Tiny Book Arts

The first miniature book I recall was the cautionary tale of Pierre who didn’t care, a tiny red volume in Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library. Pierre’s lack of interest in folding the folding chairs, and all the other expectations of the adults around him, spoke to me… When, after his near-death experience inside the lion, he became a folding chair enthusiast, I was a little disappointed, but still charmed by the tiny book. Anyway…

Rummaging around in the New England Book Artists website recently, I came upon a link to the Miniature Book Society, and of course I had to check it out. Surprise! They are associated with the miniature book collection at Indiana University’s Lilly Library that delighted me so last last spring! And they have lots of interesting book arts stuff happening. I joined immediately.

Another surprise: the membership packet included a kit for binding your own 2 1/4 x 3″ edition of The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allen Poe! I dropped all the other tasks I ought to have been doing and assembled it, adding a case binding covered in fiery marbled paper. Binding this little book showed me how much I’ve forgotten, while also refreshing those skills, and now I have a unique edition of this macabre miniature book, plus lots of ideas bubbling up for more. Thanks, MBS!

The Art of the Fold

This wonderful book, The Art of the Fold, gives clear instructions with excellent illustrations for making folded books and related structures. The authors, Hedi Kyle and her daughter, Ulla Warchol, came up with crown books, blizzard books, pocket books and a lot more. AS I tried out some of the structures on the first snowy day of the year, it was cool to read that they had come up with them on another snowy day; hence the name. And now I see it’s the wellspring of all those Instagram/Etsy booklets with pockets full of thingies. Looks like everyone knew about this book but me, but better late than never!

I love gluing and sewing, so avoiding them in bookmaking is not a priority, but it’s fun to explore. The crown book is magic: a book with easily removable and replaceable pages, either multiple folios or one long accordion. I feel some ideas stirring! And I am glad to have made a box to contain and protect Journey by Rail. I love snowy days!