Although it is attached to the house, my downstairs studio is not heated by the house furnace. (There is one duct from the house heating system, but I leave it closed when the studio is not in use.) Instead, I have a Lakewood wood stove as my heat source.
The studio has been a disaster area ever since it became a repository for assorted things that I dumped there during the whirlwind clearing of the basement when the furnace had to be replaced last year. It was pretty untidy before that, but my work surface and my paper drying system had become completely unusable.
The first job of the New Year was to get the studio warm enough to work in. We had been having a spell of very cold weather so the brick surround of the stove —and Ko-ko, my stack cutter— had become ‘cold sinks’. (They act as ‘heat sinks’ when the fire is on regularly.)
I started a fire Wednesday morning, and it took until early afternoon for the temperature in the studio to reach a level where it was comfortable to work.
I started with the work surface. I did not photograph the pile of papers/cardboard/boxes of completed work/boxes of incomplete works that was on the surface. I managed to clear down to where I had started to lay out a sewing project.
The surface was still unusable for paper/book projects. David solved that problem for me by cutting and sanding a sheet of plywood so that I have a temporary/movable work surface in my sewing room. The fabric and assorted patterns have been moved there.
Below is a picture of the cleared surface. (Some of you may note things still on the surface, like the boxes, and think “That’s not cleared.” For me, this is cleared!)
I then excavated the surface of my Kutrimmer which had a pile of odds and ends of paper on the left side. (A big pile: it was getting hard to cut anything wider than ten inches.)
Finally I cleared my paper drying system which had become buried under a pile of unsorted papers and the brown paper and/or plastic bags that the papers came in.
During the clearing out, I unearthed the box full of paper trimmings from The Persistence of Hope. I re-cut some and spent the last few evenings folding more two-strip menko cards for another bit of bunting.
I have also started planning at least one more variation on the Chinese Thread Book. I gave away the one below.
I thought I would make a travelling binder’s kit. Here are a bone folder and a tiny pair of thread snips laid out on my cutting mat to check possible sizes.
Although the thread book won’t be for sewing/embroidery supplies, I thought it might be fun to make at least some of the pockets out of old sewing patterns. (I have a surprising number of old patterns for things that would no longer fit me.) Here’s a piece already backed,
and more patterns displayed on the paper I plan to use for backing them.
The use of sewing patterns for the boxes is not original: when I was writing my series of posts on the Zhen Xian Bao, Melinda Collins Knick sent me pictures of the one she made. I was delighted by the idea.
I will also back some cotton fabric for the bottom pocket/outer layer.
Some of you have already seen the index/table of contents post I made for the 2018 Advent series on enclosures.
I decided to do the same thing for the Zhen Xian Bao/Chinese Thread Book posts. If you look at the right-hand end of the menu bar at the top of this page, you will find a clickable title for a page with links to all the posts I have written on the Zhen Xian Bao.
Now I need to finish cleaning up my computer’s Desktop.
In other book arts news:
Erin Fletcher of Herringbone Bindery has posted another in her series Bookbinder of the Month.
This month’s featured bookbinder is Eduardo Giménez Burgos. You can find the full interview here.
John Neal Bookseller has published an on-line selection from Bound & Lettered. The article is by Elinor Winters and is entitled The Calligraphy Quilts. You can find it here.
You can get more previews of Bound & Lettered issues here, and even sign up for a subscription if you like what you see.