Storing scrolls in ancient Rome from A History of Reading by Canadian author Alberto Manguel.
September 2001 - Issue 5

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Welcome to issue 5 of byhand!
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

Lettering done on small piece of St-Armand handmade paper purchased at Au Papier Japonais, using a Mitchell's Roundhand nib, acrylic inks, Golden glaze, and Pearl Ex (which doesn't show up!)  Size: 5" x 4 ¼"


My fall schedule is up on my website on the calendar page. But here is the quick version

Sept. 29   Victoria, B.C.  Artist's Journal in a Day - Private  Class

Oct. 13   Burnaby, BC   Creative Bookbinding

Oct. 20   Courtenay, BC   Introduction to Calligraphy

Oct 3 - Nov 7  Port Alberni, BC   Beginning Calligraphy

Oct. 27   Port Alberni, BC  Instant Letters - Add Fun and Stir!  A new class.

Nov. 24   Burnaby, BC   Coptic Stitched Book.   Click on the name to read the class description. This is a new class. To see a sample of this book check out the raffle book in this newsletter.
Supply list - see the usual Supply List for bookbinding classes plus bring:
A 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, BC  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. As Paper-Ya is no longer offering classes, I am now available on Sundays and currently working with some keen souls setting up private group classes. If you have any requests, let me know.


What I did on my Summer Vacation!

In July, our family took our first big holiday away together. We went as far as my husband's frequent flyer points would take us! Québec. We spent several days in Montréal, then drove to Portland, Maine to visit friends. I managed to get a few pages done in my art journal and saved ephemera to put into later, but it was quite hard to find the time as I was never alone. We had a wonderful visit in Maine, ate lobster, visited the beach until the weather turned (the hardy Canadians were the last people to leave the beach, even after the lifeguards had left!), and I even got into an art supply store! Back in Canada we spent a few days in Quebec City which is when I was lucky enough to have an afternoon to myself while the boys went to the waterslides. Yippee! I sat for about an hour doing a sketch of St. Louis Gate in the old city. Then I pounded around snooping in all the shops that little (and big) boys hate...

At the end of our trip we went back to Montréal where I finally got to check out two very interesting places. First was the St. Armand Paper Mill which is in the textile district of Montréal. I love the St. Armand Papers. They are thick and full of subtle colour and texture. Absolutely yummy! It is my favourite choice for the covers of Over and Under the Covers and The Artist's Journal.

The mill is in the basement of a large warehouse building and is really dark and damp inside! When we entered there was a fellow pulling full sheets of red paper which fascinated the kidlets. As we chatted he said he could pull about 45 sheets in a day.
The owner David Carruthers arrived and kindly took us on a guided tour. David has definitely worked in the "big" paper industry as he knew about the company that my husband works for. As well as hand pulling sheets, they also make paper on a small 24" fourdrinier paper machine. In order to see that machine we had to walk through the warehouse upstairs where, in darkened, dusty rooms, women were sorting fabric scraps under bright lights. Farther back huge bales of fabric were stacked to the ceiling and we had to back between the pillars and against the brick walls to avoid a bobcat roaring through the warehouse basement with it's bright light illuminating dim nooks and crannies.

The paper mill buys these cotton fabric scraps for their paper and break them down with a Hollander beater that is way bigger than any inflatable pool we had ever bought the children.

David's favourite toy of the day was a new cutter that he had recently bought . New to him, but not new to cutting paper! It worked extremely well and reminded me of something left over from the industrial revolution. I think you have to be a boy to appreciate some of these things... Certainly my youngest liked it!

There were lots of papers hanging on lines to dry. You had to dodge them as you walked around. It was quite the amazing place. At last the tour was over and my boys went for a walk along the canal across the street and left me to pick out some paper. Unfortunately, St. Armand is so swamped that Denise, who I always conversed with on the telephone, would not ship the paper home for me, so I ended up buying less than I planned. I wouldn't recommend contacting them directly to purchase paper unless you are visiting them in person. And you should call ahead. My thanks go to David and Denise for a wonderful visit! (You can see and read more about St. Armand in Somerset Studio, Canadian Arts & Crafts issue, July/August 1999, Page 23).
Some of those yummy St. Armand papers can be purchased on the westcoast at Paper-Ya (and at Opus Framing which only carries the white papers).

The second stop of interest was Au Papier Japonais, a lovely tiny shop. Lorraine and Stan kindly showed me some of their specialty papers and let me browse through their catalogues. The shop is filled with paper, books and all things Japanese, I could have spent hours there. But I had already had a "artsy" visit the day before and I can't think with boys breathing down my neck! But I can spend money! And I came home with some beautiful Japanese papers and have ordered more. Watch for some really spectacular books from my studio this fall. Thanks again to Lorraine and Stan for their kindness and help at Au Papier Japonais.

