lucky me) and a sheet of 120 lb cover stock.

  I cut it to fit the inside of the cover, glued it down with good old Elmer's, then set my spiral bound 6x9" book in it to mark the spirals on the spine.  Taking a very small drill bit, I drilled holes on either side of each spiral pair, the length of the spine.  I used a 4.5' - 5' piece of dental floss - the flat ribbon type - and a curved needle to sew the cover onto the spirals.

  I made sure I went around each spiral pair 3 times for extra strength.  Once the book was secure to the cover, I needed something to cover the stitches on the outside of the spine.  I remembered some very nice leather scraps I have had for years, and chose a nice golden yellow to contrast the hunter green of the textbook cover.  Using a good contact cement, I attached the leather to the outside and folded it in - gluing down the edges.  Now I just have to start sketching!


  1. I haven't painted much over the last few years so I decided this year to paint more (and sketch more too) I have made my own sketchbooks a couple of times, and have some book binding thread at the workshop, but my blank pages are here, though I don't have a cover yet.

    Been painting with acrylics and it has been quite fun but some nights I don't get round to it, like last night when I spent the evening glazing and filling the kiln.

  2. Robert- This is a great project! I have also been working on using a sketchbook more. I love that you MADE your sketchbook! Very impressive :)

  3. @ Joseph - I too have told myself that I will paint and sketch more this year... it's tough between teaching high school classes and workshops on the weekends. I finally decided to take all my materials to the school and do some work at least twice a week at lunchtime.

    @Kathy - I literally "have to" make something with my hands every day. I take things apart and put them back together, I make little clay maquette pieces during class, etc. If I don't then I get irritable, cranky, and generally impossible to live with. I don't know what it is...
    If you look at the Sketchbook Challenge, you can see all the nice art supplies you might win - and it's something different each month! That's what I'm talkin about!

  4. What a great idea! You should have all of your students make one. I taught a clay class once and we made clay journals, then they had something to do at the end of the class while waiting on someone to pick them up! I am finally getting around to adding everyone that comments and I have missed on my blog roll, sorry it has taken so long, so many distractions.....

  5. Hi Robert!
    I love that you constructed your own sketchbook. Taking the book and supplies to work and hitting it on lunchbreak is a great idea. Please drop back in and let us see what is happening with your project.
    Leslie Tucker Jenison