27 October 2014

Crossed Structure Binding

Every year I make myself a datebook using the Crossed Structure binding. It is one of my favorite structures and when I make it using flax paper (from Cave Paper or the University of Iowa) it is a mighty sturdy book to throw in and out of my bag everyday.
On Saturday, I taught the Crossed Structure binding in Wishi Washi Studio.

  my class samples and tools with cave paper for a new binding   

I always make a book along with the class while I am demonstrating each step and by the end of the class I realized that I had made my datebook for 2015. I am loving orange lately!

My crossed structure book - a datebook for 2015

I learned the Crossed Structure binding over 15 years ago while living in the Boston area. Someone had visited the North Bennet School and taught the bookbinding students this wonderful and innovative binding and in turn one of those students taught a workshop to a group of Boston area book artists. I was lucky enough to be in that workshop. 

Crossed Structure bindings

The Crossed Structure binding was devised by a book artist and conservator named Carmencho Arregui. Read her story of its inception here. It is a fabulous and innovative binding that employs traditional binding methods but that also allows for creative and decorative finishing touches.

My crossed structure datebooks 2000-2013

In the late summer of the late nineties I had my datebook stolen and found it impossible to buy a new one at that time of the year so decided to make my own for the remaining months of the year. The next year when shopping for a new datebook I realized that making my own was really the best option. I had recently learned the Crossed Structure binding so decided that it was the perfect structure for a book that was going to receive the kind of abuse that my datebooks suffer as I toss them in my bag everyday.

The above picture is a "#shelfie" that I took and posted on Instagram of my collection of datebooks. I'm continuing the tradition still and make my little customized datebooks every year. 

They take some time to make - especially hand drawing and writing in the grids, days, dates, and months of the upcoming year but it has become a therapeutic process that eases me into the upcoming year.


  1. This book structure is wonderful. Will you be teaching it online? I am also curious how you make the calendar pages for the interior of the book. The idea of using an actual datebook instead of (or along with) a digital calendar is so appealing. Love the shelfie as well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. HI Lotta! No plans to teach online. Will you be at Shakerag next year? Maybe we could arrange something - I'll be there week two. I hand draw and write all lines, days, dates, months, etc. It takes a long time but as I said it is a nice way to prepare for the new year and I can get everything just how I want it. - jody p.s. you would love this binding and your eco printed papers would love gorgeous with it.

    2. I am tempted to return to Shakerag again—Tilleke's class sounds amazing. I will decide soon... I am envisioning the interiors of the datebook type-written and the book wrapped in wool. It is always so inspiring to visit your blog and seeing samples of your work!

  2. Before I can say anything else, I have to admire your term "shelfie"...I've not heard that one before! I love the structure of this book, and the look of all of your datebooks in a row...lovely! Have you ever shown the insides of one of your datebooks? It must be heavenly to look at with hand-drawn grids and such! A lovely way to prepare for a new year.