Bookbinding Update | Week 22

Again, yesterday seemed to be a bit of a struggle – anyway – I was making my ‘made’ end papers yesterday, which means sticking two bits of paper together – one being the pretty end bits of the book, and the rest being the beginning white bits. These then get sewn on to the text block like another section. Sadly one of mine did go rather skew-whiff, which was disappointing, as I like these things to be perfect, but my tutor said that this will be the least of my problems later down the line when every thing gets harder!! I’m still a lesson behind and hope to catch up next week, but it’s tricky due to drying times, though I am up to date with other stuff, which other people are not, so I suppose it all levels out!

I was a lesson behind last week, as I hadn’t managed to make my pretty end papers, and didn’t take in my book either. Lots of people have bought pretty end papers, but I have found that I quite like making these things, so did that instead – and it saved me money – 90p instead of £10.00!! For the pretty end papers, I did as I discussed with Mummy, but took it a little further. I typed up the beginning of the book on my old type writer (much to our neighbors distress I am sure, as the clerchunking resonated throughout the flats!), I only managed one A4 sheet, as time eluded me yet again, and it takes a surprisingly long time to write a (relatively) accurate sheet of A4. So, with a little experimenting on our photocopier, I decided that I would blow up half the A4 (landscape A5) to landscape A3, making the text seem much larger and more art-like, rather than the small stuff, which may have looked just like the rest of the text. I also did it on dark blue paper so its quite dark and subtle and you don’t see it much. I may stamp this at a later stage with light ink, don’t know yet…

Any way, I don’t have any images of my actual end papers as once stuck they had to go straight in the press, so no time to photograph. I do, however, have pictures of my spare green end papers, as I couldn’t decide what to go for first of all. I’ve also photographed the original type, so hopefully you will see the difference….

Bookbinding Update | Week 21

Yesterday I finished my second practice disappearing spine practice, and managed to do the same thing wrong as I did on the last one, AND additional things wrong! I didn’t trim the end papers, so they were much too long when I stuck them down, meaning I had to trim them afterwards. Luckily, the paper on the boards was coated which meant the paper came off without ripping it. However I still managed to get the spine wider at the bottom than it is at the top so, yet again, it is a bit skew-whiff, its not as bad as the last one, and I managed to neaten up the end papers. But it’s not great – obviously a technique that needs a bit more practice at my end.

You’ll see it’s quite mini!


Bookbinding Update | Week 20

Well this week was a catch up week, which meant I was able to finish my ribbon book and my packed sewing sample.

The former was a little disappointing as when I stuck the ribbons down, they were rather tight and pull the cover back on itself quite a lot, so it took me a while to sort all this out and loosen the ribbons, and unfortunately that meant taking apart the cover a few times. So after all that, it is now looking like a bit of a worn out paperback and a bit scruffy. Mph.

The latter was also not great, but a bit more fun to do, and I’m not overly concerned with the lack of beauty. The problem was, that doing it using black pipe cleaners and black thread, is that you can’t really see all that much, and the fluff has a tendency to come through on the pipe cleaners. So overall on that one, its quite nice and colourful, but a bit amateur – won’t be using pipe cleaners again I don’t think.

Bookbinding Update | Week 19

Well – I finished my box, and am pretty proud of it! My teacher loves it which is always a good thing, she always likes us to use papers that we have made, so the fact it is covered in my splish splash paper made her very happy! (I uploaded a picture of the splish splash paper a while back, hopefully you will recognize it in its transformed state!)

Most importantly, the book fits, which is fantastic! Unfortunately it still doesn’t stand up on its own the right way up (its upside down here), but we will skim over that problem – its tricky with such a thin box, but in future there will be no excuse. I just have to snip off my excess ribbons and its complete! 

I am really very pleased with it – there are a couple of things that annoy me, they may not be noticeable to many, but they niggle at me – still – next time it will be better.

Anyway – pictures…

Bookbinding Update | Week 18

Here is the product of last nights activity. I had to take more pics than usual during the evening, otherwise I’ll never rember how to do this again, I may have to make another one, just to practice it at home!

Anywho, this is the slipcase for my ribbon book (limp binding), and praise the lord, the book fits! Unfortunately after this, the second test for a good slip case is if it stands up on its own (the first being the fit of the book!) and sadly mine did not pass this second test, when covering it with cartridge paper, I was able to build it up a bit at the bottom, but whether that will make any difference, we will see next week. The worry over the slightly narrowing head and tail was infact mostly unfounded (though it may have something to do with it not standing up on its own), but luckily it all stuck quite well and the end result is not bad.

Its a little snug, so it remains to be seen whether the book will still fit once I’ve properly covered it, but fingers crossed. I’ve also attached the paper I was planning on covering it with – what do you think?

Bookbinding Update | Week 17

Well last night was a mixture of emotions, good and bad!

The bad bit was not disastrous, but not fantastic either really – we were making the slip cases for our project 1 limp bindings (the one with the ribbons) and we had to trim the edges, which on mine are very narrow. The edges on mine should really be 12mm all round, but I think they are out a bit which is really annoying, especially as two of them seem to be 12mm at one end and 12.5/13mm at the other, so I think my box may end up being a bit skew-whiff. More worryingly than that, we were told to use the front and back of our boxes as a guide, which mean that my covers are a bit out. Mmph – am not impressed.

On some happier notes, I took all my stuff in that I’ve done so far, and it was all ticked off as OK – I think I may make another disappearing spine book (that was the one with the owl on the front) as the one I did was a little skew, and I should be better at it by now. I’ve also got to do some more art work, printing, mark making, voids etc, all the stuff I’m not that good at!

Most excitingly of all, we were given our project 2’s, which we’ll start this term and do next as well – so a massive project which will end in a proper bound book. The project uses books provided by the Folio Society – they initially give unbound books to the society of Designer Bookbinders for their annual competition, the ones we have are left overs of these. I’ve got Journey to the Centre of the Earth, which I’ve photographed below and you’ll see has PICTURES!! Amazing pictures – its very exciting! I have to design end papers, and the cover, so need to read the book – has anyone got an old tatty copy? It won’t be done using leather as I have no experience in leather, but still very exciting all the same!