Tuesday, 8 March 2016

225. Pleased as Punch!

Two 'Quarter Bound' Hardback A5 Sketchbooks:

A5 Chunky (laying flat) and...
… A5 Slim
Levitating in my office

You probably know me by now - when I bind a book, I want it to be bound traditionally, to last for decades and also to be fit the purposes of the recipient. For a while now, I have been researching how to achieve 'lay flat' binding in a chunky book with a rigid (not rounded) spine - a ton of stuff has been written about it on bookbinding forums, etc.

It has been suggested that the only way to achieve it is to use or buy one of three machines which seals it with an adhesive. Apparently, the only way to achieve a 'lay flat' effect by hand-stitching is to use coptic binding but, although the books are absolutely beautiful to look at, not everyone wants to work with all that stitching down the middle of some of the pages. I felt I had to try to perfect it by hand and have been scrutinising numerous case bound, stitched books to see the difference between those that lay flat and those that dip in the middle.

I was recently asked to make a book with a lot of pages which, again, would contain some drawing paper and some watercolour paper - the paper I used is the lovely Fabriano 5 watercolour paper so it's quite thick and thus weighty. She chose her fabrics from my little selection and I made up some bookcloth. (The spot is for someone else.)

Anyway, I am pleased to report that thanks to a lot of research and some experimentation (as well as prayer!), it has finally worked! Yippee!

I threw in the smaller book, as a gift, which contains Fabriano 4 fairly smooth watercolour paper that she can use on the train or at sketchcrawls, etc., where you often have to stand and sketch/paint and, instead of the ribbon close used for the chunky one (which would be fiddly in the field), I put ribbon along the edges of the 'quarter' so it would match it's sibling.

 Making book cloth
Bookcloth made!
Textblocks stitched and ready for the 'chunky' and
one ready for the spotted bookcloth
Handmade 'stamp' in back endpapers
Ooops! Forgot to rotate the photo.

A few more random pics of the chunky...
(two bookmarks for ease of reference)

… and of the slim one.
Thanks for reading this far; I do appreciate you all!