David Barber’s Sketchbook
Flexible binding in full tan goatskin. Sewn landscape onto five cords and trimmed, with endbands in beige and green silk.
Paper was alternated between Surrey Cartridge and Windsor & Newton Sketching & Drawing Paper.
276×207 (WH), 15 sections, 3 bifolios per sections
David Barber’s Sketchbook was designed with specific requirements from the artist. The layout was landscape to allow the artist to draw across the double page spread, it was also imperative that the binding opened well when completed giving access to the gutter of the book. The texblock was created from two different types of paper alternating between each section, one more appropriate for watercolour, the other for drawing in ink.
The text block was sewn onto five cords, which were then laced into the boards. The boards are lined to allow for the pull of the leather on the front and the leather left plain for the artist to decorate. The endpapers were made from the Surrey Cartridge paper, again, designed for use from the artist.
For more examples of fine bindings and newly bound volumes, have a look at bookbinding. For more information on the Artist, have a look at his interview on Worthing Art.
You may recall from my last post that I have been making a book for my lovely sister, this has become as much a practice of the craft for me as it has been making a book for her.
It had some unfortunate slip-ups along the way. All starting well with pairing the corners, which are tricky, considering their size. Maybe I got over enthusiastic or it was late in the day, but the corners were swiftly followed by me ripping the leather spine in half. Not to be dismayed by my lack of skill nor the fact I had no more green, I stuck it back together with selotape and continued to pair. Unfortunately the spine was to see yet more trauma when I tried out my very first blind tooling, and spelt the blasted word wrong – TWICE. It’s a stupidly long complicated word anyway.
So despite its obvious pitfall, I plodded on, and now have some pictures of covering the boards and the completed thing. Phew!!
First came lining the boards on the cover to bring them up to the same level as the boards plus the leather. Then I covered them using a very nice map wrapping paper from Stanfords.
Next came neatning up the insides of the book, which you can see above. Any excess leather and paper would look messy under the endpaper. Following this step I did line the boards as I did on the cover, but forgot to photograph that bit… And the final thing:
Hope she likes it! (better pictures will be added to the gallery this week!!)
I’ve finished my book!! And its not too bad – currently it’s between some boards with blotting paper to soak up the damp from the glue, so I’ll take some better pictures next week.
Mid casing in
In the press above Kate’s book!
I managed YET AGAIN to forget to trim my endpapers prior to casing in, though I was able to trim them after it had been in the press, not a good habit to get into though. I have plans to make a dust jacket for the book out of tracing paper, and my very helpful friend Angela has just given me some super tips for printing the title on it, so we’ll see how that goes over the week.
The final thing!!
Well next week is the final week for out little group at the City Lit, which is rather sad, so I will no longer be doing my updates. However – don’t fret – I will still be adding to my blog and keeping you informed of other projects I have on the go, and things that I have been up to that might be of interest!! (Phew, I hear you say – WHAT a relief!!)
Well this week was set at a fast moving pace, and I was on the verge of not keeping up with the team! Sadly I didn’t manage to make the headbands for my rounded back (Journey to the Centre of the Earth) in the traditional manner using thread and a leather/vellum core, however I did manage to make them using cord and leather, which you can see stuck on the spine in the picture below – I had rather a lot of difficulty in paring (thinning) the leather, but hopefully I’ll get better with practice … fingers crossed!
My leather pairing
The headband stuck on
Following that I had to trim the boards (and then trim them again due to miscalculating), then it was speeding on to lining the spine – so on went the frayknot (this replaced the mull covering the spine that we have previously used), and then the grey kraft paper that you can see in the picture.
The book with headbands, trimmed boards, frayknot and kraft paper
Not content with stopping there, some of us even managed to cover our boards. I had a lucky find in the perfect size and colour of book cloth in the cupboard, but didn’t quite manage to cover it. Though I did manage to make the spine piece – this is made from heritage paper rather than board, which is a thick paper, giving support and flexibility to the roundedness of the spine.
Having contemplated the lack of roundness in my rounded spine book over the last week, I feel I have now come to terms with it and am moving on to the next stage without holding too much resentment for it!
Yesterday I managed to plough the head of my book (the top part of the text block), so it is beautifully smooth and nice looking. Having ploughed away, I then sanded the same edge whilst the book was clamped in the press in order to get a silky smooth feel. Once sanded I was able to paint it! Yes, I have now got a coloured edge to the book, which is EXTREMELY exciting! I painted it with acrylic to match the colour of the end papers (the typed coloured pages I sent pictures off a while back). Once the acrylic dried I then polished it with a special ‘Renaissance Polish’ and brushed it down with a shoe brush.
This is what it looked like in the press just after painting. Now it looks amazingly shiny and has a very nice silky smooth feel to it, which I am thoroughly chuffed with!
At points over the last few weeks, my skills have dealt me some shoddy hands, leaving me somewhat depressed with my accomplishments. In most cases I am generally worrying a bit too much as I would ideally like these things to be perfect.
HOWEVER… this was not the case last night. Last night part of my delightful book (Journey to the Centre of the Earth) was ruined. Ruined by me some stages back in the process of making it. Our tutor has told us many times that you must get the sewing right in order to make the book well. This is what I found I had failed on.
Although my sewing was neat – you may remember the pictures – it was too tight. This meant that when I came to ’round’ it yesterday, there was not enough give or ‘swell’ to allow the book to bend. The rounding is done with a hammer, which is glanced across the spine whilst it is in the press. This pushes the spine either side of the center, giving the books its rounded spine. The foredge then also has a curve, which you will see in many old hardback books. Due to my tight sewing and no swell, my rounded book now remains somewhat flat backed, and is a huge dissapointment to me.
On top of this, I also glanced the spine too close to the tail, meaning that I mucked up one of the sections in the middle of the book. You can see in the picture the middle section has buckled. Our tutor saw this as more of a problem than my rounding, but I have to say I am sadder about the latter, as I feel I can improve on the buckling.
Well practice makes perfect I suppose.
This is a coptic binding sheet I made last night whilst waiting for the press. It will go alonside the spider looking one that I did a long time back.