In the second instalment of our 'making of' series with 'Drawn to Nature' teacher, Esther McManus, we learn about how she cuts, folds, stitches and trims the pages ready to be made into the final Nature Journals. You can see the first process of foiling the front covers in our previous post here. Now, over to Esther...
After the drama and magic of foiling last post, for this update I have been more understatedly sitting at the workbench cutting, folding and stitching paper for the journals. This stage in the process is rather meditative, and again relies on sensitivity with the materials - checking the grain direction of the different paper stocks, making sure that the the tension in the thread is consistent, and then carefully trimming the individual book blocks in the guillotine to a nice, crisp edge.
These processes remind me of the kind of experiences I like having out of doors - the pleasure of spending time with a process, and focussing your attention on the properties of the world around you and the ways you interact with it. Spending time making things by hand, and getting to know each stage of the process intimately really heightens the appreciation I have for everyday materials like paper and wood - by spending time with them I have begun to realise what they are capable of, as well as learning about their limits.
Over the last few weeks I have started to see each stage of the binding process as something like a collaboration with the materials, where we both work together on the task at hand. And it has been enjoyable to take these prototype journals outside on short winter walks, where their tactile qualities remind me of the time in the workshop, and the pleasure that can be found in paying attention and working slowly and methodically with the materials to hand.
Thank you, Esther! In the third and final part of this series we will see the magical process of marbling the end papers and take a look at the finished Nature Journals. Stay tuned!
To book a place on Drawn to Nature and therefore receive your very own Nature Journal, click here.