byhand July/August 2001
Storing scrolls in ancient Rome from A History of Reading by Canadian author Alberto Manguel.
July/August 2001 - Issue 4

So, I finally finished my site redesign. Please check it out and let me know about any missing links, or typos!
Quietfire Design
Once you have gone to my website you will need to use your browser back button to return as there is no link from my website to here!

Welcome to issue 4 of byhand! I've decided to just put out one newsletter over the summer. I know what summers are like! My plan is to put out the September issue of byhand a bit early. You're welcome to email to bug me if I don't live up to my promise!

If you wish to check back issues of byhand click here.

If you would like to subscribe to byhand just click on the link and send me an email saying subscribe!

Gentle Thoughts


The Gentle Thoughts quote this month is by a gentleman I have never had the pleasure to meet. Robert Aller is a long time resident of Port Alberni, B.C. and, I hear, has a spectacular garden! I saw this quote pinned on the wall at the Rollin Art Center one time and asked if I could use it as a front page for the guest book they had commissioned me to make. This is a copy of the original artwork. I just loved the quote and hope you do, too.


My preliminary fall schedule is up on my website on the calendar page. I think you will find most places will not be taking registration for classes before the beginning of September, but it might be worth a phone call! Here is the quicky list:

This is a preliminary schedule. Keep checking for additions and updates!

Oct. 15   Burnaby, B.C.   Creative Bookbinding for Burnaby Continuing Education. To register call (604) 664-8888 at the end of August.

Oct. 20   Courtenay, B.C.   Introduction to Calligraphy for North Island College. More information to follow!

Oct   Port Alberni, B.C.   Beginning Calligraphy for Parks and Recreation. Five week introductory class. 7-9 p.m. More info to come.

  Oct. 27   Port Alberni, B.C..  Instant Letters - Add Fun and Stir! More information to follow!

Nov. 24   Burnaby, B.C.   Coptic Stitched Book. Click on the name to read the class description. This is a new class.
Supply list - see the usual Supply List for bookbinding classes plus bring:
Special photo or charm or ornament that you may wish to put on cover (some will be available in the class)

Bone folders will be available at the class for purchase.

Nov. 25   Vancouver, B.C.  Charmers. Private Class

If you need more information, please feel free to email me

When I come to Vancouver I have traditionally taught in Burnaby on the Saturdays, and at Paper-Ya on the Sundays. I am now available on Sundays and currently working with some keen souls setting up some private group classes. If you have any requests, let me know.

Working with Wire

Working with wire as decoration can be addicting. There has been quite the burst in products and publications devoted to this craft.

Wire is measure in gauges, the bigger the number, the thinner the wire. Make sense? Not to me, either.... The gauges that I usually use are 20, 22, 24 and 26. 26 Gauge is pretty thin and will kink easily. Really, the only extra thing you need beside the wire is a pair of pliers with build-in cutter. I would recommend needle nose pliers for easier working. Wire now can be bought in amazingly pretty colours, not just the brass and silver colours. I have purchased brass wire in hardware stores, but it's the craft stores that will carry the coloured wire. With just pliers and wire you can start bending and twisting free form. Try simply twisting the wire around a twig or rock to provide a decorative element for a book or card. Tuck in the ends so you don't get poked!

The other element you may want to add to your wire-bending kit is a jig. There is a variety of pre-made jigs available to buy, but it is easy to make your own. Draw yourself a simple design, place it on a small wooden board and drive finishing nails right through your paper and into the board. Position the nails at the points where the wire will change direction. Begin bending your wire through the jig, perhaps adding beads as you go. Don't wrap too tightly or it'll be hard to get the wire off the jig. The jig I made was a star pattern, but you can almost as easily "free" bend the wire!

Commercially made jigs have a base with a lot of holes in it, into which you insert pegs that you bend the wire around. Useful sites for wire-benders are the Artistic Wire site and the WigJig site. Both sites have projects on them worth checking out. Should you happen to have a clear jig (you can buy these fairly inexpensively now at craft stores), it's fun to design your own wire shapes by placing your jig over a rubber stamped image and inserting your pegs. It takes a little practice to get comfortable with the wire, but it sure is fun!

Books to Inspire

This month I, again,would like to tell you about a magazine that I have fallen in love with! It is Artist's Sketchbook and I first learned of it from an e-group I belong to. It is put out by Artist's Magazine and was released in the spring as a test, I guess. The first issue is apparently sold out, so they have published another issue which is currently available on news stands (I even found it in Port Alberni!).

Artist's Sketchbook carries quite a variety of feature articles aimed at using your sketchbook and stimulating your creativity. One of the contributing writers is Tera Leigh who was my co-cadavrette creator from the May issue of byhand . Tera has two articles in this issue, as well as a couple in the first one. (Tera has a wonderful website Tera's-Wish and is a very talented decorative painter awaiting the release of her new book.)

Other articles in this issue are from Betty Edwards (drawing guru - those of you who have recently taken one of my calligraphy classes or Artist's Journal in A Day will recognize this information!). Another article is on jazzing up your correspondence, which is old hat to calligraphers, but has some nice pictures and ideas. One of the other articles is by Michael J. Gelb author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. And there's more.... I think you get the idea - there's something for everyone here!

I have put together some sewing cradles for sale. I have only taught one class in which we made these and I know some of you have been asking for them. They are not things of great beauty, but really, really functional. They are large enough to pierce an 8.5" spine length signature. They are $20Cdn and I'll include the shipping within Canada. Email me if you can't live without one! I will try to bring these to classes so you can see them in person!

Here is my nasty little illustration of one!

Wire Fantasies!

  • try twisting or braiding the wire
  • you can make a paper clip out of the heart pictured above right if you allow the curley-q's to overlap!

Have a great summer!

We will be away for the first 2 weeks of July. But please feel free to email me - I love email! I hope to visit the St. Armand Paper Mill in Montreal while we're there and will have a full report in the September byhand. I also want to pick up a bunch of their paper (gee, surprise), because it makes such absolutely yummy covers for the Artist's Journal workshop. And that reminds me there is a separate page for that workshop now at Artist's Journal if you'd like to check it out.

If there is any information you would like to see in this newsletter, let me know. Each month I will email you to let you know the new issue is published. If you know someone who would like to receive notice of byhand, just have them email me and I will put them on the list. Bye for now and thanks for visiting!

(250) 723-0321
Quietfire Design

The original title lettering of byhand was done with a Mitchell's Roundhand Nib, size 0, and Higgins Eternal Ink.

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