Sunday, March 9, 2014

A bookbinding class is in my future

As part of a larger project I wanted to make a small watercolor book.  Since I had never done any of this before, I read up on bookbinding on-line and purchased a simple kit.  I assumed this would be a quick way to learn everything I needed to know to make my watercolor book.  I was very wrong.

The online tutorials I found provided a plethora of ways to make books.  It was a little like going down a rabbit hole.  I discovered many interesting and unusual types of books.  Books with windows, pop-ups, flags, accordion folds, and origami folds.  Books that used buttons, sticks, leather and metal.  There are really a lot of cool book structures.  While very interesting, they were not what I needed for this project.

In contrast to the expanse of information I found on-line, I hoped the kit would provide me with an in depth view of how a specific type of book is made.  The book kit contained very basic instructions, backing board to make the book cover, and a group of signatures ready for binding.  Following the directions I laid out the backing board on the cover and glued it in place. Then I glued the signatures to the inside of the back cover, then the inside of the front cover.  Now the closed assembled book was weighted and left to dry.  When I went to open the dried book it would not open more then a few inches.  This was not right.  I detached the pages from the cover and started over.  This time I glued the pages to the cover while the cover was completely open.  The finished book would open flat, but it wouldn't close.  The paper around the hinge folded and bunched.  This was not right either.

Frustrated I gathered several bound books and started to really look at the mechanics of how books work.  How the pages are attached to the covers.  How the spine flexes and bends when the book is opened.  How all the parts fit together to make a book that can be opened and closed (something I always took for granted).  

So my first effort at bookbinding showed me there was more to learn then I had thought.  As luck would have it, the John C. Campbell Folk School has classes in bookbinding and I signed up!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy,
    Love this post - exciting to hear the 'pre-visit' thoughts. SOOO excited to have met you and I hope you're now a BookBinder!