Tuesday 29 November 2011


The endpapers are on, the boards and spine attached, ready for sanding.

The boards are shaped to reflect shapes in the illustrations.

Been Very Busy

New post will be up soon....

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Book in Progress.

Book in Progress.
I hope to have this on exhibition in a month or so.. in London. But something tells me that the selection committee may find it difficult.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Post L A B 2011...

Images of meditations interrupted 3 and Duplicity, Coleridge and a Cup of Tea in their new home.

Many thanks to the Collectors for the images.

Friday 23 September 2011

New book on the bench. Die NIBELUNGEN

Love the book... but

It is held with wire staples... a mixture of single folio sections and 3 fold sections. The wire has bitten into the single folio sections ... leaving holes.

A small book with issues... but it is beautiful.

London Artists Book Fair 2011...

The trick £50.00... always a pull at these events..

A few minutes before the doors open...

Wednesday 21 September 2011

London Artists Book Fair 2011... At last a use for the Encyclopaedia Britannica...

Yes I realise that there is nothing new under the sun..... but it is fun....

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Meditations Interrupted 3 London Artists Book Fair... not long now...

Meditations Interrupted 3 in the natural environment.... see this and more at the L A B 2011...

I mages taken in THE RED LION Public House, Barnes.... my office.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Hull History Centre.

As part of The Designer Bookbinders touring exhibition I will be giving a talk about the work of Designer Bookbinders, how and why the books are made and an informal chat about some of the books in the exhibition.

The Hull History Centre, Lunch Time Club, Tuesday 13th of September from 12.30....... see you there.....

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Thursday 18 August 2011

Society of Bookbinders and Designer Bookbinders workshops....

I am doing a workshop in London, November 19th and 20th.

More details can be found on the Society of Bookbinders web site... please follow the links.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

London Artists Book Fair... My MoJo...

The Mo Jo series of Books, I hope to have them at the London Artists Book Fair later this year.

Why Mo Jo ? see the ' Short Movie of the Bookbinder'.....

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Ravilious... Engravings.

Boards on and whited out.. ready for the vellum.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

New book on the bench.

Swiss rolls of leather.

The Doctor's Dilemma... Finished.

Well, very nearly finished..
Just a little bit of fiddling.

Thursday 14 July 2011

The Doctor's Dilemma... Guarding the spine folds part 1..

Because of the damage to the spine folds I will have to do repairs. I have used a Japanese , long fibre paper (Toned Kozo) To save time I have fold the repair paper over on its self a number of times and staple the folded paper to a piece of board. I then pre-cut the lot with a perforation wheel, the strips can be removed as and when required.

The cuts have a slight undulation. I find this method to be quick and saves on repair paper.

I am sure that purists will be up in arms at this method but it works. The adhesive I use is a Japanese rice starch paste.

The Doctor's Dilemma... Guarding the spine folds part 2..

Rice starch paste is applied to the repair paper. I use an old window panel to paste out on.

A clean sheet of waste paper is placed next to the repair paper.

The spine fold is placed into position, just under half way to allow the repair paper to go around the fold.

The section and repair paper can then be picked up as a single unit.

The Doctor's Dilemma... Guarding the spine folds part 3..

Fold over and secure the repair paper.

Place the section into the fold of some release paper.

Consolidate the repair paper.

Leave to dry.

When dry cut the repair paper flush with the head and tail of the section.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

The Doctor's Dilemma.....

Though I suppose I am perhaps best know for contemporary binding and some bookarts I also undertake the rare repair or restoration job. Some years ago I spent my day at the bench as a bench monkey (general bookbinder in a small company paid peanuts... hence bench monkey)

As said, I do undertake some general work but there are a number of boxes must be ticked ...

1st. Do I like the customer ? If no then I suggest another binder, if yes then we move to box 2. I feel that it is important to enjoy the company of your customers. It could be that the relationship may last sometime and that with each visit I gain more insight as to their requirements, their likes and dislikes. Also that as the binder you may have to educate them as to what is possible given their budget, use of the book, condition etc.

2nd. Do I want to do the work and is the work involved within my skill base. Again if no then I suggest another binder. If yes I move to the final box....

Last. Will I enjoy the work ? It could be that I may be spending a lot of time working on the book....As a side note to this, as I am working on the book the studio members and students will have the chance to see how I tackle issues, problems and bad stuff with the repair of old books. Also, how I work out my costings and charges.... something that few teachers like to talk about.....

I realise that my attitude may come across as arrogant and that I am not genuine ( as one critic said recently) but it is the way I work and have worked for the last 20 or so years... it works for me but I realise that it does not work for all... each to their own.

The Doctor's Dilemma (1872). In 3 volumes, bound using wire staples.... what more can one say....

First the text blocks are removed from the original binding and the sine linings removed. This had to be done dry as the condition of the paper and the fact that the staples were rusted meant that no paste could be used. I used a dental tool to pick of the papers and old adhesive...

This took some time...

When the spine was clean I then opened up the staples being very careful to keep as much of the staple intact because a broken staple leaves a hook that can result in more damage when the staple is removed from the section..

The staples were then extracted from the inside of the section.... not easy but a workable technique.

I realise that this is only one way to deal with the problem of staples, but I have to consider time and budget..... Hence the pile of staples in a previous post....

Next is manual cleaning and pressing the sections, then onto spine repair.......