Sunday, May 29, 2016

A re-do

A while ago I was asked to make a special presentation book. The pages were simple printed from the computer pages but the cover was going to be nice. The story was that it couldn't just be presented in a plastic folder.

So I spent  quite a few days peppering the covers and then doing a 12-needle single page binding.  For various reasons, the book caused me grief; and I ended up unstitching it and then there were three attempts to get a Perspex slipcase that fitted. You know those projects where it seems everything that can go wrong, does?

I said farewell to it and was pleased to have finished it, and have it out of the studio and into the world where it belonged.


The book came back.

It had been sent away for approval of the contents and somebody higher up the line had said they needed to insert several more pages - at the front, the middle and the back.

And then they would need it quite quickly.

The poor local fellow just didn't even want to have to tell me. He was so apologetic! So I said that it was possible but I might need to do it differently (with memories of the complicated stitching still prominent in my memory) and we agreed we would have a go.

I re-printed all the pages including the new ones and together Barry and I set about doing perfect binding (a la our style, as opposed to proper and perfect perfect binding).

Here I am gluing the spine with the book held  in our very make-do system.

The glued spine after it dried.

And then the tarlatan glued to the covers.

Mary paring back the leather for the spine cover.

Attaching the leather cover.

So we then put it under weights and crossed our fingers, left it overnight and returned...

To find that two pages slipped out - they were heavier weight and the glue somehow didn't hold them.

It felt like the first book all over again - just when you think you are almost there, it falls apart. Oh my goodness.

So we tried a new approach, a last ditch effort, and measured up and sawed into the pages, to include string and glue to hold them again. I am always slightly anxious when I see a saw and a book in such close proximity; but Barry is so good with a saw.

And here are the glued in strings standing up before snipping. With the remnant of glue from having removed the leather spine cover...

We went on to add the leather spine cover again and hoped we had it.  Almost. The same two pages appeared tenuous even with this, so we then did some more gluing.

And then it held.

The book  has gone (again). It was collected and is ready for signing and the strings above are the last photo I have of it. The funnies thing about it, is that I never even photographed the final!

I think my subconscious just needed it gone.

The local guy was really happy with it and I liked how it looked; but boy I am OK if I don't see it again in a hurry... except at the award ceremony.


  1. There are some projects that you just need tosee the back of!

  2. I have to admire your perseverance and innovation! I think I would have been tempted to give up, but you kept going and I'm sure the result was beautiful.

    1. It did look good Sharmon but oh my goodness it felt like a saga!

  3. 10 points for perseverance Fiona...but I guess you had no choice. What a pain!

    1. You got it it Ho! All done and all happy but a bit testing one could say... Go well.

  4. oh boy! that's a beast of a book.... I think I would have been contemplating a nice hooky bonfire long before a hand over :D xxxxx

    1. That's not to say bonfires didn't enter my imaginings Ronnie... ;- )
      Soiled to bedding other things for now!

  5. Oh, well done, Fiona, for finally getting it out the door! What a team you and Barry make! Go well...


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