Bookbinding

Sewing Over Cords #3

After the relative success binding the two small samplers, I decided to make some more adventurous (for me) coverboards. I got stuck right in and forgot to take some photos of the construction. These first ones are simple pieces of 3mm greyboard, with cutouts of handmade textured paper and strips of leather, liberally painted over with red/black acrylic paint, globs of PVA and sprinkles of sugar and cracked pepper (for added textures)

The sugar dissolves into the PVA but remains crystalline around the edges. The pepper is just to add some looser bits onto the surface. The ideas is to layer more paint over and then distress the surfaces. The intention is to take off the looser material and reveal the layers below without causing too much damage to the surrounding material. I am hoping that this little experiment works – never tried this before, but thought that it would make this process a little more interesting.

The second boards are covered in a textured ‘dot’ paper in a swirly pattern, ripped off on one edge and given a splodging of straight yellow acrylic around the edges. Again with the sugar and pepper…

When this was dry I gave everything a good coat of black.

In some areas I over painted and allowed the paint to ‘sit’ on the surface. Elsewhere, I deliberately under painted to leave traces of the colours beneath.

So when the covers are dry (the next day – I make, write and post very much out of sequence) I set to work distressing them. The first stage is to rough them up a bit and take off some of the surface shine with a bit of sandpaper.

This also begins to reveal the colour layers beneath.All of the covers got a vigorous rub down with a damp cloth too which fetched off a little moe of the black and removed the dust from sanding.

I had the idea of attaching something a bit random to the centre part of cover. After a bit of a headscratch and a root through my odds and ends box, I came across these tiny ceramic tiles that were left over from a student experiment a year or so ago. There were about half a dozen left over that were going to be thrown away so I asked her if I could recycle them into something (She said yes – thanks Christina!)  They are very slim, stamp-sized squares made from poured slip with a screen print of  part of a dollar bill.

After choosing one I marked the holes and drilled through the coverboards with an Archimedes drill and cut a recess between the two holes on the back to hide the thread.

A few trial threadings led to this arrangement.

The loose ends were passed through each of the holes drilled into the cover where they were tightly knotted.

The little tile now sits firmly in the centre panel and adds an interesting contrast to the black and red, along with the difference in surface textures:

I need to work out how I’m going to fasten these boards to the books using the cords now. I haven’t thought that far ahead – this is very much an idea developing rather than a well planned process.

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4 thoughts on “Sewing Over Cords #3

  1. Hi

    Just found your blog, I brought a bookbinders press earlier in the year, I thought that I had got a bargin for £120… The upside is that I didn’t have to repair it, just as well I’m useless at that stuff.

    Your handmade books are beautiful, I am so inspired.

  2. Thankyou for your kind comments. There are time when I were more inclined to spend more and do less restoration – especially after a couple of hours in the freezing cold with an angle grinder this afternoon!

    I am hoping to make more books soon – I have been a bit preoccupied with printmaking and letterpress of late and have really enjoyed these experimenting with these little books.

    Your proofing press looks interesting too – I would like to see how you get it up an running.

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