Making the Signatures
This is the third post in this series of making my own journal. This week I will show how I tore down watercolor paper to make the signatures for my journal.
Before tearing down the watercolor paper, I needed to determine which side of the paper ran with the grain. The reason this is important is because you want the fold of the signatures to be smooth and not cracked. Roz Stendahl has a great post on how to determine grain direction here.
For this journal I decided to use Lanaquarelle. This is a long grain paper as the grain runs along the long side (30″) of the paper. On short grain paper, the grain runs along the short side (22″) of the paper.
Next, I made a guide to follow when tearing my paper. This is a very important tool to use so you don’t “lose your place” when tearing the paper.
Below is my guide. By following this guide, I would have 6″ of waste along the long edge of the paper. (I ended up cutting this strip into 6″ x 9″ pieces for paintings that would fit an 11″ x 14″ frame.) My signatures would end up 8″ x 10″ when folded.
I wanted the paper edges for this journal to be deckled. In order to achieve this, I had to tear the paper using a bone folder. I learned how to do this by watching this video by Roz Stendahl.
First, I marked a line on the short side of the paper up 6″ from the bottom. I curled the paper to that line, creased it using the bone folder, and then tore off the long strip of paper.
Next, I made a tick mark on the long side of the paper every 10″. I curled the first ten inches over and creased with the bone folder and then tore it.
I repeated this step two more times with the other 10″ marks on the page. This gave me three pieces that measured 10″ high x 16″ wide.
Next, I curled these 10″ x 16″ pieces in half widthwise and creased with the bone folder.
This finished piece measured 10″ high by 8″ wide when folded and has a pretty deckled edge on the three open sides.
Since watercolor paper is thicker than other paper, I used two folded pieces per signature–placing one inside the other.
For this journal, I needed eight signatures. Here is a photo of the signatures stacked up. I placed some heavy books on this stack overnight to allow the pages to relax and nestle into one another before sewing them together.
My next post will show how I sewed the journal together using French Link and kettle stitches.
These tutorials are for your personal use only. Thank you so much!