Monday, July 25, 2016

Land of Nakoda, 1942

I briefly mentioned onlay on my previous post, so I thought I might as well share a binding with butt-joints this time. Butt-joint, as you can imagine, is a method of which two or more pieces of cover materials are butt-jointed to form a multicolored/textured surface. It can be done in book cloth, fabric or leather as the binding shown on this post. This is such an excellent way to express your artistic creativity, as well as to recycle scrap that's too small to use for normal bindings. ;-) It's sort of like quilting, you see?

An important thing that you need to concern is the thickness of the materials. Each piece must be of the same thickness, or the surface won't be flat. And make sure to cut each piece precisely and butt-joint the edges seamlessly. - you don't want to see any gaps between the patterns!

This book is about Sioux Indians, and the client asked me to create a design that reflects their traditional hide paintings used for crafts such as parfleches. Well, their geometric patterns and graphics are perfect for a butt-joint binding, so I’ve decided to use the method along with onlays. - the red banners are onlayed and the zigzag background consists of butt-jointed kid and calf hides.

This is an autographed, first edition copy of Land of Nakoda, The Story of the Assiniboine Indians, by James L. Long and William Standing. (1942)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Bertuchs' Bilderbuch für Kinder

One of the frustrating medical conditions I've developed is sudden trembling / painful cramps of my hands and fingers, which had gotten so bad a few years ago that I really had to take time off from work for a long long time. The thing is, you can't bind a book when your hands are screwed up. It's the worst thing that can happen to a bookbinder.

This particular condition has gotten better these days, so the last few months, I decided to work on books that required relatively heavy tooling. This is one of them; Bilderbuch für Kinder by F. J. Bertuchs. Though my hands' spasm bullshit had gotten quieter and less frequent, a slight trembling tends to start whenever my mind focuses on my fingers, and the more I focus, the bigger the trembling becomes.. It's a strange medical mystery, and I tell you what; IT'S F***ING ANNOYING!  (excuse me for my French..)

Anyway, one of our regular clients brought this three-volume set of Bertuchs' Bilderbuch für Kinder a few years ago, - just around the time I started getting really sick, and it has been put aside until now due to my absence. I feel absolutely horrible about this delay, but now it's done! He brought a picture of a set of volumes (pictured left) and asked for a brand new leather binding just like that. As you see on the picture, the volume numbers are tooled on onlay; a thinly skived leather is trimmed in shape and glued directly onto the surface, then the edge is tooled blind or in gold afterwards. It's a common practice, but I don't think I've shown an example of onlay on my blog before, so I decided to post this work here this time. You can have fun with onlay for your personal project for sure! But make sure to skive the leather well, and tool the edge afterwards. Or, the leather piece will peel off easily, and let me just be frank; it just simply doesn't look good. ;-)

 Bilderbuch für Kinder, translates as "picture book for children" in German, is filled with lots of coolest picture plates. I'll try to put some of them up on my blog when I get a chance. ;-)
The volumes have been picked up before I took photos of the picture plates.. So I can't put them on my blog. Sorry!