Monday, 16 February 2015

Back from book-binding

I’m just now back from spending the weekend in the Ox Mountains of County Sligo, a land of lonely beauty like you don’t expect to see outside of a Lord of the Rings film. I was taking a course in bookbinding from one of the few remaining craftsmen of that art. More on that later.

For now, here are a couple of small books I made under his guidance – one covered in calf vellum, the other in deer. They are just first attempts, of course, and filled with mistakes, but they were immensely satisfying to make by hand.


Anonymous said...

They look fantastic!

Toomas (Tom) Karmo said...

Do please write more about bookbinding as your time may permit. It would be of particular interest to learn about perils and pitfalls. I have myself accumulated a small set of electronic references to bookbinding techniques, which I would be happy to e-mail you if you write me privately (as Toomas dot Karmo at gmail dot com). And I have managed to find in Toronto a cheap source of goatskin, namely (with physical premisses at 555 King Street West).

Of perhaps special interest would be whatever thoughts you might have about binding in full leather, with wooden boards, onto cords (rather than, as has been common since Queen Vicky's reign, onto tapes).

I add here for the benefit of your readers - you will know this yourself, but perhaps not all readers will - that is binding onto cords that produces ribbed spines, where the ribbing runs parallel to the lines of print within the book. By "parallel to the lines of print", I mean here "parallel to the library floor, and perpendicular to the library walls, when the book is shelved upright".


Toomas (Tom) Karmo
near Toronto

www dot metascientia dot com

Brian Kaller said...

Hippy, thank you!

Toomas, the bookbinder did show me books like that, although the kind I did used leather, vellum and cord. I will be writing about it more soon, and will be learning more in the coming months. Thanks for reading!