Remnants of Magic from Scraps of Art

Remnants of Magic cover and binding

As a saver of every pretty scrap created in the making of things, whether paper or fabric, I love being able to use them in the creation of something new. So to create a book for an exhibit, I gladly revisited the strip binding method I learned last February from Claire Van Vliet. Among other things, it is enormously pleasing to design for binding strips that become part of the page.

Remnants of Magic pages

I wanted to make a book fairly quickly for the Hand Bookbinders of California member exhibit and had a short stack of working papers from my Spelling Words books. These included my very first forays into the subject of spelling in a 2004 workshop with Suzanne Moore, for which we prepared by writing text in various sizes on good paper. I took a page with an excerpt from Spell of the Sensuous and added another text on the back in a loose bâtarde hand with watered down ink, so I would have more text pages in this book.

Remnants of Magic gilding

Since this book was all about using up scraps, I had the inspiration to pull out the leftover bits of gold leaf I have saved from many years of gilding. I can never bring myself to throw away gold! Some of them were clearly from a certain project (like the gold on the cover, from the Spelling Words books) and some of them are a mystery, like this one.

Remnants of Magic Spells for Peace

I used more strips to bind two pages to act as one, when the scrap I wanted to use was not tall enough for the spine. I couldn’t leave “spells for peace” out of this book, and it added another bit of interest to the pages.

Remnants of Magic strips

Remnants of Magic is showing in the 43rd annual members’ exhibit of The Hand Bookbinders of California, through September 13 at the American Bookbinding Museum, 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco, 94103; 415.824.9754. Hours are Monday – Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, and by appointment. Parking is available at the 5th and Mission Parking Garage. The Museum has just completed a large scale renovation of its building in the city’s museum district. Because of the construction of the new fourth street subway station, it is best to enter the Museum from Fifth Street. The entrance on Fourth Street may have to be closed due to the construction.

Hand Bookbinders of California postcard 2015

Two photos at the top by Lisa Heer, used with permission.


{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Laurie Doctor 07/17/2015, 6:50 pm

    Cari, I love getting a glimpse of your book here– wish I could touch it! The Spell of the Sensuous is a book I return to. I am teaching a class this fall where I have asked the students to bring scraps, “flotsam and jetsam” and what you have posted here is inspiration. Thank you.

    • Cari 07/18/2015, 10:05 am

      Laurie, the paper is entirely Arches Text Wove, even the binding strips. This paper has such a nice “hand.” I’ve begun using the heavyweight Rives BFK for the covers because it too feels luscious. I love the title of your workshop, and it is nice to sometimes feel you working in a similar vein, and continuing to find inspiration in each other’s work. For solitary artists, this is a gift.

  • Sarah 07/18/2015, 2:01 pm

    I just love your work Cari- so inviting!

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