New Skills and the Art of Bookmaking

good afternoon, 

New skills was what this weekend was all about. I went on a course to learn how to make hand sewn books. It was at the Weald and Downland Museum (http://www.wealddown.co.uk) in Sussex and was run by a very knowledgeable woman called Gaynor from the Blue door Bindery (http://www.blue-door-bindery.co.uk).

we learned how to fold paper into sections and how to make sure it is folded in the right direction…right direction i hear you repeat quizzically…well..yes…I didn’t know this before i wend on the course but paper has a grain based on the direction of the fibres within it. It is important when making books to have these running from head to foot (top to bottom), although i am unclear as to what happens if you don’t. and might make on the other way round to find out but that is besides the point!

we learned how to make these folded sections into a text block and to sew them (along with the end papers) both to each other and to long strips of material called slips which help to hold the whole thing together and move backward and forward within the cover to allow the book to open out. Here are some pictures of the text block (or pages ;-)) and end papers all sewn together and the slips in place

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once all this was done we put the covers on , they were glued to the end pieces but no glue was on the spine at all, this allows it to open out completely flat. It was quite a tricky process as we had to slit the cover to weave the slips through…i believe this is decorative and not structural.

The finished product:

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This is the book as we took it away from the course, I think i may need to add some extra finishing touches, the top and bottom edges of the leather need finishing i think and i am slightly unsure of the visible slips so these might get covered. 

All in all I am pleased, I have learned new skills and am looking forward to adapting them and using them in my own way…I feel a lot more book coming on 😀

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About Ice_Badger

Exercisaholic, Photographer, Artist, Engineer, Morris Dancer, General Obsessive... View all posts by Ice_Badger

2 responses to “New Skills and the Art of Bookmaking

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