The big bible has landed!
It was a bit of a race to get things done in the short time available, but by 10 to 9 the bible was ready to go home with me. I trimmed and then glued the end papers into place, trimmed an extra page I'd put in to make things look calmer so the illuminated frontispiece could show itself off nicely. Then the work on the spine could begin.
The idea is to recover the bare spine with leather - which had been thoroughly soaked to soften it and then dabbed dry - wrapping it around the edges of the cover boards to connect everything together. This was tricky as they are crumbling to bits on all the corners. The brass edges I "mended" have come adrift in two places as the board can't sustain the pressure - I will have to have another think and I'm thinking papier maché made with wood glue so I get a stronger corner and can nail the brass in place against something.
I did my best... picked out the ridges made by the original stitching and pressed the leather into place. Wiping the excess glue off the leather as I went. Then the old spine that I carefully picked off months ago was glued back into the right place on top of the black leather. The old leather is so destroyed and crumbly, it had to be handled very gently, I brushed the glue on and a piece of leather came away... oops! It was like doing a jigsaw puzzle with the last 4 or 5 little pieces being fitted into the correct places. And this is what it looks like now.
It's at home now, recovering! Well actually, it's drying. But I have left it by itself in a darkened room as it has been subjected to some fairly radical surgery and since it is an old lady of 160 I think it will be a few days before she can be opened and shown to the world. I even remembered to put a couple of cotton ribbons into the spine, so places can be marked when reading, one for the old testament and another for the new. AN innovation, as there were none in the original version.
I got none of the other jobs I wanted to do done, but there is time to do them at home in peace and quiet. I am glad to have done this renovation work on the bible, it has taught me a lot of new tricks that are very handy to know, and I feel I can renovate a book with a lot more understanding and skill than when I began. I'm glad I have been able to do some creative, imaginative bookbinding alongside as this was not a job where I could go off the rails. Even though there were choices to be made, the palette was very limited. It has to do with respect and authenticity, and appropriateness. The extra shows where I have been working, and in the foreground you can see a very long book that is in need of intensive care! And now the course is over till the autumn, which feels a little sad - but the gardens are calling us all, especially Sven-Eric who has been featured in a gardening magazine as his tiny garden is a fabulous jewel!
In other news:
Today I did half an hour of yoga, 45 minutes of meditation and writing and tai chi on the hill above the Ångerman river that I blipped a little while back. It felt wonderful to be on top of the world training ancient Chinese moves in the sunshine. We had a drink and a long conversation about abundance and how we need to decide what jobs are priority number one, two and three before we launch into anything. We are so lucky to have such wild beauty within minutes of home.