Growlygracepress's Blog

The Hand Made Book in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
November 7, 2018, 8:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

thread and wax

Tomorrow I am going to talk to a group of students about bookbinding skills and techniques it’s a small group and we are going to sit around a table and fold, sew, glue and paste paper, board and cloth. We will talk about the handmade book and what that really “means” as opposed to the machine-made book. This is the day one of a two day workshop.

On the first day we are going to focus on securing the block by which I mean looking at sewing techniques that will keep the pages in order we have created, we will look at the function of the end papers not just as part of the mechanism of the book but as art work in their own right that celebrate and concludes the book’s contents. ‘Steady on Deirdre that’s giddy stuff for this time in the morning’

Anyway the point of all gibberish today is for me to get it straight in my head about my intentions and to do a check list about what I need to do today for tomorrow to run the way I want to.

One day is going to be securing contents the next day is going to be protection of the contents by means of a boards, hinges and a suitable cover which can be decorated or not, fundamentally it will be about the function and purpose of a mechanism that allows the reader to access the contents and that the contents are protected.

All well and good then however we are not in a bookbinding studio so we don’t have access to presses and the usual suspects in tools and what we make will have to reflect that.

So today I have to do the following in no particular order.

I have to make some samples of little books. We are going to start by making pamphlets just to warm up and play with bone folders, needles and thread. We will make then make little books with end papers, books with covers, books with labels and books with bands.

I need to find all the examples I have previously made. (This might be problematic as I didn’t think I would ever do a workshop again and I might have binned a lot of stuff)

I need to round-up all the samples I have of artist books, zines and the likes and again I might have killed them all in a drive by shooting.

I need to make some blocks of wax for thread, I need to find all the linen threads (including the coloured stuff which students love and again I might have murdered in a I find the concept of any thread other than unbleached linen as unnatural)

I will find all the Jeffery papers, booklets, books and promotions that I have and share it with the students as it’s wonderful.

So on top of all this going on I have to go out and buy suitable sewing needles and I have to go to the sawmill to buy wood to make clamps to be used to saw cut sewing stations and to glue up spines.

I also want to go to the allotment and stare at the compost heap because there is a whole big family of rats living in it and I am about to go to war with them and I intend to win.



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