Good Reading : February 2005
18 goodreading in miniature practical book Peter and Donna Thomas have a passion for creating their own books, from making the paper and the binding to drawing the illustrations. They teach, write articles, and publish books on the subject, and even have their work displayed in the Getty Museum and the US National Gallery of Art. Their recent book More Making Books by Hand focuses on one of the smaller parts of that passion: making miniature books. The Thomases say that a miniature book is any book that measures less than 7.6 cm in every dimension. It’s relatively inexpensive to produce, as you can use material left over from other projects such as old drawings or paintings, which can make beautiful endpapers or cov- ers. And, unlike large books, you don’t need to put it in a bookbinder press, as it won’t warp as it dries.The only really difficult thing about making miniature books is that you need to be able to read a ruler carefully, because you need to read small measurements accurately. The books feature a variety of materials and styles; some have dowel rods or even knitting needles as spines, others have pages that scroll.Then there’s the very clever idea of making miniature books as jewellery (a safety pin on the back creates an eye- catching brooch). Whether you’re inspired to make miniature books for your child’s doll’s house or feel challenged enough to make the world’s smallest book (the smallest so far is just under 1 mm square!), Peter and Donna are keen to give you the confidence to begin and then experiment with your own variations. It’s up to you what you put in your books; the possi- bilities are as endless as your imagination. Above all, Peter and Donna just want you to have fun. A quote by Robinson Jeffers inspired a miniature (5.7 cm x 7.6 cm) portfolio using Peter’s personal stamp collection. The book uses a dowel spine rather than adhesive. These books are only 2.2 cm tall, making them perfect for a bookcase in a doll’s house.
December January 2005