Wednesday 28 January 2015

Monday 26 January 2015

Codex 2015 Book Fair

All of the above will be on exhibition and for sale at Codex 2015.

Look out for Abby Schoolman for my and other binders work.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

A Life Lived, David Sellars, Friend, Mentor, Bookbinder, Train Lover, Hi Fi Guru etc

It is with the deepest regret that I have been informed that David Sellars past away late last night. I had the pleasure to have known David from my very earliest days in bookbinding. Later he was my mentor when I was a Licentiate of Designer Bookbinders, becoming firm friends. I held/hold him in the deepest respect for his work and commitment to his art and craft. he gave so much to so many people. As a friend he was true.
His no nonsense approach, lively wit, art and understanding of his work reflected him so well. He gave 100%.
David lived life with a never ending verve. He was honest and when asked his opinion he gave it, he never sugar coated or aimed to please.
I will miss him but I have very fond memories, amongst many, of walking over bracken clad hills of his beloved Yorkshire to discuss books, life and beer in a string of pubs.
My thoughts are with family and friends.

David, thanks mate for a life lived.

To see some of David's last work please visit the Designer Bookbinders site and look under Booker Prize.…/bo…/booker_2014.html

Friday 16 January 2015

Studio 5 One Day Workshop. No 2 Non Adhesive Binding.

 No 2, The Studio 5 one day workshop in non adhesive binding.
Students have the chance to make an elegant, non adhesive binding (approx 22cm x 12.5cm x 1.5cm) using, leather, vellum and paper made from old jeans (it is wonderful stuff) We start the day with sewing our sections and going through all the processes.
The one day workshop will be in Studio 5 (SW London) The workshop leader will be me (Mark Cockram) In addition to your book to take home the goody bag will include a pricker and flat pack sewing cradle. Oh yes and a day of the Studio 5 experience.... Now you are asking how much and when? £60 (this includes all tuition fees, materials, use of hand tools and indifferent tea, coffee and biscuits) and Saturday the 31st of January and Sunday the 1st of February. Only 4 places available on each day. First come, first served. Did I mention the indifferent tea, coffee and biscuits?

Tuesday 13 January 2015

The 4 Gospels, final leather paring.

Final leather paring.

The leather is creased and given a memory along the joints with gentle strikes with a hammer.  


Then the joint area of the spine is pared down ... not to much as we still want to keep the strength but allow for flexing.  


Then more paring at the head and tail of the spine area, this is to allow for the leather that turns in... basically to keep the spine as smooth as possible.  


The final cut... a single cut to scollop and feather the turn-in at the head and tail. All simple and not a spoke shave in sight.

Monday 12 January 2015

The new 4 Gospels, leather paring by hand.

Having finished the sanding of the boards and spine leather work begins. The leather, goat skin in this case, is first cut to size leaving a turn-in on all edges. This is the first time I get to feel the leather, how it handles, the quality etc. I begin with edge paring, taking off a slice of the leather from the back side at an angle.

I feel how the knife moves, the stiffer parts of the skin, I take note of all of this because it will effect how the leather handles when I come to pare the turn -ins down... the next job.

The turn-ins are reduced in thickness on the trusty Scharf-Fix, in this case to 0.5mm ( I use a micrometer )

Next the step is taken out. The step is the edge of where the body leather meets the turn-in leather.

The final part of this particular series of steps in my way of edge paring (there are many other ways) is to create a smooth transition from the body leather to the turn-in. To remove any trace of the step thus making the next processes easier.

The secret is a sharp knife... when you stop... strop and a steady hand. Oh yes, lots of practice, confidence and concentration.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

The 4 Gospels, a new one.

This particular 4 Gospels is a speculative binding (not a commission)

Sketching out design ideas.

Monday 5 January 2015

The 4 Gospels, a new binding.

 Forwarding, the construction of the book before decoration can and often does take time. So much effort that will never be seen. However the forwarding has to be as perfect as possible, any oddity or bump will only come to show later. Sewing to be consistent, edge decoration, end papers and end bands etc. The boards need to be attached with precision or the book will not stand. The spine to be secure yet flexible, so many things to do before one even touches leather.

Final sanding with back cornering, now to start finalising the design, to experiment with different elements. Let the fun begin.