Sketchbook “Haydn’s Creation”

Sketchbook “Haydn’s Creation”

This is a sketchbook I made from Arches Aquarelle 185gsm, using covers from a 19th century music score.

  • Size of pages: 10 inches by 6 and five eighths inches (25.5cm x 17cm) “Octavo” size
  • Number of signatures: 5
  • Number of sheets per signature: 3
  • Total number of sheets: 15
  • Number of pages: 30
  • Number of sides: 60
  • Number of Arches Large Sheets used: 4. Large sheet is 56cm x 76cm (Long grain).
  • Endpapers: Japanese white paper with white threads. Music stitched into back endpaper.
  • Type of binding: unmodified Coptic binding with waxed linen thread.
  • Reinforcements: Muslin reinforcement to spine, Linen reinforcement of binding. One sliver of Japanese paper along bound spine. PVA glue.

I made a mistake. Arches paper is “long grain”. When making this book, I bent the paper parallel to the shorter edge, which is wrong. I should have organised the pages the other way around. We’ll see how it turns out. I made this mistake with Sketchbook number 8 too.

Snapshots of the process:

What I learned:

  • Make sure you understand the Grain Direction before cutting paper. The fold must go parallel with the grain
  • Endpapers: think them through in advance. They have grain too. Mark the top and bottom. It’s easy to get the endpapers upside down (I got them upside down on this book, and had to unpick the end stitching)
  • See this link for how to strengthen the spine and cover over the gaps in coptic binding. I did a version of this for this book.
  • Five signatures was too many for these covers I think. Better to have too few than too many.
  • The Arches 185gsm paper was good to work with. I could get the needle through 3 folds without having to punch holes in advance.

Ideas for next time:

  • bind in some narrow pages, that don’t go the full width of the book. Useful so I can stick things in later. Could make a whole book of standard and narrow pages.
  • Find some more Octavo size secondhand books and have another go!

Here is the finished book:

Here is the original frontispiece:

I used this sketchbook for drawings in Shetland.

Here it is in use:

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