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Favorite Tools

The next issue (Vol 2, No 1) of Tabellae Ansata will mail late in January
2000. If you would like to share your favorite tool (bookbinding, calligraphy
or papercraft tool) with our readers, send your comments to me via email. If
I publish your comments, you will receive a $10 gift certificate for items
from the John Neal, Bookseller catalog. Your favorite might also be a
material such a an ink, a paper, etc. - John Neal

(Subscribers that have not received Vol 1, No 4 should email me and I will
send out a replacement copy.)

"I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy the
publication!  I especially enjoyed the article on the favorite tools!  I look
forward to the next
edition!" MB 11-00

The favorite tool section from last issue of Tabellae Ansata:

My favorite tool is a very old bone folder that belonged to my Mexican
grandfather, Valente. He carved it himself, my father tells me, and inscribed
it with his three initials "VMC". When I use it, I feel my grandfather's
presence and his influence on my life. Each time I fold a card or make a
book, I remember him and the legacy he granted me. He made the folder when he
took a series of courses in traditional bookbinding, in his younger days. In
fact, my grandfather made all his own bookbinding tools because he was very
poor, but he loved learning and he loved books. About two years before he
passed on, he gave all his bookbinding tools to me. I have two of the many
books he bound: a miniature book of children's stories and a cookbook. The
contents of both books consist of inexpensive things he used. The recipes
were from the newspaper and the stories were little tiny paper books from the
newsstand. He trimmed everything to size and bound them in leather. He used
gold leaf on the spines for the titles. My grandfather was one of those
incredible Renaissance-type people. He could do lots of things with his hands
besides bookbinding: carpentry, household repairs, electrical work, crafts,
artistic things, anything that could be done by hand. He was athletic. He
sang in an operatic chorus with Caruso. He read lots of different things and
was always learning. I grew up believing my grandfather could do anything --
and when I use his bone folder, I feel that I can do anything, too. What
encouragement!  -- Else Tennessen

Three of my favorite tools are: a micro spatula, a scoring tool and a
Japanese screw drill. The first thing I like about all of them is how they
feel in my hand. The micro spatula is lightweight and small. Use it to slip
small amounts of glue under edges of paper or cloth. The scoring tool is used
much like a bone folder for scoring, but it fits into your hand better. Both
are inexpensive -- in the $3.00 to $5.00 price range. The Japanese screw
drill cuts neat holes in one sheet or an entire signature of paper. It comes
with a set of 9 different sizes of bits. You just position the tool
vertically on the paper where you want the hole and apply pressure. The drill
executes a smooth twisting motion and cuts the hole. To exchange bits, you
just unscrew the knurled collar and the bit falls out. Replace it with the
new size, re-tighten the collar and you are ready to make holes again. At $65
to $70 it's more of an investment. - John Neal

Founded by Shereen LaPlantz, Tabellae Ansata is a quarterly publication on
calligraphy, artist's books, bookbinding and books for kids. Tabellae
includes how-to  articles, reproductions of finished works, book reviews,
exhibit reviews. It is now published by John Neal, Bookseller.
Tabellae Ansata
Subscriptions           USA       Others
1 year (four issues) $25 USD   $33 USD
2 years (8 issues )  $40 USD   $60 USD

The microspatula, scoring tool and Japanese screw drill are available from
John Neal, Bookseller.

Letter Arts Review
John Neal, Bookseller
Tabellae Ansata
PO Box 9986
Greensboro, NC 27429
800-369-9598, 336-272-7604
fax 336-272-9015
email: info@JohnNealBooks.com

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