an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

Presses are rolling!

Both CGB Volume I (Second Edition) and the new, overstuffed Volume II are on the presses in Tennessee this week!

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 7.52.54 AM

Why Tennessee, you ask?

I don’t send books out of the country to print and bind them more cheaply; the rest of the industry does, though. Almost every book I see now is printed in China, where corners can be cut on everything from worker’s wages and benefits to the environmental impact of the presses and factories. I don’t want to be part of that cycle, because it’s unsustainable. So, my only choice, if I want runs of real books from a real press, made in my home country, is to act as publisher as well as writer and art director, and hire my own press and bindery.

That’s also the only way I can spiral-bind, as our publishers generally won’t do it – they think (possibly correctly) that a spiral bind devalues an art book. Spirals actually cost as much as a professionally done hardbacked bind, which seems odd, doesn’t it? I lobbied hard for my Interweave books to be spiraled, but it was a no-go. And so they are less useful, I think, easy to read, but less easy to work from.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 6.16.58 AM

Anyway. We are on the press! In Tennessee! Our first bound samples should arrive in two weeks, finished books in three or four. Shipping will be in the third week of September, from Tucson.

Here are two of the new spreads slipped into Volume I, in place of the “Coming In Volume II” pages. They show work done during the creation of Volume II, but done from patterns or ideas published in Volume I.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 7.24.03 AM

The original Helix pattern (Helixed things are above) was contributed by Christina Vandervlist, and the magnificent Power Puff structure (below), was contributed by Jean Power Beadwork.

Slipping these into the Second Edition of Volume I seemed a nice way to feature new Volume I work, and also to keep the work with the original patterns and designers. The pages will be included in not only the digital two-volume set, but also the Volume I eBook, which is free to people who purchased Volume I. The eBook file (PDF version) will be updated on the site on Monday, August 25, to include the new pages- 12 pages were changed/rearranged at the back of the book.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DOWNLOAD THE ORIGINAL COPY OF VOLUME I IN PDF FORM, PLEASE DO IT BEFORE AUGUST 24. The password is the same as it was when the book was issued. (Hint: starts with “b”)

Power Puff Bangles, photos added to CGB Volume I. Pattern by Jean Power Beadwork.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

13 comments on “Presses are rolling!

  1. Alice Craddick
    August 24, 2014

    It is delightful to see my work featured. It is so exciting. My husband is a bindery worker so I am very much glad to see you supporting them!!!

    • katemckinnon
      August 24, 2014

      It means a lot to me to be able to print and bind locally. I would try to do that from any country I was living in/working in! I believe in it.

  2. Sherri Munson
    August 22, 2014

    Good for you! I will gladly pay a little more too if needed although I did advance ordering. I also agree they are easier to use as I can tag several pages and open them easily and they stay that way. I can’t wait for the books and appreciate the updates. Sherri

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Ruth Bernstein
    August 22, 2014

    You are a real, genuine tease! All these photos make my mouth water. Delicious. and I really appreciate the spiral binding, as it allows the pages to lay flat and I know that they are more comfortable that way. S0, THANKS!

  4. Linda K. Newcomb
    August 22, 2014

    Some print shops will cut off a small piece of the binding and spiral bind the book for you. I’ve done it twice and it works nice. Or have them cut off the spine, 3 hole punch all the pages and put them in a 3 ring notebook. Just a thought. Thanks for using USA binding!

  5. Debby Zook
    August 21, 2014

    What wonderful news! Thanks for the entire project Kate. What a magnificent venture.

  6. Evelyn
    August 21, 2014

    I’m anxiously waiting, and I LOVE spiral!

  7. Betty Neve
    August 21, 2014

    Thank you for your email. I whole heartedly agree with you regarding spiraling. It is easier to use in the work place and looks quite smart. I can just wait until the end of September/October for Volume II.

  8. LeAnn
    August 21, 2014

    Counting the days…and thanks for supporting your “local” print shop.

  9. Jenni
    August 21, 2014

    Firstly thank you for printing int he U.S.! Secondly thank you for the spiral bind. I agree it’s easier to work from. My much loved book from Jean Power is falling apart and it’s harder to keep the page open where you want it. A book is not much of a book when all the pages are falling out and scattered on the the floor! Thank you as always for your care and hard work it is much appreciated.

    • katemckinnon
      August 21, 2014

      Yes, I’ve loved a lot of books to tatters myself, using them, or reading them over and over. If I remember correctly, Jean wanted to spiral bind, but it wasn’t a doable option in the UK.

  10. Bonnie Brooks
    August 21, 2014

    Thank you Kate for printing in the US!!

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