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Let's say you're working along on a book in your studio and you keep losing the pen or the knife or the bone folder under stuff. You rush into your bathroom and find those pink toe dividers you last used when you painted your tootsies purple. Glue them down on your desk and, "Voila!" you've slotted all your tools in one place, and they never become lost again. It's inspiration like this that we're presenting here for your benefit.



The Glue-Off Center Drip Handy Dandy Wire     Shape a wire to fit snugly around the edge (about 1/8" below the lip) of your glue container. Then bring the end of the wire across the center of this circle, wrap the ends tightly on the opposite side and snip the ends closely. When tipping off excess glue from your brush, always use the wire across the center of the glue pot. This allows the excess glue to drip directly into the glue in the container. By not using the edge of the glue pot to remove excess glue from your brush, you save a great deal of glue which otherwise would harden to the insides of your container.
Olfa Rotary Cutters Available at fabric stores, craft stores, art supply stores. Wonderful hand saver when you have a lot of cutting to do. Best for cutting leather, fabric or handmade papers.
Book Cover Materials Sterling silver, anodized aluminum, clay, fimo, wood, glass, plastic, bone, tin, rubber or copper. These materials may use cold fasteners, such as rivets, pop rivets, nuts and bolts, coiled copper, brass, aluminum, silver or gold wire or glue.
Different Threads for Books Artificial sinew, mint or regular dental floss, thin rattail, glycerinized raffia, patterned shoe strings, very thin, soft leather strips or copper wire.
To Preserve Newspaper Clippings Dissolve one Milk of Magnesia tablet in one quart of club soda. Let stand overnight. Soak the clipping in the mixture for one hour. Remove and pat dry. Gently flatten during air drying.
Tight Caps To remove paint tube caps, use a nutcracker.
Finger Protector When spray painting, cut off and save the fintertips from worn-out rubber gloves. Slip one of these onto your index finger to keep stray paint off your finger.
Easy Opening Put a bit of vaseline on the threads of jar tops, especially for acrylic paints and glues.
Neat and Available Use magnet bars to keep scissors, tweesers, pins, razor blades and other tools out and ready to use.
Paper Edges To finish paper edges (1) cut with mat cutter for a sharp, crisp edge, (2) Pull up against a straight edge for a softer edge or (3) fold paper, wet the fold and pull carefully apart for the softest edge.
Storage For quick and archival storage, use ziplock bags. It's the same polypropelene as the more expensive archival sleeves and they come in all sizes, from snack size to 2 gallon size (great for organizing photos).
More Storage Drawers are best. Things stay cleaner than on shelves and are easier to access than storing in plastic or cardboard boxes.
Mental Tip My greatest tip is to just keep working. Do lots. When in doubt, make more. Quality comes from quantity because you learn all the subtleties of your medium and your own rhythms as you go. The greatest mistake is to think things have to be perfect before you can begin... ideas have to be formulated, tools sharp, weather obliging. PHOOEY! Good art can be made spontaneously with dull scissors in the rain. Just start. And keep going. The making will draw you in and quiet those doubting, critical voices in your head.
Teach As soon as you learn something pleasing, find someone to teach it to. The teaching cements the knowledge, and giving back feels good. As they say about procedures in Medical school: "Watch one, do one, teach one."
Work Table A table top that is good is the rectangle/oval cutout from a kitchen counter top (the part they cut out to install the sink). You can go to a place that does kitchen remodels. You can even attach a handle to the edge of the rectangle/oval so you can take this wonderful counter top with you. I have found them free. Good for fimo, clay, marbling, paste paper etc.
Photographing Your Art Wayne McCall will take professional photos of your work. He is worth his price. (805) 969-3153. 281 Oak Road, Santa Barbara 93108
Custom Cut Davey Board Red Label available in 4 weights. .059"- $0.02 per sq. in. .074"- $0.025 per sq. in. .087"- $0.03 per sq. in. .098"- $0.035 per sq. in. Contact Joe, bookboard@eudoramail.com Include dimensions in inches (e.g. 8 3/4"x 7 5/8") and indicate which dimension is the spine length. Boards will be cut with grain parallel to the spine unless you indicate otherwise.
Thrift Shops Scour thrift shops and auctions. I have found really neat old cotton crochet yarn, ribbons, needle cases, fur and leather clothng and sewing doodas that look great in books.
Paper I have found nice paper in the stationary section of "Tuesday Morning" discount shops for excellent price. You got to keep checking though. Sometimes they have nothing.
Making Holes I have found hand held drill to be a lot easier on my hands than hole punchers. Small pressure clamps hold the pages together better than C clamps or bull clips. You can get the clamps at Home Depot.
Collages Catalogues of luxury items have provided lots of interesting bits and images for collage. However, be careful about copyright issues.
Ideas Keep a sketch/note/diary book by the TV and another by your chair at work. When ideas strike, jot them down. Lots more effective than thinking you will remember later. (Never happens!)
Gluing To avoid trasfering glue to the front of whatever piece I am using, I place the paper or thing I will glue on a page of an old magazine or catalogue and spread the glue. I flip to a new page for each new piece. Old phone books are good for this too.
How To Find It The amount of information on books I own became a bit overwhelming and I was spending too much time looking through the books to find this or that idea or technique. To manage the information, I opened a document in my computer where I alphabetize information that I find intriguing but don't have time to explore right now. I reference the book and page. It's a lot more effective than Post It notes.
Papermaking Tip I use cosmetic sponges to tap paper I've laid down...especially thin paper. It absorbs excess sizing while helping to meld wet, collaged, handmade papers.
Another Papermaking Tip Use a paper/book/ fettling knife to tear down dried sheets. A painting spatula works well also.
Scoring To pre-crease or pressure score, use a medium ballpoint stylus, against a metal straight edge.
Cutting Slits For exact, partial or internal slits, I pierce the material with a fine point needle tool or light-duty, straight shafted awl at each terminus of the slit. Then using a craft knife & metal straight edge, I cut from one hole to the other, stopping when I feel the pressure release.




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