Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bookbinding - Practice Makes Perfect

So last week I completed my first rounded spine book, not with total success. This week I was going to have another go 

I hadn’t completed any other books over the weekend because I’d spent most of Sunday playing with my rubber stamps and ink. This had left me with a number of printed papers which I was hoping to use as end papers.

 Unfortunately I learnt a valuable lesson when it comes to these prints. One they take a very long time to dry. Days, if not weeks, for the thicker ones. Secondly, if they are not completely dry then they will smudge and mark, especially when dampened through the process of gluing in the end papers. Therefore after using these prints I have found that they have smudged slightly due to the pressure of the the nipping process and the friction caused through opening and closing the book. However the printing I had done on the front of last weeks books seems to have dried OK and doesn't smudge so I am more confident about using these prints to cover books. I might also try having photocopies made of the originals in order to get round the problem of smudging. 

However the first process with this weeks book was to trim and round the spine of the block I was currently working on. With a better understanding of the process I took much more care measuring out my guidelines for the rounding. I had also French bound the block in order to make it looser, and therefore easier to round. 

I made the decision, because I wanted to protect the end papers, to leave attaching these until after the block had been rounded and although the end result was still not perfect I think this helped protect the prints to some extent. It made no difference to the finished book which apart from the smudged end covers has a much more symmetrical rounding and overall a much nicer finish when compared to last weeks book. 

I have found that I have struggled with cutting the buckram at the corners of the boards - especially in regards to leaving the right amount of cloth to sufficiently cover the boards. I seem to leave to little or too much and can’t get the balance right. This week I trimmed too much on one side so that the grey boards just show through. However it doesn’t show to much on the closed book and the overall it looks good. Certainly the spine is much more symmetrical. 

Next week we are going to make slip cases for these books and then we are going to finish off the course by making some leather books using a non traditional binding technique. 

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