Notebook Booknotes

The Guild of Book Workers annual meeting is coming up this week, and I figured that no self-respecting book artist would go to the annual meeting with a store-bought notebook! I got the agenda of the meeting, and we are talking business and projects for a little over an hour (the rest of the meeting is for food and beer!) so I didn’t need a notebook with lots of pages. I also wanted to do something interesting that could serve as a memento of my first guild meeting (insert hearts, flowers, and starry eyes. I belong to a guild!).

One of the innovative structures I learned this past semester in class was the fishbone book. I thought it would be neat to use beautiful paper for the structure then put a simple black  cardstock cover on it a la a Moleskine. Sort of a steath art book. So — I got to work:


Nice matte black cover with a simple Cavallini vintage style label.


Another label showing it’s one of a kind.


It looks like it could be a regular notebook (note the dreamy Hahnemuhle paper).

But when you open it you realize it’s quite something else!




I’m thinking I can write in the pages from bottom to top, sideways instead of the traditional top to bottom. I have already stuck a nice archival ink Micron pen in my bag to write with. After the meeting, I will not only have a written record, but if I choose to open it for display, I will have an objet d’art 🙂

I’d like to think of more ways to use this structure — maybe a series of images that fit together when closed yet display beautifully when open? I love the idea of a disarming secret artistry in a recognized every day cover, playing with your perception of what is a book and what is art.


  1. Very lovely! I have an incredible weakness for notebooks – so much so that I have a large box of unused ones. Doesn’t stop me picking up new ones…..

    1. I love notebooks, stationery, paper, ah! Although my instinct is to hoard them, I try and get them in circulation! The world needs more letters and thank you notes in particular I believe 🙂

  2. I think this notebook is SUPERB! Of course, the eco minded lass in me is wondering whether you can use the sides of the pages within the concertina (or tweak the construction to do so), but that I aside I love this for everything it represents!!! Handmade, releasing oneself from corporate brands, like Moleskine (which spoiled its reputation by taking a good basic item & going down the product creation route).

    Secondly, one of my friend belongs to a guild… How cool is that! (ps – working on being good enough to join the ceramics guild here!)

  3. All of the out facing paper inside will be written on — I will take a snap after it is used so you can see what I mean. I can’t wait to use it tomorrow!

    People in this guild are of all levels – I think guild membership has an inherent mentoring aspect to it. Clearly I’m a beginner but have felt very welcome and can’t wait to learn from the other members. I’m bringing baked goods to the meeting too which should help 😉

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