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For the most recent Boss Dog Press imprint, Three Lectures, I wanted to do paper over board bindings as an homage to the small paper covered Insel Verlag titles in Trudi and Fritz Eberhardt’s personal library. A number of pastepaper trials were unsatisfactory until a small brain-squall prompted a change in the process which provided the solution. Here’s how it was done:
The tweak here was, instead of pasting the paper and then manipulating the pattern, to produce the pattern on the table and then press dampened paper onto the layer of paste and pigment; essentially a primitive offset procedure. Above you can see the workspace consisting of a taped off area on the bench along with acrylics, paste and a pellon-covered mailing tube.
Here, intern Ester Lopez is applying paste to the image area.
Next she adds dots of burnt sienna, burnt umber and black,
and begins by brushing the colors first vertically,
The final pattern is made with semi-circular strokes of a flat bristle brush. Note the three sheets of paper on the left, which are relaxing after being dampened.
The damp paper is laid onto the pattern,
and then ‘printed’ by rolling the tube over it.
And the finished papers are air dried.
Usually there was enough paste and pigment left on the work surface so that a second set of sheets could be pulled. The second sets differ considerably in character, but that’s the fun of it…
The leather for 1984 is a gray third quality Harmatan skin. I was hoping for something with a fair amount of imperfections, but it was quite nice for a third.
Above is the cover leather marked out for paring. The turnins were flat-pared to the thickness of two-ply board, which was used to fill in the inside of the cover board. The corners and headcap areas were then hand pared, and the joints were folded, creased hard and then the top of each crease was hand pared just enough to flex easily.
The onlays were made from pieces of the suede side of the gray goat pared very thin on the Schärf-fix, given a thin pastewash and dried on a flat surface ( I used a melamine surfaced sink cutout; useful thing to have in the shop). The patterns for the numerals 19 and 84 were made from thin aluminum lithographic plates and used to cut out the onlays.
Here you see the onlays loosely placed on the cover. The last step before applying the onlays was to edge pare them by hand. This caused some irrregularities in the edges that I think improved the design.
The onlays were adhered with a PVA/paste mixture and immediately given a hard press for about half an hour.
Then the cover was clamped face down onto a litho stone, pared with a spokeshave and then given another hard press. By repeating this process another couple of times the onlays were very effectively sunk into the cover leather.
The actual covering was done in the standard German style: the spine of the cover was pasted out and adhered to the spine of the textblock and allowed to dry. Then the sides were put down with paste (normally I use hot glue, but needed a little extra time to work the leather down into the recesses in the front and back boards).
Once the sides were dry, I did the head and tail turnins and the caps.
Here’s the book prior to doing the foredge turnins and inner joints.
And here is the inside of one board after the inner hinge and foredge have been laid, just before finishing the corners. After this I tipped a piece of two-ply board to the inside of each cover board, then cut through both the two-ply and the leather of the turnins. Then I lifted out the lining boards, trimmed a sliver for expansion and adhered them back down, leaving an even base for the pastedowns, which were applied with paste and allowed to dry.
The final steps were to make and apply the spine labels of stamped suede, tool the single blind horizontal line across both boards and the spine, and to adhere the insets to the front and back boards.
Here are the front pastedown and flyleaf
and the rear.
Next: the box.
I’ve been getting my binders board, hot glue and stamping foils from Ernest Schaefer Inc. over in Union NJ for quite a while now. This morning the current shipment arrived and my 10 lbs. of ground hide glue came packed in these majorly spiffy plastic containers. How cool is that?…
Patronize these folks. Seriously.
Given that this is the first post in over a year, some explanation is in order. Parental health problems precluded much of anything in the way of either work or anything else the second half of last year. Fortunately, things turned around, and all’s well now. Turns out, though, that getting back into the blogging regimen (such as it was) was a lot harder than I would have expected; and now it’s September. Hi ho.
Anyway, that, more or less, is the story of the lost year. Now it’s time to finish up the documentation of the 1984 binding, and to move on to some more recent projects.
A couple of new additions to the blogroll today. Bonefolder Extras is the blog associated with the online book arts journal The Bonefolder edited by Peter Verheyen; and The Pressbengel Project, which is Peter’s blog for the study of German binding history and techniques. Lotsa good stuff.
Trying to get back to some regularity in the blog. Added a couple of new links to the blogroll here and a couple of new posts over at the other blog.
Book artists extraordinaire Peter and Donna Thomas have been traveling around the US this summer, visiting other book folk, libraries, &tc, and residing in a gypsy caravan that they built themelves. They’ve been blogging their experiences here. They will be stopping here at the shop from August 11-13, and will be presenting a miniature book workshop on Thursday Aug. 12. If any of the 3 1/2 readers of this blog are within driving distance of northeast Pennsylvania (sorry, Linda…), you should plan on attending.If anyone is interested, please contact me at don@donrashfinebookbinder for details.
to friends, colleagues and the occasional reader of this blog.
Gonna do hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Max is waiting with baited breath…