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Diversion during finals

November 15, 2008

The following books were bound (well, started, anyway) during the week of finals while I was at West Dean College. An hour here and there doing something other than required school work sure does help one remain sane.

I based these bindings on the structure of a little fine-press book from the special collections at BYU. It was fun binding books with no reference but an examination of a structure reference.

The structure is a from of a sewn-board binding. There is no lining on the spine, meaning that the exposed sewing becomes a decorative aspect of the book. The book is sewn onto leather/vellum tapes (leather glued to vellum then cut into strips), which are laced into the outer folded boards (the covers are made of folded bristol board or cave paper, and the covers are simply sewn on in the same manner as the folded sections. After the book is sewn, a piece of card which is cut to the same dimensions of the cover is slipped between the folded cover, and the the cover layers are drummed together around the edges with PVA.

I wrapped each section of the books in decorated papers that I made at a workshop with Victoria Hall last year at West Dean College. The first papers are traditional marbled papers (watercolor based pigment floating on sized water), the second are Japanese Suminigashi marbling (oil-based Japanese ink floated on water), and the third are an attempt at creating traditional paste paper patterns.

(I love to collect and make decorated papers–but I also love to use them!)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2008 12:31 am

    Excellent. Love the marbling. I like decorative papers, and I get them with the intent of using them, but I’m always scared to — what if I put it on something that then doesn’t turn out quite right? I need to get over that, I know…

  2. November 16, 2008 5:40 am

    Love, love, love the marbled one! I might have to raid my marbled paper stash and make one of my own. Gorgeous work!

  3. November 17, 2008 4:06 pm


  4. November 17, 2008 7:23 pm

    They are beautiful. I love the bindings and also the paper. I am dying to learn how to marble. We need to have a proper talk on the phone soon. You will have to teach me how to do the binding on the tapes. I loved it. I hope you are well.

  5. November 19, 2008 3:58 am

    These are gorgeous – nice work! The binding is stylish and you can tell it has a sturdy structure that would wear well. Your marbled and paste papers are beautiful, too – and put to great use!

  6. December 3, 2008 11:55 pm

    Lovely bindings and beautiful paper. I love West Dean – I grew up near there and used to visit the gardens, and my parents did courses at different times. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t do any before I moved to Australia!

    Best wishes, Sara

  7. January 12, 2009 9:53 pm

    ooh, so pretty…esp. the marbled paper book!

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