Tuesday 26 September 2017

Lincoln In The Bardo , Man Booker Finalist Binding.

Lincoln In The Bardo. Man Booker finalist presentation binding 2017. The binding structure is finished, now for the fun part. The binding will be in a Bradel binding style, double board, disappearing spine, leather jointed end papers and stuff.
I have managed to locate my 1862 London Illustrated News and the Pres' Lincoln bit in 1882 (9th Edition) Encyclopaedia Britannica. Further reading and gleaning...

 It always pays to have more than one avenue of research available. In my 1950 Encyclopaedia Britannica a photo of Pres' Lincoln dated Jan 3rd 1861. Near enough to use.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Lincoln In The Bardo, Man Booker Binding 2017. End bands.

Now that the edge decoration is complete I can start on the end bands.... the end bands are sewn in silk with a one needle technique. Simple, stylish and practical.
The End bands, such little things but oh so important.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Lincoln In The Bardo. Man Booker Binding 2017

Lincoln In The Bardo. Man Booker 2017. The more I read the more I begin to understand what is and is not happening. A little research and lots of reading can go a long way when designing a book. I am not going to spell out the text page by page as I would encourage you to read the book. However, my design is being informed by the voices, some 166 voices. Simply, Bardo is a Tibetan/Buddhist term that sort of refers to the state of between lives or incarnations. A sort of limbo if you will. The text swirls and twists around two central figures, President Lincoln and his son Willie. One of which dies very early on and the other sort of does not realise what is happening around him. I am starting to work on the edges of the text block. I realise that it is sort of breaking the rules but I want the colour on the edge to creep onto the surface of the pages, as if the book has been immersed or dipped in a pool of blood or some similar viscous bodily fluid. What fun !

 The fore edge during the decorative process. I feel that it is important for the end papers/doublers to tie in with the edges in some way.
 The edge near completion. The light white over wash just knocks the colour back and gives a sense of movement to the edge.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Man Booker 2017, the first few days.

For me at least, the start of the Man Booker month is slow. I do not wish to imply that I am sitting around drinking cups of interesting coffee. No, I am reading, formulating design rationales, then reworking them.. One of the aspects of the Man Booker is that one usually sits at the same table as ones author, they are alive. Trust me, it is not often, as a book binder that one works with living authors and the like. So when they ask 'What inspired your design?' it is best not to be fumbling around in the dark for the next thing to say. The sections have been trimmed, sewing positions marked and the end papers made. Let sewing begin. http://themanbookerprize.com/fiction
This book is complicated. The dialogue is in dead conversation. By this I mean that the characters in the book are dead. The dialogue is layered, contradictory and paced. I have the beginnings of the design bouncing around my sketch book, brain and backs of Red Lion Menus.

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Man Booker 2017

It is that time of year again.... Man Booker 2017..

Friday 8 September 2017


There are many reasons why I enjoy working with the book. It is only over the last few days that I have discovered that for the last few years I have been on a journey... I feel like a student again, that sense of finding out, of gaining skills and knowledge. New paths to follow and who knows.. new paths to create.
I will never loose the simple pleasure of working with wonderful books and collectors that encourage and excite the imagination.

I feel the desire, the need to rediscover, for myself at least, the theatre of the book. I would like to start to work in larger formats and to explore in more depth the art of the book that I now realise I have kept on the back burner for too long.

It will be interesting to see how I balance the work and what transpires.

Inferno... Finished.

 Finally Inferno is finished and will begin its journey to New York (USA not North Lincolnshire UK) to be exhibited alongside other recent works in an exhibition. Please follow the link to a 'Live' recording of a recent face book page blast....

For more information regarding the exhibition at the Center for Book Arts please follow the CBAlink