The Deterioration of a Book

Deterioration of a Book

Sea Fishing on the English Coast
by Frederick G. Aflalo
Hardback with laminate cover, no dust jacket, perfect bound without sewn sections.

The Deterioration of a Book

As a book conservator, I repair books on a daily basis, all in varying states of destruction and disrepair. As a resident of Worthing and the South Coast, I am witness to the destruction and disrepair caused by the sea and coastal weather to buildings and all kinds of objects.

However I have yet to see any evidence of a book being destroyed by the sea and weather. This is what I hope to observe over the course of the year ahead, and record here as part of an ongoing installation with ‘Art on the Pier‘.

The book itself is installed at Coast Cafe, near The Book Hut, and new and updated images will be put onto my website on a monthly basis.

A record of the deterioration

 

Treasure Island | Starting a Fine Binding

Treasure Island Starting 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.

Treasure Island | Starting a Fine Binding

The following initial stages were madeto the binding to prepare the text block for sewing:

  • 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.
  • It is now ready to go onto the sewing frame.

In addition to the preparation of the sections, the leather has now been delivered for the later stages of the binding – a nice lime green goatskin.

Treasure Island the leather
Green goatskin ready for later stages of the binding


This book will be on display at StudioFreer 18th/19th June, 25th/26th June, 2nd/3rd July. It will be on sale at this time. If it is something you would be interested in purchasing, please do get in touch.

David Barber’s Sketchbook

David Barber's Sketchbook

David Barber’s Sketchbook
c.2014
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.

David Barber's Sketchbook
The first drawing by David Barber
David Barber with his sketchbook
David Barber with his sketchbook

This week at The Book Hut

This is just a snippet of goodness to share what is going on at The Book Hut in Worthing this week.

This is a week for house work and painting – the sign has had a fresh, and slightly more hut-coloured, coat of paint, and a logo. The crates have also been painted inside and are now for sale for a mere £20.00! I will be getting more soon, and putting shelves in them for good book storage – so get in touch if you are interested.

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!

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

Craft Fairs around Sunny Worthing

This weekend saw me attending another Bartie’s Boutique craft fair at the St Pauls venue in central Worthing. It was a good day with a lot of talent on show meaning I had the chance to meet some great people and hope that I can portray a few of them here!

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But before I do, I thought I would give the fair a little plug – if you are a local craftsperson looking to hold a stall, or someone who likes to support us makers – Bartie’s Boutique is a great one to attend, with tables from £25-30 to book, it is a great fair to give a go, and very supportive if you have not done a one before. So have a look at the website and if you fancy it but aren’t sure how things all work, get in touch at this end and I’ll help where I can!

In addition to the Bartie’s Boutique, I was also recently asked to attend a very worthwhile Fun Day and Craft Fair at St Matthew’s Church Hall held by 10 year old Mabel, who is raising money for Water Aid – amazing stuff! She raised huge amounts on the day with the help of a raffle, cake sale and other goodies and still collecting on a charity page – Water Aid – if you have some spare change!

So here are some lovely people from both fairs!

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These beautiful prints are by We Are Mountain. Sophie has huge amounts of talent with her printing and has been popular in the Worthing Art Trail (more on that next week) – I love the lobster one!

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Claire from handmadebyhippo is a mosaic expert based in Brighton, she will create a custom-made mosaic for you – possibly a door number or something for the garden – she is also able to recreate a favourite photo in mosaic, which blew my mind just a little bit!!

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Samantha, from Hung On You, is the creator of these wonderful handmade and vintage jewellery pieces (and the amazing stand – might be taking some inspiration from that!), and also the instigator of the Brighton Craft Alliance, which I have set for my future plans – small world, we all meet at these things!

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Another slightly different jewellery maker at the fair was Pippa from OoNaNa – who made laser cut jewellery in amazing designs – including, wait for it, chemical formulae!! – Yes, peeps, we can now get our favourite chemical structures on a necklace – Monosaccharide Glucose here I come!!!

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Finally from Bartie’s Boutique was Hope from Hope & Ted – a sewing guru offering beautiful handmade goods and sewing classes for kids and adults. This was Hope’s first fair, and she is clearly a natural as her stand looked fantastic! I think I will have to book myself onto one of these classes.

Mabel’s Water Aid Fun Day and Craft Fair saw the return of some familiar faces, which is always really nice, and as always, some new ones. Suzanne from Mrs Bramble Designs had some beautiful hand crafted and sewn goodies, and is also the mastermind behind My Favourite Things… which is a Sussex-based vintage and craft fair organisation for anyone looking to join something in their area. And Alison is a local Worthing based photographer selling some fantastic animal and landscape based prints and cards. Not forgetting the lovely Zoe, who helped her daughter Mabel organise the day and Sally from Mapnation

And, of course, as a final show – my stall at both locations. The more recent table at Bartie’s  might have been my best yet, with a full range of books and the tool roll kits finally on display – and YES, I did sell one!