Sunday, 12 July 2009

Two books

I can see that my unpacking is going to be an ongoing, and probably to the reader, invariably tedious business so while it will be in the forefront of my mind, I don't want to bore everyone else by going on about it. Except to say that it will happen eventually and one day I'll be able to say "All done" and then I'll show you photos of my [potentially] wonderful workroom. Perhaps by then I'll be confident enough to call it my bindery.

While I'm waiting for books to be made in the here and now, I have a few photos of books made last year. This first was a farewell book for a longterm member of staff. I was called in to plan the book and to assemble it, something I was very happy to do for an old friend. These are the A4 sheets, folded and made into sections. The staff had written and drawn on the sheets and there were enough pages for quite a substantial volume.
I did a 6 needle coptic binding, using waxed Irish linen thread.
I normally make my board attachment through the boards but for some reason (and I can't imagine what it would be) I attached around the boards. I know many people do this but I always feel the stitching is more secure the other way. The book looked fine and the recipient was delighted but now I wish I'd taken that extra step with it.
I made this blank journal for a raffle prize and wrapped it in beautifully soft leather.
I used my own marbled paper for end papers and because I had less than an hour to make it I used an Italian made book block, rather than sewing my own.
How do I happen to have such a thing close to hand? Remember those books I make for the shop? That's a clue... But the leather is gorgeous and the endpapers were pretty nice.


  1. Breathtakingly beautiful. I just might copy your first paragraph and copy onto mine, except for the word "bindery".

  2. Love the books you made. Just lovely. I think your unpacking will be like Christmas. Full of surprises and seeing old friends. I am where you are almost a year ago. I am putting my home at the beach up for sale to be closer to four sons and granddaughter. I have been packing and storing the last few months. Cleaning and sorting throwing out and donating. Please tell me it is all worth it. I will check in on you and see how your studio set up is going and any advice let me know - I am always open to advice.

  3. These books are really lovely, Carol. I especially like the endpapers and the hint of red/rust colour which complements the leather - perfect! Were you able to buy the leather ready to use or do you "prepare" it in some way?

  4. Meg - thank you , you are unfailingly encouraging. No, don't stop talking about your house and what you are doing, I'm listening.

    Elizabeth - yes, it is definitely worth it. Part of my unpacking problem is that I did it really quickly with no time to sort or think about things. Now I have big decisions to make and I've never been good at throwing tings out. But being close to the little grand daughters is just wonderful.

    Amanda - thanks. The leather is very soft, the leather merchant says it is goat but I'm never sure. The colour is very rich and I used the edge just as it was. It came as an entire hide, not very big but nice for small books.

  5. BEAUTIFUL books! I am very intrigued by your remarks re "through the boards" and "around the boards". I'd be very interested to hear your definitions. I do single needle coptics, and am always looking for new ways to make the boards more secure. At the moment I have broken away from the kettle stitch on the last hole of the 1st signature (attaching to the board) and do a lock stitch of my own invention, which obviously upsets the purists....

    Re the comment on my blog about the music widgets - thank you so very much! I was worried I'd be stepping on toes and getting flamed, but Playlist's copyright thing is now so bad, and completely freezes up my computer for 5 minutes or so (at 8megs broadband) that it's becoming unbearable!

    I don't understand why they'd want to make it autoplay anyway. Music, like anything, should be a CHOICE... to play, or not to play...

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write.

  6. The leather looks gorgeous, I wish I could touch it to test further :-) and the marbled paper looks just perfect!

  7. These are fabulous Carol especially the coptic binding one.
    I love books and would really like to create something special of my own. I have several books on the subject and a DVD I just purchased - now all I need is the time. :)

  8. Oh, this is excellent! Just discovered your blog, have to explore the depth of it.

  9. Very impressive Carol. Beautiful papers and colours.


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