sort of fixed it

jen2

In the last post I talked about the gap between my vision and my skills, and the struggle I have been having with the Islamic style binding I was working on. I cut apart the doublure on the side of the binding which was too short, I couldn’t get it un-glued. I re-wet the leather on the spine, put a couple of thin pieces of card inside the binding and put it under weights. After the covers had dried again, I re-glued the doublure but I ended up having to patch the inside, I used some mulberry so it wouldn’t add any more bulk. The book is OK. The covers just about meet the edges of the book block. I wouldn’t give or sell it to anyone else, but as it has such beautiful paper it wont be such a hardship to keep it for myself. Here are some pictures of the finished book. I am glad the semester is winding down, maybe over the break I’ll take another stab at it!

the repaired doublures

the repaired doublures

 

 

Failure

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The gift of PBI keeps on giving. I have been slowly working on a pair of Islamic style bindings. I realised as soon as I began that my notes from the class were terrible to non-existant. Luckily my hands remembered most things! I had a pair of beautiful of abstract photos from my friend Jen that I wanted to use for the covers so I made two identical book blocks. I had some beautiful thick smooth printmaking paper that tore to leave a really lovely edge. So far so good.
I struggled a bit to remember how to sew the headbands but finally ended up with passable ones. I had a few scraps of the leather we used at PBI, enough to make two laquer style covers. The covers of the first book went smoothly, and although I had some trouble getting the doublures to lay flat the finished book looked ok. But the second one is fighting me all the way. The top cover on the spine just wouldn’t lie flat and then when I added the doublures I ended up with one cover being too short as it has bunched up in a bulge over the spine. After a little help on facebook from Yasmeen Kahn I have removed the doublure and am stretching the leather a little. I’ll let you know how that works out.
Taking those classes at PBI has really made me aware of the Gap between my desires and my skills. I am hoping I’ll be able to take a few more classes so that I can figure out how to fix the errors I see. While my goal is not to become a conservation binder I would like to be better at executing my ideas.
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And speaking of ideas, another PBI influence, Timothy Ely, hooked me up with this great book which I am sure will inspire much mischief going forward.
I really can’t thank all the incredible people I met at PBI for their generousity and continued interest in my work. I am blown away by how supportive they are. I hope I get to go again sometime although with a residency in the UK next year isn’t looking like much if a possibility. Unless I win the lottery…

Islamic bindings

I am really happy with how these turned out – a few pictures… notes to follow

leather covers - my first try at leather work

leather covers – my first try at leather work

the inside of the leather covered binding - beautiful paste paper from Blowfish Binders

the inside of the leather covered binding – beautiful paste paper from Blowfish Binders

 

the other inside veiw

the other inside view

my hand painted lacquer-style book

my hand painted lacquer-style book

 

back cover of the lacquer binding

back cover of the lacquer binding

super shiny!

super shiny!