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Re: [BKARTS] teaching grade 4 kids

My daughter is 4, and has recently helped me bind a fantastic book. She
helped apply the glue and turned the wheel on the stack cutter's clamp.
She feels that she helped with the book, and is very proud.

I think that a project like this for grade fours is not that difficult.
A 15 minute explaination on how a book is made, a 10 minute
demonstration, and a program based on 4 or 5 steps would be pretty
simple to do. Especially if they do it in groups.

I think drying time is the toughest part, but rubber cement and thick
thread should do the job just as well. Even a basic stapel bound
chapbook with a carboard cover might prove an enlightening experience
for them. In a year's time, I may also be working with my son's grade
four class. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Octavia & Co. Press
Octavia Occult . Com
3112 - 28th Ave SW
Calgary Alberta Canada
T3E 0R8

403 242 0397

-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 1:03 PM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: teaching grade 4 kids

Rob -

Don't give up on more challenging projects with the kids - it only gets
easier after the first time.

For sewn bindings with smaller kids, I've found the drill press to be my
best friend. Here's a project that leaves kids with a nice,
multi-gathering book that provides many of the skills you mentioned. I
did this with a group of kids in a "Lewis and Clark" themed program -
the youngest was 6 and the oldest was 12, and we had no tears.

(Of course, it all depends on how much time you have for prep too...)


A couple months before your class, visit the furniture stores in your
area and ask if they will let you have their discarded leather samples.
Colors and styles of leather change quite often and the outdated
swatches usually end up in the dumpster. They're usually fairly large -
most often 10" by 6" or so.

When choosing paper, make sure it isn't so heavy that small hands will
have trouble folding several sheets into the finished gatherings. Fatter
gatherings will minimize the gap between them in the finished book.

When cutting materials to size, I'm usually guided by the natural size
of the leather and/or the paper we've gleened from print shop end cuts.
Cut the paper down to finished size and cut the leather so that the
finished wrap cover will be just a bit taller than the pages and is long
enough to accomodate the spine width of three gatherings and an extra
flap to wrap around the front of the book. (Optional - cut small corners
off the flap

Make yourself two drilling templates of mat board, one for the paper
(three or five holes down the center of the page) and one for the
leather (three rows of three or five holes each).

I use a small bit (1/16th) to drill stacks of paper about an inch high
at a time. Even with the small bit, the little shavings that fly around
can be hot, so use caution if drilling indoors or near anything

When drilling the leather, clamp 4 or 5 covers together between your
template and another piece of mat board to keep them from slipping
around. After drilling, cut two small vertical slits in each flap, about
1/2 inch apart.

Cut 1/4 inch strips of leather 10 - 12 inches long. Cut one end an angle
and add a small slit about 1/2 inch from the end. You can use ribbon,
twine or other material as a substitute for the tie.

In Class:

Have the kids jog up and fold each gathering, preferably with a bone
folder. Secure the gathering on one side with a paperclip so that they
can see light coming through the sewing holes. Use another paper clip to
secure the gathering in place while they sew it to the leather cover
with a pamphlet stitch. While you can design a continuous stitching
pattern, three separate pamplet stitches are the easiest, as working
with long lengths of thread can be a challenge for small hands. I like
starting the stitches in the center of the gathering to create a clean
pattern on the spine, but if you want to embellish the book with
doo-dads tied to the ends of the threads, you can start on the outside.

Of course, any sewing project brings up the challenge of threading
needles. Unless you want to experience what true hell is, don't expect
the kids to be able to do this in class.

Guided by Susan Gaylord's wonderful example, I organize little kits and
everyone gets three threaded (and secured) needles in their kit. (As I
learned from Susan, the kit allows them to return their tools to you in
an organized fashion as well). It seems like a lot of work, but I'm so
used to doing this type of thing while watching a movie, it doesn't seem
like much. If you have one of those old-style needle threaders, it goes
pretty quickly.

For the tie, weave the pointed end of the leather strip with the slit in
it in and out of the slits in the flap, starting on the outside closest
to the flap end. Thread the other end through the slit in the strap and
carefully synch down until it's tight. The strap can be wrapped around
the book a couple times and tucked underneath itself or you can add a
button or other fastener of your choice.

Lastly, you can have them paste down the first and last pages of the
book to the leather. It makes the completed book look more finished, but
isn't necessary.

Older kids might want to glue a thin leather loop inside the flap for a
pencil or add other touches.

While this project doesn't give kids as much basic materials preparation
practice (i.e., tearing down paper and punching their own sewing holes),
it does provide them with a finished book they're proud of and the
confidence to try something more challenging next time.

with best wishes,
Roberta Lavadour
Mission Creek Press / Pendleton, Oregon

     The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

                  Both at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

     The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

                  Both at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

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