Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica Map Volume

This volume had substantial self-adhesive tape damage, having been kept in one piece by taping the spine back onto the boards, and taping the first section back together. Some of the tape had become brittle, stained and lifted from the paper, however the majority remained tacky and still adhered. Once the tape and tackiness had been removed, I was able to go about repairing the textblock, attaching the boards and creating a new spine. The brief from the client was to retain as much of its originality, wear and age as possible.

CONDITION

  • Substantial tape damage to endpapers, first and last sections.
  • Sewing is deteriorated and sections are loose at front and back.
  • The bulk of the sewing is still in tact.
  • First fly leaves and contents pages are damaged and detached.
  • Foxing throughout – to leave as is.
  • Endpapers are loose, buckram guttering is damaged at the back, front is loose, tape damaged, but still in tact.
  • Leather spine has become detached and re-adhered using self adhesive tape to the leather edges of boards.
  • Boards and corners are deteriorated at edges.
  • Spine lining is brittle and deteriorated.

TREATMENT

  • Remove self-adhesive tape from cover, spine, endpapers, first and last sections.
  • Repair first pages and recreate first and second sections.
  • Remove spine lining.
  • Extend sewing supports.
  • Sew loose sections back onto textblock
  • Repair endpapers and create new buckram gutter on back end paper.
  • Line spine with aerocotton and manilla.
  • Create hollow and false raised bands.
  • Split boards, lift board edges and neaten.
  • Reattach boards to textblock.
  • Create new spine piece from toned goatskin.
  • Reback volume.
  • Reattach original spine piece and consolidate.
  • Consolidate board edges and corners.

If you have a damaged book that you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.

Workshop – Japanese Stab Binding at Handprinted

I am very excited to share that I will be at Handprinted in Bognor Regis this November, giving a workshop on Japanese Stab Binding as part of one of their Fab Friday workshops.

Friday 8th Nov 2019
10:00 – 13:00
£20.00 per person

Friday 8th Nov 2019
13:00 – 16:30pm
£20.00 per person

The Japanese Stab Binding actually originates from the Chinese ‘butterfly binding’, one of the earliest paper bookbinding techniques in Asia where single sheets were pasted together, surrounded in a wraparound cover and stitched along the edge.

The current term ‘Japanese Stab Binding’, is often associated with decorative books and hand bindings due to their attractive sewing techniques clearly visible on the cover. It is a useful method for single leaf bindings as there is no need for folding adhesive, allowing sheets to be quickly bound after they have been created – either as artworks or written works.

In our workshop, we will be creating Japanese Stab Bindings with a sewing method similar to that photographed. It is a simple method of sewing that, once practised, can be adapted to incorporate more complex designs. The cover material needs to be slightly thicker than that of the textbook, allowing it to flex with the textblock, yet still provide some protection.

Please bring along with you:
– A selection of single A5 sheets to be bound, approximately 100 – 200gsm – this will be your textblock (you could bring in a selection of prints from other workshops to be bound together).
– A few decorative sheets, A4 or A5, approximately 150 – 250gsm – this should be thicker than your textblock. 

For more information on how to book the course, and find out a bit about Handprinted, please click here.

Treasure Island | A Fine Binding

June 2016 will see the return of the Worthing Artists Open Houses to our seaside town. As a craftsperson, I have previously enjoyed the increased members of the public coming to say hello at The Book Hut, but never directly taken part. This year, however,  I will be much more involved, with two projects on display and a workshop at the Worthing Library, it’s all go at this end. The first, and key project, is that which is introduced here – Treasure Island – a fine binding of my own creating, that will be on display at StudioFreer in June. It is the first fine binding I have made for approximately four years, and the very first which will be available to buy.

TREATMENT

  • Initially the cover was removed from the binding and kept for future use in the design process.
  • The textblock was then placed in the press and the spine lining and adhesive (animal glue) was removed manually with a spatular, having been previously softened with a wheat starch paste poultice.
  • The sections were then cleaned individually and put in the press for flattening.
  • The outer folio of each section was then guarded at the spine with a 12gsm tengujo tissue to reinforce them, and placed back in the press.
  • Made endpapers were created using gold leaf and paint and sewn along with the textblock.
  • Following pressing, it was sewn onto three tapes.
  • All three edges were paired and gilded in gold leaf.
  • Endbands were sewn in gold and black silk.
  • The spine was lined with fray not and manilla.
  • The boards were laced in and covered in a smooth cartridge paper and sanded.
  • The binding was then covered in a light green goatskin.
  • The cover decoration consisted of the first chapter of the book blind tooled onto the cover, and the title brought out in gold leaf.

A Book of Puddings

A Book of Puddings | an unpublished scrapbook
by Kathleen A Christmas
c.1892
Hollow back, fully bound in green sheep skiver, embossed with a straight grain.
185x228x30 (WHD)

CONDITION

BINDING The volume in was in several pieces, with both boards detached and deteriorated at the edges. The corners were worn and fragile, particularly at the front board bottom foredge. The spine cover was not present and the spine lining was loose, as was the back board cover.