On the westcoast, check Paper-Ya on Granville Island for Japanese Papers - ask the staff, they're really friendly and know where all the good stuff is!


Seeing it's a new season I though I would offer a "get back in the swing of things" raffle. Send me a postcard, decorated or plain, with your name, address, and email address on it and you could win a gorgeous(!) handbound journal. The journal will be the Coptic Stitched Book, and may not be the version you see below (this one is reserved for someone - if I ever get to Vancouver to deliver it!) - but I promise it will be nice! If you wish you may click here to go to a pre-addressed printable postcard which you can print on a full sheet of cardstock, cut out and decorate the other side - or just print and stick on the back of any old postcard! (Or stick it in an envelope if you don't want the world to know your vital statistics!) Of course, you realize that what I am looking for here is some interestingly decorated postcards that I can display in future issues of byhand! I can hardly wait to start getting cards!
All postcards should be received by September 25, 2001. The winner will be announced in the October

I have put together some sewing cradles for sale as some of you have been asking for them. They are not things of great beauty, but really, really handy for when you have a lot of holes to pierce. They are large enough for an 8.5" spine length and are $20Cdn (or $20US to the States) shipping included. 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!

(mentioned in this newsletter)

La Papeterie St-Armand:
3700, rue St-Patrick, Montréal, P.Q.
(514) 931-8338

Au Papier Japonais:
24 Fairmount O., Montréal, P.Q.

(514) 276-6863

9-1666 Johnston St. (Granville Island)
Vancouver, BC (604) 684-2531

Opus Framing:
1360 Johnston St. (Granville Island)
Vancouver, BC (604) 736-7028

1629 Main Street, Vancouver, B.C.
(604) 681-7351

Studio Tips

I wouldn't be a bookbinder without my Rollataq. What is a Rollataq? It is a hand held glue applicator. To see it you can click here to go to the Daige website. Now, some people hate their Rollataq. I know that unless you use it fairly frequently, it dries up. I have found that simply running the rollers under the tap using warm water loosens everything up - and as long as you make some practice strokes to get rid of excess water, this solves the problems. The reason I mention the Rollataq at this time of year is because I know that Behnsen's, who carry the Rollataq 300 in Vancouver, always has it on sale during their "Back to School" sale (which is on until September 30). The regular price is $48.60Cdn and the sale price is $29.95Cdn. Unfortunately, they tell me their sale stock has not arrived yet, but you can get a raincheck and they will honour the sale price. This is also the time of year to pick up self-healing cutting mats at Behnsen's.

Books to Inspire

If you have never read any of Keith Smith's books on binding, you are missing what I consider the basics of bookbinding instruction. I love Non-Adhesive Binding Books without Paste of Glue in which Keith includes instruction on Pamphlet Stitched bindings, Japanese bindings, long stitch, buttonhole stitch, sewing onto tapes, and many more styles. If you picked up my copy, you would find many Post-It notes sticking out of many pages. His instructions are comprehensive (almost too much so!) and he provides an incredible number of variations on book structures farther into the book. Keith has a website at: keith smith BOOKS where you can order his books. (Sometimes you can find them at Paper-Ya) He does give group discounts for 6 or more books. And if you are really ambitious, you can purchase the books in sheets and bind them together yourself!

This is some lettering that I did at the calligraphy conference in 1999 at Lethbridge in Carl Rohrs class. (I apologize for the quality of the picture. It did not scan perfectly and I would be the first to admit my photo editing skills need some enhancing... can you see the little ferns growing out of the foot of the R?) The class was experimenting with different tools and this was one of my experiments! Rough edge lettering is nothing new - check out the Kettle Creek Chips logo - but it is fun. It works best on rough watercolour paper with a very broad tool. However, this piece was done on a fairly smooth paper and a similar effect was achieved by intermittently lifting the left edge of the nib as I made each stroke. When I say it works best done with a very broad tool, I mean outside the normal nib sizes (which go up to about 5 mm). These larger tools start at 1/4" width and go up from there. Some of the names are: Automatic Pens (although there is nothing automatic about them!), Coit pens, Techniquills or they can be made at home, with a little ingenuity. Buying really broad tools tends to be quite expensive. A member of the Warmland Calligraphers (Duncan, BC) makes a very respectable version at a very reasonable price, called the Qualley Quill. They come in three sizes and Barbara (Qualley) tests them all before they are sent. You can check them out at and, oh gee, there's a picture of me demonstrating them... I didn't realize *that* was there! Anyway, large letters are FUN.

The above lettering was done with an automatic pen, on Canson Mi- teintes paper, using Walnut Ink.
The "R" is approximately 2 1/2 inches high.

I hope you've enjoyed this issue of byhand. 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. 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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© 2001 Suzanne Cannon
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