The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
This is also a quarter bound leather case binding. Bound in goat skin from the Pergamena tannery in upstate NY. The paper is another one of mine from the marbling workshop we did. The top edge is decorated with graphite. This book is for sale. Please let me know if you are interested
Leather Case Binding
We have very recently started working with leather, building on the standard case binding structure but adding headcaps (see close up shot). Headcap formation remains a constant source of aggravation in my day. I am ready for spring break.
Moby Dick in a full cloth case binding with parchment onlays
Making all these blank books can get kinda boring. Even though most of our training around the bindery is technical, it’s nice to get to put the creative side of my brain to work for a change. Despite the fact that Jeff is constantly reminding us that we are craftsmen, not artists, and this is not art school. I had a lot of fun making this; I know the design is a bit trite, but whatever. The onlays are done by cutting the design out of 20pt (card stock), then laminating that to the boards. The book is then covered in the usual way and the cloth is carefully worked into the design. The onlay has to be cut exactly to fit inside the impression and glued in place carefully. Then you, to quote my instructor, “press the shit out of it. ” Finally you go home and stay up all night worrying that maybe the onlay slipped out of position, or expanded too much from the glue while in the press. Stay tuned for fancy leather bindings, an austere existential rebinding and maybe some fun repair projects.
We spent the last few months looking at variations on the theme of case binding. We looked at different endpapers, headbands, covering styles and so on. Our assignment here was to make a set showing all the different features. I found this assignment very helpful as a way of understanding when the different features are useful and most efficient. I also very much enjoyed thinking through production methods trying to figure how to get this done without spinning my wheels too much. I think I am just now realizing, while I dont particularly care for the case binding, it is a very important structure in the development of my skill.
People usually look at this book and say something like “oh, I didn’t know you made real books” Its a funny reply but I understand. This really is the style most people are used to seeing on their bookshelves. It is called a case binding and became popular sometime around the turn of 19th century. The name comes from the fact that the case or cover and the text block (the pages sewn together) are made separately and later attached via an extremely imprecise process known as “Casing In.” As opposed sewing the boards on to the text block and covering them after the fact, as in fine binding. The cloth is Iris Bookcloth and the text block is made from Fabriano Sketch paper.