Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Bookbinding - big bible, broken dictionary

Two jobs at once? Well, waiting is involved when bookbinding and I have found it handy to have two things on the go so I don't waste precious time in the same room as our teacher. He can solve all dilemmas and sort out all problems, it is a really big help to have the fount of knowledge about bookbinding to hand as we work! We call out, "I'm queueing!" and Sven-Eric keeps a running list in his head and goes round helping us solve our various problems, some caused by our own actions. I'm getting the hang of double checking when I'm uncertain if I've got the message. It pays to ask that extra question - hen I fee style it often leads me astray...

The main blip shows the rather magnificent bible with a new layer of (smelly) bone glue, plus wheat based paste, plus tapes and cloth bindings. Now we wait till the 20th when we have our next workshop. There are many interesting things in this blip, at least I find them interesting.  On the right there is a pile of bits and pieces - they will be the covers for the four small notebooks that are drying on the table. The tools at the back of the work surface aren't mine, I'm working at my teacher's table, and he generously lends his tools to all and sundry. The white, falt tools are various bones, used for pressing and smoothing. I have my own, bought in London for a fiver and very much MY tool. (I wouldn't be lending it to anyone....)

The black lump in front of the clamped bible, that's one of the many weights that we use to press newly glued things, folded things and so on. I love these weights! They have a handy handle, and the work really well. (I have my three old flat irons, but really they are a less useful shape.) The pale green table is actually a cutting mat, every table is covered with this surface, so you never need to go and find a surface to cut on, it's always there. Brilliant.

It was a very good day! The bible is progressing, what you don't see here is the 16 sheets that were loose and are now pasted into 8 double sheets. They are dampened down in the join, folded with matching leading edges, and they are currently residing in the huge press that I blipped last time I was busy bookbinding. 16 pages with different things on each side = 32 sides. They had to be pasted up in the right order to stitch them in in groups of 4 double spreads. The chances of making a mistake were there from the start. I checked, and double checked, and managed to get every single page of words correctly aligned and pasted up.... but the picture page that starts the bible off, well that one, with Moses, was facing the wrong way! What a wally!! To get it right you just dampen the pasted strip and peel it off, and do it all again. I love being able to correct a mistake so easily, it is less straightforward a lot of the time!

The second job of the day was rescuing Rose's beloved dictionary which had fallen into two halves, lost some pages and was in a sorry state. It had been taped together in a rough sort of way but it wasn't a pretty sight, nor was it functional. As my teacher said, you couldn't make it worse! It was another job that gave me a lot of opportunities for learning. A heat gun melts the sticky on the plastic tape, a rubber removes residual sticky stuff, A plastic-glued spine can be persuaded to stick to cloth re-enforcements, and you can do a simple job with raw edges that still looks pretty good. A paper-back disaster really can become a hard back survivor. I took the end result round to Rose and she was so delighted she gave me a batch of chocolate chip cookies she'd just made! (The spine was so tatty that I decided to leave if off the book, but I made it into a bookmark in case it was important to my friend.)

What a wonderful day, learning and finding things out and watching the others doing interesting things. It's a lovely way to spend time. I now have the raw materials to make 4 small notebooks as well. 6 if I sew the other two piles of paper... I will probably remember to make the fly-leaves properly on those, unlike the first 4 where my brain froze and I screwed up a bit....

Went food shopping on the way home and can report that no-one seemed to have got the idea os the 2 metre rule, there were no indications of where to stand in the queue and there were groups of people standing around, drinking coffee and generally getting too close for comfort. In Kramfors the other day, there was much more awareness of the "rules" - we've all had the same information, so I wonder why there's such a noticeable difference. That's enough for another week! Back to my self-imposed isolation in the snowy village. I have a feeling Easter is going to stroll past as if it is a perfectly ordinary weekend - unless I think of something exciting and appropriate to do to mark the days.

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