3.16.2008

Book-a-Day: Day 4

I've been moving -- slowly, I know -- through the products of my BookWorks class with Dan Essig. On the fourth day (this series is beginning to sound like an installment from Genesis) our focus was a concertina binding. Think of it as one, long continuous spine-guard that covers the spine-edge of each signature. The concertina adds particular strength to the binding. Folding the concertina EXACTLY is one of the challenges of making this book. In the photo to the right you can see the folds of the concertina between each signature.

It's not an easy binding to stitch, since you're trailing the concertina while you're attaching each signature, but it gets easier with practice (and, of course, as you keep attaching signatures, the remaining amount of concertina lessens). We used a coptic stitch with bent needles. Dan doesn't like curved needles, but straight needles don't do the job, so we softened the metal of our needles over a candle flame and bent the ends at a 45% angle with pliers. Personally, I love curved needles for coptic bindings.

The cover was attached in a style very similar to the one we used for the papyrus book on Day Two. With this fourth book, when we covered the front and back cover-boards with paper, we left a "flap" on each cover on the spine side. We sewed through the inside fold of each flap, treating the cover like another signature. We used Cave paper for our covers, so it was strong enough to withstand being sewn through. If you were using a lighter-weight paper, you'd want to reinforce the area with a material such as Tyvek, which is strong and thin.

We also practiced making insets in the cover (indentations made by lifting layers of board with an exacto knife before we covered the boards). I adhered leftover bits of paper I'd painted and used for signatures in an earlier book.


Dan's primer on concertina-folding

We had great fun, but worked pretty intensely too.

9 comments:

Carol said...

I can't wait for each installment, each book seems more wonderful than the last. You've made this beautifully, you must be so delighted with the books you made with Dan.

Riverlark said...

BG, is this the same structure that we struggled with in the last days of Laura's class at Penland last year? I know we used an accordion binding for the signatures, but I'm not sure if the stitch is the same. Any enlightenment this time?

jacky said...

hey clara,

have so enjoyed your book journey... these are inspiring...and beautifully made...AND i loved the x-files as well.

blessings,
justthecook

Deckled Edge Bindery said...

The info you pass along from Dan's class has been so interesting. I've learned so much. Thanks for taking the time to post it. I can't wait to put all of this new info to use.

Deckled Edge Bindery said...

The info you pass along from Dan's class has been so interesting. I've learned so much. Thanks for taking the time to post it. I can't wait to put all of this new info to use.

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Wendy said...

Still green with envy. I have made a similar concertina structure but not then coptic stitched it. This is gorgeous.

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meredeth said...

a) whenever i want to know which awesome new style to learn, i can just come here. next up? french link stitch. (^_^)

b) i am overwhelmed with feelings of jealousy.

c) these books are really wonderful, especially this concertina one. great job!