Friday, 13 July 2018

Nightmare. A new book.

 Nightmare, the new book. More layers and more colour. As the layers are added the image disappears to be replaced with a new image. More layers are required before I can begin to recover what was lost.




 A series of collages, layered and painted.



Nearing the end.. Time to sit back and look. First as a whole then as individual spreads then the small stuff. The details fascinate me. The physical textures dance over the finger tip.






A total of 6 spreads in all. The texture is amazing. I cannot wait to get this made.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Evolution, concrete process of change.

Evolution has been on the back burner since the fab 3 days in Battersea at the ABA.. But as with all things on the back burner it has been been in my minds eye all the time. The binding begins to take shape. The boards have been edged in leather and roughly in-filled with a painters canvas. All the edges have been pinked apart from a couple which I have torn. The torn edge on the front board I will be keeping.
The first image is before pressing. Detail of the torn or ripped edge follows.


The leather on the boards has been cold tooled. I use traditional decorative tools in what may be thought of as non traditional results.






Colours are layered along with the build up of the applied textures. Along with the colours, imagery or abstractions of the imagery found in the text block will be will be used in the binding.



Evolution, the concrete process.






Work starts on the front board.




Evolution, concrete process of change. the cover is nearly finished.







Evolution, concrete process of change. the cover is nearly finished. Did I say that ? It is amazing what a good nights sleep will do. I have spent the best part of 4 hours re-working the boards and spine. This time I am pretty sure that I am nearer where I want to be with Evolution. When working on a fluid piece I think it is so important to give time for the work. Time to reflect and live with the work. Time to reappraise and reapply if required. I have the notion of what I feel is right for Evolution, I have the image of the completed book in my mind, I will know when it is ready. The series of processes has been more of an organic flow than a series of deliberate design steps. I know that may come over a bit arty farty but I hope my reader gets my drift.
I have to keep looking and re-seeing. But.... I am nearly there.



Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Foundation course... first steps in bookbinding and book arts.

As my reader may have noticed, I have a series of bookbinding courses... from foundation to advanced. It is not often I post images of foundation work on my page but I thought I would share one of my students work.. This is the students first multi sectional, rounded and backed case binding, with hand made and applied endbands. The book cloth was decorated by the students in under 3 minutes... The future is bright, the future is.... many colours.
Please note that this is the work of a foundation student (day 6) Please note that this post should not be used a tutorial.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Victorian, full cloth case binding restoration/repair... Finished.

Simple full cloth restoration/repair of a Victorian (1871) case binding and text block. The text block has had a bit of a sort out with the old spine linings removed and replaced, a little manipulation to get the shape back and apart from tidying up a few wispy bits the restoration/repair work is finished. The book now opens well and is secure. As one can see the square is (in my opinion) to big for the thickness of the board. However, the client wishes for the book to retain as much of the original as is reasonably possible.
Please note, I am not a full time restorer, the methods and techniques I use may be different to ones others use, different does not automatically mean wrong.



Monday, 4 June 2018

Victorian, full cloth case binding restoration/repair.

 Not often seen on my bench..... For many years I worked as a bench monkey.. standing at a bench and working for peanuts. I learned so much, more of that later...... a book repair job.  I do not usually do restoration work, however for interesting jobs, a nice person or for long term clients... exceptions are made.. Please note, I am not a full time restorer, the methods and techniques I use may be different to ones others use, different does not automatically mean wrong.

 I balance the requirements of the book, the clients wishes and what I think is applicable. Oh yes... and budget.

  My ethos is simple when it comes to this sort of work. Minimal intervention, keep what is important, both for the history of the book and the owners needs/wishes. Be reasonable in costs and no B.S.

 The usual Victorian, cloth bound case binding. Very bumped, worn spine and some dear in the past has adhered the spine of the text block to the spine piece... got to love them......

The text block is removed from the case and will be worked on separately.

 Once the turn ins have been peeled back the true extent of the damage to the boards can be seen. The square is way too big and has become vulnerable to bumps, knocks, warping over the edge of the text block. This in turn has led to the board de-laminating.


 What still fascinates is the archeology of the book. In this case the hemp boards, with either soot of cinders trapped among the fibres, things like that still fire my imagination.


 Repair papers are toned by cross-hatching various coloured pencil crayons.



 The problem with this particular book is that the square is too big for the thickness on the board resulting in the board edges becoming very vulnerable. The corners have been repaired and reinforced with a repair paper, the boards have been retained - lined with a 130gsm neutral ph paper. The spine has been repaired with a repair paper a new spine piece of manila has been applied.

The work on the restoration of this Victorian, full cloth case binding draws to a close. The Case was allowed to dry around the text block, under pressure/weights overnight. The corners are firm, the board edges are stiff.


I know everyone bangs on about leather restoration and the like but cloth bindings do have a patina that works with age.