Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Decayed Book, the project continues.

As we have a day of sun one of the recent decayed/ eaten books drys out.

This is one of my note books, my ideas, designs and thoughts. A tiny fragment of history. Different inks, pencil and ball-points have made their mark, each leaving traces on the partially eaten and decayed pages. The texture of the surface metamorphosing into hidden worlds.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tray Number Five..

As I wait for things to dry on Lysistrata, boards and the like, I am working on a small print project. Just for fun....
Simple in print and a simple binding. The eye of the storm at the moment as I am one of this years Man Booker Binders, a few months of hell awaits.

Friday, 20 August 2010

LYSISTRATA re-sewing and end papers.

After some time in the nipping press the sections where sewn using the original holes. The stitch used is an un-supported link stitch. The first an last sections have been left loose so that I can hook guard the end papers.

The image for the end papers is derived from a small illustration within the text block, the printing technique is soft plate off-set. The front end paper is on the left and the back end paper is on the right. The printed paper has been laminated on to a toned paper that goes some way to match the text block paper.

Detail of the front end paper.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

LYSISTRATA pulling and cleaning the spine.

Having looked at the text block I thought it best to remove the old binding, clean the spine and pull or remove the original sewing. First I removed the text block by cutting through the paste down in line with the edge of the mull.

Then using a lifting knife (a flexible thin bladed knife) I carefully peeled back the mull and part of the paste down. The original boards are called straw boards because they are made from chopped straw, very cheap and very acidic!

I repeated the process on the other board.

Once the text block was free I could begin to clean the spine. First I peeled back as much loose material as I could, nice to see that bookbinders have carried on the tradition of recycling when ever possible.
Next was the wet cleaning of the spine...

LYSISTRATA removing the mull and old adhesive.

After all the spine linings that could be removed dry, I moved on to a wet cleaning process.
The text block was placed in working boards and clamped in my backing press with just the spine area above the cheeks. A thick paste was applied to the spine to soften up the mull and old adhesive. To keep the paste moist I covered the whole area in cling-film and waited for about 10 minutes before removing the paste and any mull and adhesive that had become soft. I then repeated the process until the whole of the spine area was as clean as I could make it.

Care must be taken, as the paper becomes soft and can be damaged, even more in the case of this particular book. The sections are in fact just a single fold (Folio).....not fun!
What became more evident as the spine became visible was the shocking rounding and backing.

Sections had been crushed, threads broken, old crusty hot glue... not nice. I imagine that this poor book was rounded and backed last thing on a Friday afternoon or after a particularly good lunch.

Friday, 6 August 2010

LYSISTRATA... a new commission....

First a big thank you to Nicky, Haein and Cheryl for their help over the open studio weekend. It was good fun with about 40 people coming.

Random image from Madrid, I just love the colours and textures.

Lysistrata, a new commission, the binding has seen better days and to be frank the construction is not suitable for this size of book.