Art Journal: Micro Basic Codex

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Right now, in the Micro Art Journaling group on Facebook, several of us are getting ready to do a “book swap” where we will be trading blank art journals that we have made with another person.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a book, of any size, let alone tiny! But I thought I would start with trying a basic codex. This is the most basic, standard form of a book. It normally consists of signatures of paper sewn together protected by a cover created by covering tag board or book board with cloth.

I did cheat a bit, and instead of creating signatures, I did accordion folded strips of paper from an Aquabee, Super Deluxe Sketch book from the Bee Paper Company. I love these books for general sketching and art journaling, so I wanted to use the same paper in my micro book. They hold up well to various types of media and can handle both wet and dry.

Instead of book cloth I used a piece of maroon mulberry paper that had pretty, sparkly mica inclusions. I had already painted one side of it with acrylics, and didn’t like it. So I just coated the plain side, which is the side that will show with Matte Medium.

I cut two covers and a spine from tag board.

When I figured out where they should be centered on the cover paper, I traced around them with a micron pen and folded down the sides. This was just to prepare the paper before gluing.

I glued the cardboard to the paper cover, folding over the edges as I went along.

Then I glued the first sheet of the book to the cover. Normally, you would use a special end paper for this purpose. I chose not to, however. But I might do it on the next one.

This is the finished book, sitting on the paper bag codex that I used to use for teaching book construction. It came out pretty good, but not perfect yet. However, I’m very happy with my first try, over all.

It stands up nicely, so I got it pretty straight.

I like that it opens fully, so that art can be done across a two-page spread without problems.

The one problem I have with it is that it’s a bit too wide for my tiny bookshelf. You can see it extending a bit past the edge on the top shelf, next to the Key-Per. I will have to make the next one just a bit narrower!

So, I think I will repeat this process, with a slightly smaller width, and perhaps different paper for the cover. Maybe I’ll even decorate the front or add some other details!


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