1/21/2009

More bookbinding





Following on from the headband workshop (below), I decided to try to re-back the book I had used for the lesson. As we needed a book block to practice on, I had previously removed the badly damaged covers from an old but rather dear little book cloth bound book. I loved the very decorative cloth cover, so it seemed a shame to make an entirely new cover, better I thought to save as much of the original as possible.

First of all I removed the text block and because it was loose and torn, I also removed the cover. With a damp piece of cotton wool I gently dampened the cloth-covered boards in order to allow the water to eventually loosen the adhesive between the cloth and the boards. I needed to leave the covers for a while to prevent them drying out, so I wrapped them in cling film being careful to avoid over wetting. Several sessions of dampening was needed until eventually I was able to lift the cloth free from the boards. The original cloth was in a rather tatty state, so I carefully trimmed away the damaged parts before gluing to a new cover.

I hope that makes sense, I have seen this technique demonstrated by an expert which puts all my efforts in the shade. I am showing you my newly covered book not as an ideal example. I think I should have stuck the green cover a bit nearer to the foredge but no matter, next time maybe. I decided to choose a contrasting colour for the cover but you can if you wish paint the new book cloth with acrylic paint to match. On the whole I was quite pleased with the result but I don’t think I will be giving up the day job just yet!

15 comments:

  1. I think it worked really well. It's almost impossible to get old books rebound today because of the labour costs which is such a shame.

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  2. The result is lovely acornmoon - you should be justly proud of it. You obviously have a way with your hands - so good luck with doing more bookbinding (and more jig saws).

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  3. Valerie, you did a wonderful job. The time and care you took to rebind really shows. It's lovely.

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  4. Beautiful work! Such a worthy art, in my opinion. I remember my father having his old bible rebound years and years ago. Hard to find a craftsman to do the job these days.

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  5. Wow. It looks just lovely! Congratulations!

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  6. Thank you for following my blog and for the nice comment you left. :-)

    I love your blog, your art and your handmade books, and your cute little dog. When I was a girl I would write and illustrate my own books all the time (with crayons.) Nothing as lovely as yours,(I used a stapler for the binding, haha.) But it was a very satisfying feeling to have a book that you made yourself.

    I look forward to seeing more of your lovely creations.

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  7. It is a shame that traditional skills are dying out. There are still many highly capable bookbinders around, some professional and some brilliant amateurs. The Society of Bookbinders http://www.societyofbookbinders.com/links/links_frames.html has a list of people willing to take on work. They also run training workshops and seminars.

    Designer Bookbinders is the place to go for amazing work also. especially new fine bindings. http://www.designerbookbinders.org.uk/

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  8. The process is fascinating! Thankyou for showing us - I'd love to learn how to make and restore books.

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  9. Well done! I imagine that many folks have similar favorite old books that they would love to have rebound.

    You could probably become much busier than you'd prefer, as a sensitive conservator.

    Best wishes!

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  10. good job and I like the contrast of the golden book cloth behind the original.

    What kind of adhesive are you using?

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  11. Dana,

    I use P.V.A. and cold water paste, sometimes mixed together.

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  12. I've enjoyed your last two posts on bookbinding as it is something I know little about. It is good to see that you and others are keeping these wonderful skills going in this throw away, paper back age:)

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  13. Hi.........
    This is more informative..... thanks for sharing.....

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  14. I think you should be very pleased with the results, you did a really professional job.

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  15. Hi,
    Your post is as lovely as ever.
    I have taken the liberty of presenting you with The Lemonade Award. I hope this chimes happily with you and that you will feel able to accept it. Details on my blog Here
    My thanks to you for all the pleasure your blog has given me to date.
    Dave

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