Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Minor Corner Repairs

So, here are a couple of before and after pictures of the Eliot's corners. (the left ones are the before, and the right ones are the after) As you can see, the tears and holes have been fixed. This is the first step of the minor corner repair, and normally I put a finish on the repaired parts as well as the damaged surfaces after this stage. But, as I mentioned previously, I can't really do that for this particular book. I'll tame down the repaired sections a tad more (you can see the surface of the new leather is slightly rough), and fix the color of the new leather a bit in order to make it more invisible, but that's about it. Fortunately, the damaged surfaces on the original leather are still in a solid state (although it doesn't look good), so the book should be fine as long as it's handled gently. I cased in this book yesterday, and it's been in the press over night. I'll do some cosmetic works just a little bit later today, and it's done! I'll post the finished work later.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Restoration on Eliot's Works

My Master asked me to assist his work today, (For a fee, duhh!) so I haven't had a real progress on Eliot's. So far, I've finished making the new spine with a facsimile gold gilding as well as some repairs on corners. I knew the leather was gonna be a problem, but didn't really expect it to be this problematic. When I was putting a piece of leather to the tip of the damaged corners, the finish on the original leather around it started to crumble and it kept spreading even though I wasn't touching it at all. This happens sometimes, but it's rare. So, I guess all I'm going to do, in terms of corners, is to only cover the damaged part of the corner with new leather and dismiss the surface treatment on the repaired parts. Normally, I put a pigment and treatment on those repaired parts and damaged surfaces to make them look perfectly invisible, but for this book, I won't be able to do any sort of surface treatment. Well, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so not being able to make my work as perfect as possible kills me. Anyway, I'll upload some pictures of the corners I'm talking about later, but for now, I just got a picture of the spine I worked on today. I dyed the leather and did a gold gilding as close to the original as possible. It's ready for re-hinge. BUT I'm gonna have to fix it tomorrow 'cause I mistakenly put gold lines on where they are not supposed to be. (you can see them on the picture. Can you spot the difference!?) Damn, life sucks sometimes. Just like the weather here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Used Bookstore District in Mexico City

Just a few blocks from Santo Domingo Catedral in Zocalo, or the city center square, is a street filled with only used and antiquarian bookstores. I went to Merida in Yucatan peninsula at the end of last month, and stopped by Mexico City on the way back to the States to experience the Day of the Dead. As a habit, I always look for bookstores where ever I go, but I didn't expect to find this "used bookstore district" in Mexico City. So it was a pleasant surprise. Most of the books they sell were in Spanish, (of course..) but some were in English. Stores were literally jam packed with books. Those unfortunate books that didn't make it to the shelves were all clumsily stacked up from the floor to the ceiling, with warning signs saying "No Tocar!" - don't touch. hahaha..So those unfortunate books were basically doomed to stay in the bookstore forever 'cause no one can take a look at them. Well, you know, Mexico City is sitting right on the earthquake fault and get the ground shaken often. So, I wish you luck if you were in one of those bookstores, should a quake happen. You'll be buried alive in the dusty old books, or worse yet, a gigantic Diccionario de Cocina might hit you in the head. Say Sayonara~~.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eliot's Works by A. L. Burt Co.

I'm just about to work on Middlemarch by George Eliot, or should I say by Mary A. Evans... yeah, things must've been tough back then as a female professional. I feel ya, Ms. Evans.. Anyway, this book came in about 4~5 months ago, and I finally have a chance to work on it. Our backlog's pretty good considering how bad people say the economy is. Well, looks like it's a straightforward job - re-hinging with a facsimile spine, and invisible repairs on the corners and internal re-hinging. Too bad that I'm not supposed to preserve and restore the original spine. Well, to do that, it's rather costly. Anyhow, it's relatively a simple job, but the only troublesome matter I see here is the kind of leather it has. This is one of those leathers that's flaky, and when I try to lift it up for re-hinge and all, it crumbles like a clay. Gotta be careful. And, because of that and the color of the leather, making the repair invisible might be tricky. Well, gotta get a bottle of beer and get my focus on.

 // For restoration progress of this volume, go to my latter posts:
Restoration on Eliot's Works, Minor corner repairs, Elito's works complete