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My fifth summer at the American Academy of Bookbinding

June 26, 2010

I’m a bit late in writing about it, but a couple weeks ago I finished a two-week class in advanced leather binding with Monique Lallier. I hadn’t been back since 2007, and we had a really great group and a really good time.

Unfortunately my designs are a bit involved, so I didn’t finish my books, but here’s what came of two weeks at the AAB:

A sewn text block. This one is a bit unconventional because it’s a UK deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which had originally been perfectly bound (glued sections as opposed to sewn). So I made sections using a sewing machine so that I had a “fold” to sew through.

Ready for trimming in the guillotine.

The book is sanded until it’s glassy and then decorated with color or gold. This is the best shot I could get of the reflective surface.

I’ve done quite a few edges this way: I put a red layer of color down, let it dry, masked it, washed some of the red off, and then put down the purple layer.

Quite dramatic once the tape is removed!

Here’s the 2nd Harry Potter book:

headband in progress, top of HP2 book

headband at tail of HP2 book. (Who said that headbands have to match?) :)

HP2 book ready for covering. It’s covered now, but I don’t have a photo of it yet. And the design will take a while, but it’s going to be great… someday, when it’s finished. I’ll post pics.

The busy crew.

A Telluride sunset along the river trail:

I saved a few copies of my book that I did for my final show for fine bindings. The above design is taken from one of the illustrations in the book.

designs cut out by hand.

The book, ready for covering. But only after I took the leather down to .5 mm

And lastly, the final book. I’m quite delighted with the outcome (Well, it’s not actually final. It still needs its doublure, too… I’ll try and get some good photos when it’s all done.

I’ll leave you with one more fantastic Telluride sunset.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen Hall permalink
    June 26, 2010 6:46 pm

    Thanks so much for the grand tour. I LOVE the almost finished product! I’m also very impressed with the beautiful sewing you do on the headbands. It looks like a very tedious project. I’m sure you don’t see it that way, though, as an artist.

  2. Laurie permalink
    June 27, 2010 6:06 am

    Love the cover on your BFA project! It looks very professional and clean. I will have to see it in person one day! I miss you!

  3. Rachel K-G permalink
    June 27, 2010 11:30 am


  4. Jim permalink
    June 28, 2010 12:07 am

    Can’t wait to see the finished books!Telluride looks so beutiful-lucky you!As for the second one thats a lot of hard work and a rewarding result!

  5. June 28, 2010 12:02 pm

    Envy. So full of envy right now. Those are absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Chema permalink
    July 17, 2010 9:58 am

    Hola me llamo Chema soy encuadernador y te escribo desde España. Perdona por escribite en español pero mi ingles es muy pobre. Solo tengo que decirte que me encantan tus trabajos y el buen gusto y el amor que dejas en todos ellos.¡¡¡Enhorabuena y sigue asi !!!
    Desde España, Gracias.

  7. July 25, 2010 5:08 am

    Hi Lili,
    I love your coverings of your book you made for your final show for fine bindings! Fantastic!!
    Greetings from Germany

  8. November 6, 2010 6:54 am

    Stunning. This is absolutely beautiful work! I would love to attend the AAB!

  9. November 16, 2010 10:49 am

    Verry Nice work, I love it. It looks outstanding special
    Dirk from Belgium

  10. December 3, 2010 4:53 am

    Hi, I have just found your blog and I am really impressed! I am still starting out in regards to making and designing books as I tend to just repair them. Thanks for sharing! Ames :)

  11. Nancy permalink
    November 10, 2011 3:57 pm

    Hi, I just found your blog as well. And as a graphic design student this was very inspiring, I hadn’t thought of using carton this way for the cover illustration yet. The book looks really great.

  12. October 11, 2013 8:24 am

    how on earth do you get it to vacuum form to the design?

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