Sketchbook Slipcase


This one’s for Ricky Rotten.I ran into Ricky Rotten recently who reminded me of an old sketchbook cover/slipcase I used to carry with me. He wondered if I still had it. I assured him that I did, but it’s a little worst for wear.

The sketchbooks that I mostly use are the wire bound type. I hate the wire binding, but the ability to open it flat and the quality of the paper I find most agreeable. I know that the hardbound sketchbooks look classy, but I could never get used to using them. They are also tough to scan from because they don’t lie flat. I have several that I never finished off, and I just bought another one that I thought looked neat because it had a red cover. The wire bound sketchbooks are utilitarian, not as precious, and I usually blast through them.

Years and years ago, I noticed that my drawings in my wire bound books were smearing as I jammed them into backpacks and other such cases. I decided a slipcase was what I needed to protect my pencil sketches so I set about making one. I made my slipcase from scraps of foamcore that I hot-glued together which was stupid since the hot glue didn’t really hold. I got some colorful vinyl tape and taped over the seams of the foamcore. It held together and did it’s job. My sketchbook was protected.

I left the art store job where I created the slipcase and went to work for another art supply shop where I helped set up a reprographics department. They had a Gerber sign maShriekchine which was a computer driven plotter with a knife that cut adhesive backed vinyl letters. I was in charge of the machine, and, as time went on, scrap vinyl piled up. My sketchbook slipcase was getting beat so I started to encrust it with these bits and pieces of cast off vinyl. The vinyl held it together and was decorative.

I never gave my slipcase much thought, but apparently it made an impression. I was surprised that Ricky Rotten who I hadn’t seen in years remembered it and asked about it. I dug it out to take the picture above. I still have it although it’s seen some better days. The vinyl letters are all that’s holding it together. The foamcore beneath is well worn and has virtually no rigidity left.

I tried to make a smaller one, but it wasn’t as visually interesting. I attribute the pleasing look of the case above to happy accidents as I unconsciously mummified it with the vinyl letters and the occasional sticker.

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