TEXTBLOCK Many of the folios were damaged and split at the spine. There was substantial staining throughout the book from food debris and ink, but no ink corrosion was apparent. The paper had survived well apart from the spine, with minor repairs along the edges.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Many additional newspaper cuttings were stored throughout binding, which may have been the cause of the spine splitting. Page 55 also had evidence of previous repairs, possibly contemporary with the binding, which were to be kept in place.

TREATMENT

TEXTBLOCK

  • Cleaned using a chemical sponge.
  • Additional material was paginated.
  • Previous repairs were removed for sewing and re-adhered in the same location.
  • Folios were guarded using Tengujo 11gsm to reduce bulk, and Kozo Shi 23gsm, where stronger repairs were necessary.
  • Where folios were completely split, kozo shi 23gsm was used on the outside to produce structure and Tengujo 11gsm used on the inside to add support.
  • Pages that were deliberately cut by the owner and were too short for resewing, were extended using kozo shi 23gsm.
  • Fragile edges were consolidated with MC 5%.
  • Text block was resewn with linen thread onto three linen sewing stations.
  • Three pages were too wide for the book, these were pulled back and adhered to the spine with japanese tissue to prevent protrusion.
  • Deacidification of newsprint articles with Bookkeeper.
  • Digital records of all inserted material stored on compact disc.

SPINE

  • Sewing was removed.
  • Adhesive removed from adhered sections – animal glue, removed with hot water and cellulose powder.
  • Spine lined with two layers of Kozo Shi, leaving wide overhangs to attach boards.
  • Spine then lined with Griffen Mill 80gsm Falcon Laid and sanded to remove sewing station swell.

BINDING

  • Leather was lifted around the board edges in preparation of the board reattachment and edge repair.
  • Leather was consolidated using Cellugel.
  • Corners were built up using Manila pulp and wheat starch paste, and then covered in a toned Japanese tissue
  • Boards were attached using linen sewing stations, which were frayed for better adhesion, along with the extended spine lining.
  • Goatskin, was paired and toned with selaset dyes, then lined with fraynot for added strength.
  • Compensation strips in leather, were adhered to the board edges adjacent to the spine.
  • The volume was then rebacked with the new goatskin spine and the loose leather was re-adhered around new spine piece and corners.
  • Creation of four flap folder, with inbuilt manilla textblock to hold inserted material.
  • Creation of a clamshell box for final enclosure.

Introducing The Book Hut

As a book and paper conservator, I have worked at The National Archives and the National Conservation Service in London for many years, as well as taking on private commissions. Then, when an opportunity arose last Summer to open a permanent studio as part of Worthing’s East Beach Studios, I grabbed it with both hands and The Book Hut came to life. Situated on Worthing’s seafront next to artists’ studios, The Book Hut is just a short stroll along from the pier.

At The Book Hut I am able to offer a range of services in the conservation and restoration of books, as well as bespoke bookbinding, for individuals, private collections and businesses. I also hold a range of workshops and tutorials for both adults and children, including the basics in bookbinding and paper marbling for children.

Having taken on the hut in August last year, it has been a busy few months in the run up to Christmas, with conservation and binding projects coming in, two new workshops in place and several open days along the Worthing Seafront.

If you have any projects you would like to discuss, please just stop by the hut, or send me an email. If you are interested in attending any workshops, please just sign up to the blog in the right-hand panel, and I will send out any details as they come up, or check the website for more information at www.thebookhut.co.uk. The Book Hut is open from Saturday to Tuesday 10:00-17:00, so please do drop and say hello!

Maudie Casserly
Maudie Casserly, Book and Paper Conservator

Thank you very much to Lorraine Heaysman Photography and Luke Casserly Photography for the fantastic images.

Islamic bindings – making gold paint

Gold Leaf Paint feature

This is in preparation for the second set of instructions for Islamic bindings, which is coming in a couple of days. The gold paint is to decorate the cover, but needs some time to prepare so should be prepared prior to the completion of the book.

Gold paint is made using a curved edge dish or a plate without a rim, as the gold is worked right out to the edges.

  • First drip two drops of gum arabic into the centre of the plate and add one gold leaf, then mix it together with a finger, in circular motions around the centre of the dish.
  • When it gets impossible to keep rubbing with fingers, add another drop of gum arabic and mix again until the leaf is completely broken down.
  • When it is hardest to mix gold, this is when it is being ground.
  • Keep adding gold leaf and gum arabic in this way until up to 5/6 leaves have been added, it will gradually work its way out to the edges of the dish
  • Every so often the mix should be tested with a drop of water – if when dropped, the gold is lifted up to the top of the water, it is going well.
  • To finish off, add water and draw all the gold into the water, this may be around a cupful to cover the dish, less if it is a plate.
  • Transfer this into another smaller vessel that the gold can be permanently kept in.
  • Leave this vessel on a window sill and allow the water to evaporate.

When it comes to painting with the gold, the surface of the book should first be brushed with a layer of gum arabic, and then burnished. A couple of drops of water will loosen up a little of the dried gold, which can then be painted directly onto the prepared surface.

Gold Leaf Paint
Rubbing in the Gold Leaf