Monday, 23 February 2009

I am in Utopia.

The Golden Cockerel Press edition. Decorations by Eric Gill, printed by Robert Gibbings in 1929, lovely stuff. Bound in a very un-inspiring, faded blue buckram. Some light damage to the tail of the spine... a perfect candidate for re-binding. The first job is to clean the pages with a soft brush. This is to remove any material that has found a home with-in the pages such as biscuits and small people.

Once the small people have been given a new home the text block is removed. This may appear to be a little bit on the crude side but it is an important step. The boards are a deep yellow in colour, rather like straw. This because one of the components of the board make-up is... straw. We call it Straw Board, gripping stuff.

The next step is to clean the old spine linings off.It is important to be able to understand what sort of old adhesive has been used, in this case Hot or Scotch Glue. It is very similar to Rabbit Skin glue. I place the book, spine up in a finishing press with old boards to support and protect the text block. I apply a coat of paste to the spine and cover with cling film. The cling film keeps the paste moist thus re-activating the old adhesive, allowing me to gently remove the old kraft paper and mull. The sine is cleaned slowly to ensure that the paper is not damaged. More paste is applied as required.

When all the old stuff has been removed the spine is allowed to dry, I usually leave it overnight.

The sewing is removed and any final cleaning is then carried out. The sections can then be pressed individually to remove the old backing and battle can commence.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Water Book

Towards the end of last year Designer Bookbinders organised an international competition, being a fellow of D B, I was encouraged to enter. The title of the book is Water and is series of works about... wait for it.....water.
So here is my offering.

Reduction Lino cuts for the end papers. Fun to do and simple-ish.

Hand sewn endbands with edge decoration in blue and gold leaf.

Edge to edge doublers, these have been worked on the book to give the feeling of water worn wood.

The leather is hand dyed with over 1,500 individual impressions. That took some time to do, I suppose it is a sort of trad binding for me. The design is based on the Golden Temple in Kyoto. Rain Falling on the decorative carp in the surrounding lake.
The surface of the leather was then worked with a fine wire wool, leaving the gold in the impressions ( Hand Tooled ) and residue of the gold left in place to enhance the ripple effect.Small inlays in the boards and doublers echo the water drop on the end papers.

I like the finished result, fun to do and something of a challenge as I do not usually work with gold leaf in this way.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Tooling, boxes and the last few days at Anandwan.

Tea break finished, the crowds gone. Time for some work, using what was on site, an iron as a stove proved perfect, smoth hot plate and thermostat. Practise and yet more practise.

It looks easy, not much to it you may think. You would be wrong.... As Mr Amru was to discover.....

How we smiled at the bosses work. But top man that he is, Mr Amru knew when to step back at let others have their go.

Many thanks to Tom Mc Ewan for he made the hand tools ( Please se the links on my web site ) top stuff.

So after five days and many boxes and albums later I bid farewell.

I would like to thank all who supported me, their encouragement, advice and help. Thank you.