Friday, 25 December 2015

210. Another Gift Sketchbook and WIP Pics

Hardbound Sketchbook Gift, 5.5" x 5.5"
(more photos of the finished result are at the bottom of this post)

(There is only one rule in bookbinding:
The grain in the paper, cloth and board must run from head to tail.
City & Guilds)

I have two friends who are 'two peas in a pod'. They call themselves 'Batman' and 'Robin'. Robin has in the last five months discovered she has a previously unrealised gift for art - it's been quite a revelation to us all - her included! Batman thus asked me to make Robin a sketchbook for Christmas that would be small enough for her handbag and also fairly lightweight.

Robin is a wildlife lover and avid photographer and, while we were deciding on the right cover, we came up with the idea of a 'robin' theme. Ordinary paper is not brilliant for book covering; you really need something stronger and flexible enough to fold around board, which is the idea of bookcloth. I found this gorgeous print in a fabric shop in St Albans - the owner has been there for 40 years and I always find what I'm looking for there. I used tissue paper and Bondaweb to turn it into bookcloth (that's bookcloth is made) and the rest is history! 

If you're interested, there are work-in-progress images below. Happy creating everyone!

 After folding and arranging the signatures, I guillotined them into a square format
then stitched them with waxed thread 
using three pieces of  sewing tape for spine strength
 Only six signatures this time (it needs to be lightweight)
Glued between boards then a ribbon bookmark added a bit later
Headbanding added and everything held in place with 
again with rough boards and bulldog clips
A better view of the headbanding (red and green tips)
… snap happy!

After this, I added mull around the spine for strength and also a heavyweight paper spine.
(I omitted to photograph them but you can see mull and a spine in my November post - or click "Bookbinding" in the 'Labels' list on the right and it'll take you there.)
Homemade bookcloth with boards and spine measurements marked on the reverse.
Aligning the grain in each case, I made the bookcloth using a layer each of the strong
cotton fabric, Bondaweb and white tissue paper (ironed as per the instructions).
This ensures no glue seeps through onto the fabric part of the bookcloth.
The right side of the bookcloth.
(Grain direction marked with arrows on the boards.)
I made the 'case' and scored the two spine seams with a bone folder.
Then, with a knife, I cut two slits an inch from the edges and eased the ribbon through. I hammered the slits back into place so the ribbon was taut and the boards flat again. Finally, I glued the entire length of each ribbon onto its corresponding board to ensure it will not break free over time. 

At this point, I attached the red endpapers to the text block then visited my lovely printer who chopped the edges of the text block for me. Not only does it make it look neat
but it is easier to flick through the pages if the sheets are aligned.
I then attached the endpapers to the case.
(This is the back one - the text says "Stitched and bound by Sharon Veares")
A few pics before it's given a 12-hour press
… it's just showing off now...
 It's tired now - all that modelling!
I untied the bow and moved the ribbons and the bookmark out of the way of any glued parts before placing boards on top and underneath for pressing.
Glassine paper (or the like) between the endpapers ensures that any 
undetected glue spots won't stick them together in the pressing process.

It's finished!
The top
The top (again)
The bottom
The back cover
The front cover.

The size had to be specific so I am really, really pleased that the pattern ended up just as she wanted it - on both the covers - quite frankly, as this time the cover is one continuous piece, it's a miracle!

(I can't risk posting this until Christmas Day, just in case…..)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

209. Happy Christmas

Faber Castell Brushpens plus pen and ink on paper, 4.5" x 4.5"

Happy Christmas one and all. xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

208. Losing the Plot...

W&N Watercolour and Pilot G-Tec C4 pen in
Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5" x 8.5" (image: 6" x 8.25")

With Christmas approaching, I've done a ton of art leading up to it but none simply for the sake of it. I was starting to lose the plot so dug out a photo I stopped to take on leaving Luton Hoo a month or so ago and painted it. I feel better now…!

After Christmas Day, I'll post one of the projects I finished last week which someone asked me to do for their friend.

I'm sorry I haven't visited any of your blogs and sites recently; I'll catch up with you all as soon as I can.

Happy Christmas; happy holidays and happy painting to you all. xxx

Before cropping the photo.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

207. USK Market Sketch 3 - Fish

Staedtler 0.05 Fineliner pen in
Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5"

This fish vendor was, as my friend, Victoria​ said, a "ball of joy" and a great end to our day. He was very accommodating and was happy for us to sketch him and his wares. NB. It didn't smell (important for me a vegetarian!) which means the fish must be really fresh there!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

206. USK Market Sketch 2 - Parma Ham and Cheese - Really?!

Staedtler 0.05 Fineliner pen reinforced by
Unipin 0.5 pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5"

Yep! I know! Why was a vegetarian at the Parma Ham stall??  Because, like everywhere else in this lovely market, it was beautifully laid out. I was taken by the sign writing again but didn't have time to do more than a few lines.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

205. USK Market Sketch 1 - Borough Wines

Lamy Safari fountain pen on
Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, 5.5" x 8.5" (x2) 

Saturday 7th November was three years since my dear Dad died and he used to love to visit Leather Lane market in London near where he worked before both my parents retired and returned to Jamaica. It seems fitting therefore that the Urban Sketchers London sketchcrawl on that very day was "Let's Draw Borough Market." It was a lovely day, at a fantastic venue with great company (including my friend Vic who made sure I laughed a lot). My Dad would have loved it there!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

204. Lest We Forget

Pilot G-Tec C4 water-soluble pens in
Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook, 8.5" x 5.5"

Just sketched this on a whim. Some of the text is bleeding but, on reflection, somehow that seems appropriate… 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

203. Gift Sketchbook and Work-in-Progress Pics

Hardbound Sketchbook Gift, A5
(more photos of the finished result right at the bottom of this post)

(There is only one rule in bookbinding:
The grain in the paper, cloth and board must run from head to tail.
City & Guilds)

I was commissioned to make this sketchbook as a gift to a friend's very gifted, artistic daughter. She loves wildlife and does beautiful sketches and paintings so I chose this lovely Japanese 'wove' paper with goldfishes. (As ever, I enjoyed the entire process from start to finish - she received it back in September.)

Separating into batches of four sheets

Decided to give her ten 'signatures'

Stitching the signatures using linen sewing tape

So far, so good

This is how it looks before it's glued and mull added. Don't worry...

Bulldogs clamp the now glued signatures to keep their shape

Folding the endpapers (correct grain direction is vital)

Bookmark ribbon added and glued

Headbanding added at each end and glued - adds a nice finish to the bookends

Mull cut to cover and reinforce the spine

Lining (red strip) added to reinforce the spine further
and bulldogs hold it all in place for a while

Final check that the book boards fit correctly
(I leave a 3-6mm overlap; usually 3mm)

And now for the scary arithmetic. Sigh….

See what I mean…!

Fitting all the boards in place on the 'quarter' fabric
(so called because it covers a quarter of the front and back boards when finished).

Before 'casing in' begins

At this point, I took it along to my very kind local printer who always guillotines the edges of my book block for a professional look. I can then start the 'casing in' process.

I completely forgot to photograph how I attached the patterned 'goldfish' paper to the boards and also how I sealed in the ribbon so it shouldn't come out - I must have been taken up with whatever I was listening to on the radio. The corners have to be cut diagonally and turned correctly so you still retain the point at each of the four corners.

The remaining photographs are simply different angles of the finished sketchbook.