black&white book, everything is possible - an update
Dividing time between ailing
parents and home/studio/clients has been challenging and not a lot happened on
the home-front if I’m honest. This week was strangely different. I think it has
to do with the fact I last visited the old folks together with my siblings, hence
we were and are able to share the burden. This makes it sound overly heavy, which it is
and is not, in the grand scheme of things…..
I had sorted some of the stuff
in my dad’s hobby room (still quite a lot
more to go) and as my brother and I had journeyed South in his car, I could
easily transport the bookbinding paraphernalia to The Birdhut. They originally
belonged to my Danish granddad.
As some of you already know I
started experimenting with the bookmaking earlier this year. I vaguely
remembered my granddad had been into it too and my parents had kept his bookbinding
tools stored away safely for decades. I still don’t quite know what is supposed
to go where and the handwritten instructions are 1. In Danish and 2. Only describe
part of the process, not the actual apparatus set-up. So there it all is: the
box marked ‘miscellaneous’, the wooden parts that screw together, some that don’t,
several wooden planks, bits of leather, decorative paper for the insides of the
book covers, and a copper plate to boot, which I know to be completely
unrelated but I kind of know what it’s about!
Since my return I have done a little more research into the bookbinding/making process:
I watched a couple of how-to-video’s on you-tube and have browsed yet again through Esther K. Smith’s book.
I un-lost an article on Forgotten Crafts: The bookbinder, who is aptly named Kate Holland and finally got round to actually reading my photo-copied version by Norway's famous couple Arne & Carlos Make your own book (they're the ones responsible for the knit-your-own-christmas-ball-rage several years ago).
The Singer no.66 was already in place, as are the two presses, one
the gigantic roller press for printing and the smaller one for pressing & printing.
There’s lots of paper for the books I want to make. Over the years I have
managed to accumulate an assortment of block print inks together with two ink rollers.
A thick glass plate for rolling the ink was left by previous house owner!
I started by printing sheets of paper with the copper plate; this alas did not amount to much, and I picked up a couple of sweet chestnut leaves for some 'eco-style' printing: this was more like it and I left them to hang and dry overnight. A day later having decided I was going to make a book with these prints, I folded the paper in half, in half again and machine-stitched over this second fold. I cut open the first fold [still with me?] and I had four so-called signatures.