Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Water book and other stuff.

As mentioned in a previous post I have been working on a number of separate projects, one of which 'water' is very nearly finished. Water is the title of the Designer Bookbinders international competition book. I do wish I could show you pictures but I fear that may be against the rules of the competition.

However, the rules say nothing about work in progress. Hand dieing the leather.

One of the other books on the bench is a commission, great stuff and fun to work on.

First business of the day is to remove the old binding, a full cloth case binding with lots of wear and tear and sun damage. This must be done with lots of care. Any of the spine linings that can be removed dry are done so.

Next is the messy bit. The various mulls, paper and old adhesive, animal or hot glue are removed. I do this by applying a small amount of paste to the spine area and encapsulate in cling film. I retire to a safe distance for a few minutes..... have a cup of tea or something.

After a few minutes I return to the book to see if the layers of stuff have become soft and are able to be removed with the minimum of effort. This is not because I am lazy, more it is to ensure that when I do remove the mull etc, I will be causing the minimum of damage to the spine or the outer folds of the sections.

I gently remove the loose material with the flat end of one of my bone folders. As soon as I encounter an area that is not loose I re-apply some more paste, cover with cling film and repeat until the spine is clear of all the spine linings.

All of this can take sometime, it can not be rushed. A lot depends on the choice of materials the original binder used, how old was the glue, was he or she having a bad hair day, was it done late on a Friday afternoon, that sort of thing. The secret is to take your time, do not let it get to you, time spent doing this aspect of any re-binding work work is time well spent as it will make life much easier for the next processes.

One of the pleasures of being able to teach is when a student is able to realise a goal or ambition. During my last visit to Japan I had the great pleasure of being invited to the studio bindery of AYA NISHIO. Aya's work is fantastic and I hope to be able to include her contact details on the Studio 5 blog. Her place is very her, very correct, tidy with lots of different stuff happening. Her needle cushions are very note worthy.

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