Creative Muscle Memory

The 10,000 hours principle is the first thing that comes to mind when I try to think about what drives muscle memory. It comes in spurts though too- it’s possible to get on a roll with something, and if you continue that roll of short term muscle memory, it seems to become long-term eventually. Maybe even permanent.

I have a ways to go with the 10,000 hours, and the muscle memory, when it comes to book binding. I love the craft, but I’m still so new at it. In the interest of making a little interim journal to get me from now to September 3rd when I go on my UK adventure, I sat down to make a somewhat improvised single signature hardcover book. Shortly, it became a VERY improvised single signature hardcover. Simple structure- but apparently that doesn’t mean you can completely make it up as you go and expect it to adhere to bookmaking standards. Now it’s a matter of SMFA professor Ann Pelikan’s mantra, “If you can’t fix it- feature it.”

The vintage bias tape I used as “bookcloth” for the spine is so far not so happy being soaked in methyl cellulose glue and then mushed onto already slightly soggy rescued calendar page cover paper. At the moment, there’s a lot of glue, a lot of paper, some calendar page butterflies and some good layers of wax paper sitting under 3 of my heaviest books. Hopefully the butterflies can do their work in there during the stasis period and help a beautiful little book emerge! Perhaps too hopeful for this stage- but next one! I see a decoupage cover in my future.

What’s the most lost cause project you’ve ever saved? I would love to hear about it for inspiration!