Open Road

Open Road is constructed on text from "Song of the Open Road" by Walt Witman. Images are linoleum prints.

Hand constructed using Drum Leaf binding.

Drum Leaf Binding is good for books of images where you don't want binding thread distracting from the images. Also good for books with pop-up pages.

This is how the digital version of Open Road was put together:

glue support page

Each page was printed on Asuka paper, and needed heavy backing. I applied PVA glue to BFK Rives. This mimicked the original which is chine collé.

laminate page

Each print was laid into the glue,

weight papers

and pressed with a heavy book. I used waxed paper first, then replaced that with newsprint to facilitate drying.

mark center

When the pages were dry, I marked the centers. "Measure twice, cut once."

score page

Because each page is two layers, I took steps to insure there was no crumpling in the crease. First step: score.

crease page

I started the fold this way to prevent crumpling.

crease page

Finish the crease. I did this to all the pages.

trim page

Trim excess paper on all pages.

knock up pages

Knock up the block.

clamp and glue

I clamped the block carefully between two boards, leaving the spine free, and I applied PVA glue. I worked the glue in and gave it time to dry completely.

trim block

If you have a guillotine, use it. If not, put a fresh blade in your exacto knife and trim very carefully. It is important to keep the blade perpendicular to cutting surface.

glue pages together

Starting from the back of the book, I glued the backs of the pages together.

press glue down

Making sure the pages stick. I put the block under pressure again after every page had passed through this step. I let it dry.

measure cover

I used a scrap to measure how wide the cover should be.

make space for spine

That scrap also gave me the measurement for the unglued center of the cover.


I put the cover together, weighted it, and let it dry.

glue front

I glued the back of the back page, leaving .5" unglued next to the spine.

press block in cover

I placed the block - wet glue down - inside the cover, and pressed.

glue back

I glued the back of the front page, leaving .5" unglued next to the spine.

Important to note: there is no glue added to the spine in this step, and .5" of back and front pages are left unglued next to the spine.

glue block in book

I closed the cover, made sure everything was aligned correctly, and put the finished book under pressure to dry.