Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1733

This is An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, compiled by Nathan Bailey, printed for J.J.&P. Knapton,etc. (1733). It was missing the front board, so the client wanted a brand new facsimile binding. It's impossible to exactly recreate the original embossing design as we don't have the exact ornaments. (Technically, it's NOT impossible if you scan the ornament, clean the graphic on the computer, and make a metal plate. This will cost a fortune, though.) There used to be a pair of red and white sewn headbands, which I can tell based on the tagging thread inside the book, so I've sewn headbands with burgundy and rusty green threads. I chose the colors because they're the ones red & white threads will become after 300 years. You don't want them to shout "NEW!!"at you on an antique looking book like this, yeah? There have been some inquiries about how I dye the leather, but I'll get to it when I get a chance. Anyway, I've got another book to restore for this client, so I'm gonna work on it now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Works of Hesiod, 1635

Last week, I was looking at the shelves where we store books waiting to be restored, thinking what to work on next. This little book in Greek caught my eyes. Something about Greek letters intrigues me. It turned out that the book was on Hesiod's works. I don't know where it was manufactured, but I believe it was printed and bound in England based on the style of the binding, and the publishing date mentioned as 1635. Anyway, the client wanted a brand new leather case with false raised cords on the spine, (instead of simple gold lines. No skiver, either) and custom facsimile leather dyeing. After creating tutorial videos on bookbinding, I've found that a lot of people are interested in sewing headbands. So I posted a picture of a type of sewn headband on this post. This is a conservation style headband, which basically has a single color thread (usually not silk) simply wrapped around a core. Tagging and tying method are the same as other headbanding. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Leather Clamshell Box & Folder

This is the job I had been working on for the last couple of weeks. They were done last week and have been picked up by the client already. The client had the original hand written musical notes of some of the world's famous composers, and he wanted archival leather clamshell box and folder made for each manuscript. Each document was only 2~3mm thick, (a few sheets of papers) so I had to add some extra thickness on the base. Anyway, the actual documents aren't in the boxes or folders on the pictures as the client took them with him. They are too priceless to leave with someone else! That really troubled me psychologically though. I mean, not having the actual content when making boxes got me nervous. We, bookbinders make things such as boxes thoroughly based on the content in terms of measurement and we use it during the process. Anyway, while I was making these clamshell and folders, somehow, I really got uneasy about the original measurement of the documents I took. The thought of "What if I mis-measured the documents!?!?" got me... (I even had a nightmare about the documents not fitting in my work!!!) So, I had to ask the client to bring the documents again for me to re-measure.. I just couldn't risk anything. (After all, the material had cost a fortune, let alone hours of my labor...) Anyway, though the actual documents aren't on the pictures, they were notes of Cole Porter (a collection of his songs), Jean Sibelius (Malinconia, 1900), Edward Elgar (Enigma Variations, 1898–1899), Franz Joseph Haydn (Qual Dubbio Ormai, 1764).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Basic construction of a book case

Response to a comment by BP on Sewing Headbands Session 2 :
So, your question was:
"I want to ask is how you make the front cover of the book and how to adjust the back of the book."
Well, if I got your question right, you are basically asking how a book cover is made. I just made a quick graphical instructions on how a basic book cover/case is constructed. (see the graphics on the left.) I hope they'll give you some ideas. 
I haven't made a tutorial video on case making yet as I'm pretty preoccupied with work at this moment, but I will start making videos again as soon as I get a chance. So stay tuned! And thanks for your kind words, BP!