Giles’ Photo Album

Giles’ Photo Album: Spine Detail

My First Foray into Fine Binding*

I made my little godson Giles this photo album during a course in Bookbinding I did at Amazing Paper a few years ago. I had opportunity to create a leather-bound book, and I thought that I might as well create a photo album for my new nephew and godson.

To be different and get away from one of the standard paper sizes, I decided to create the album from 25 black A3 sheets (420 × 297mm) cut lengthways (420 × 148.5mm). The sheets were actually 25mm wider than standard A3 to allow a fold-over and still get a full A3 width. After scoring and folding each of the 50 pages, I placed each one inside the other to create 25 sections, which I then lovingly pierced and sewed with lovely red linen thread. Next I glued tracing paper, cut to give a 3mm square, into each section. After gluing, I rounded and backed, and created the hollow-back, and dressed the spine.

Giles’ Photo Album: Cover Detail

Because of the unusual size of the book, and because I was doing a leather binding, I laced the covers in with the tapes I had sewn on to. I then proceeded to cut the embossing for the front and back covers. The rest of the process was pretty standard, and I won’t go into too much detail.

Needless to say, Giles’ parents loved the photo album.

Giles’ Photo Album: Interior Giles’ Photo Album: Cover

* Insofar as any binding with leather is considered fine

Sharon’s Sketchbook

Sharon’s Sketchbook: Interior

My wife, Sharon, is a wonderful artist. She makes pottery, she paints, and she draws. Her drawings are mainly done with technical-style-pens: 0.005mm diameter and up. She loves her pens. She also loves nice bleed-proof paper. She had a little store-bought sketchbook that she filled up a little before Christmas. I, being the nice guy I am, thought I would surprise her by making her a new sketchbook. I tried to get it done before Christmas, but because I was trying to make some orange book cloth for the spine, and because I kept stuffing it up, I only managed to get it done just recently.

The first drawing she did is shown above. If you can’t guess, we are expecting a baby—that is the meaning behind the beautiful drawing above.

Bookbinding Nerd Details

The book is a simple case binding, 10 sections of 4 sheets were sewn onto tapes, then the spine was glued, endpapers attached (I made the endpapers from two sheets of Yuzen paper each: I tipped them together), and the block trimmed with my finishing press and plough. The last step in preparing the book block was to line the spine, and glue on headbands.

I then went through many experiments with making some book cloth. I bought some nice orange cotton, and some mulberry paper. After many failures in which the fabric was seemingly glued successfully only to have it come away from the mulberry paper when I tried to glue it to the boards, I gave up and bought some nice orange buckram and used that instead.

After cutting the boards and spine-piece to size and sanding them, I glued on the buckram. I then cut out the design for the cover and glued that to the front board. Some blue momigami was then pasted to both the front and back boards.

After leaving this to dry over night, the next morning, I cased the book in, pressed it with my pressing boards, weighted it, and left it to dry for the rest of the day.

The result is an awesome, personalised sketchbook that should give my wife many hours of enjoyment.

Sharon’s Sketchbook: Endpaper Sharon’s Sketchbook: Cover Detail Sharon’s Sketchbook: Spine Detail I Sharon’s Sketchbook: Spine Detail II