Edition Binding is something that might be difficult to produce, especially when you have to make a number of identical sets. However, it can be very easily overcome with a work flow that is efficient and precise for the bookbinder who does everything by hand. I made a limited edition of 5 copies of my first volume of my resume, done single section, case bound, entirely in a day. What best way to present myself as a bookbinder, but a book that is designed, printed and bound by me.
A Finishing Press is a very important equipment in the bindery. I was able to get a proper beech finishing press when I was in London, but before that, I use these two small presses which were made by my partner, Louis, using simple screws and 2 strips of wood. I am spoilt by this beech press, but nonetheless, when there is a need for more than one book to be made, it is always good to make-do with what we have.
This is the Book of Book Spines and also works as an instant shelf of books, with just one book. I made this using the Disappearing Spine Bradel Binding and moulded each individual spine with boards, watercolour paper and lots of sanding. Each spine is covered in leather and different spine decoration techniques are explored. This book was a great feat but I was definitely very satisfied after completing it. This took me almost a month and half to complete, with a little break during Christmas and New Year’s while I was in London.
My absolutely lovely and quirky tutor, Mark and me, outside the studio on a sunny and cheerful morning, on the day I left London for Singapore. I will be back there, when the sun is shining even brighter this summer, in July. Looking forward and can’t wait to be back in Studio 5.
The Split Flap Clock is a recent revival of the Split Flap display often seen in railway stations and airports to display the transport timetable. They are called Solari after the display manufacturer Solari di Udine in Italy. In other parts of central Europe, it is called the Pragotron after a Czech manufacturer.
After 6 months in England, I came home to a lot of things that have stopped working, including this Split Flap Clock, that was bought some years ago from Habitat in London. I decided to do a little take-apart and see how the mechanics worked on the inside.
The Split Flaps work pretty much like a flap book, which in one of its various uses, as a namecard holder on an office desk. The flaps are held together with tabs inserted into 3 wheels and when turned, gravity works and pulls the flaps down. Depending on how you turn the wheel, away or towards yourself, you can determine how the content is presented to you. As in this case, in numbers, days or months.
There are, I would think, various book artists who have made Split Flap books. I am quite tempted to try this soon!
On 22 & 23 January, I travelled from Southwest London to East London to the London Centre of Book Arts at Hackney Wick for lessons in Onion Skin binding by Benjamin Elbel. When I chose my colours for my onion pamphlet bind, I did not realise that I was going to end up with an onion that looks like orange peel. But I am overall happy with the colours I chose. The second day, we made the Onion Skin Album which was a little more fiddly. My mind was already dashing in all directions, thinking about variations to this binding.
Print Weekend: When a bookbinder goes into the process before the binding and print a book from the beginning. Before, as a graphic designer in an advertising agency, I used to complain about clients wanting to change the leading or kerning or even the colour of the copy. But that simply requires a click of the mouse or quick typing on the keyboard. But setting type by hand on the chase, is a painstaking effort and every little move, is a domino effect on the type, which just falls over into a jumble of letters. Working on my first printed book and looking forward to binding it.
I have been in London for about 4 months now and the first 3 months were dedicated to working really hard to take part in the Designer Bookbinders Competition 2013. It is the first full leather bound book I made, and also my first attempt on fine binding and tooling decorations. It is my greatest joy to know that I am chosen, among all the entries, to be one of the 45 books that are exhibited at St Bride’s Foundation in London. It is currently on display at St Bride’s Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ from 13th to 24th January.
Human spine on the spine of the book. I created this using the Bradel Bind with disappearing spine, featuring a print of a scientific diagram of a human spine on fair goat leather, on the spine of the book. The box completes the entire picture, with prints of the human rib cage, on kraft paper, giving the box a Utilitarian finish. The entry of the box is made with fair goat leather, and the inner linings of the box has matching prints of the human anatomy.
Looking forward to explore this idea a little further and hopefully, something exciting to come in the near future!
'Waiting' Binding, a style of temporary binding for a text block that is, of course, waiting for its binding to be done. I have 5 of my miniatures, of 20 x 25mm waiting for me to continue work with them. And I decided to use some of the scrap floatage papers I have, to try this technique. I would say, it is definitely a very effective and fast way to create a simple cover for a text block.
I would like to credit Cristina Balbiano d’Aramengo for the maquette I learned this from at the ‘Readable Objects’ exhibition at The Aram Gallery.
Since I came to London, I have been always missing out on Bookbinding exhibitions but this time, I managed catch this just as it opened. Readable Objects, not only is an exhibition of bookbinding and bookarts, but I simply love that there is a table of maquettes of the experimental bindings as well as a test of a certain structure for a particularly tricky textblock. I spent a long time, looking at the ‘Waiting’ Binding and I think I am going to try that soon~!
Today is the 30th lesson at Studio 5. I have spent a whole month, working on a book. Even though I would very much love to put pictures of this book right now, I can only do so in January, hopefully when this book gives me good news in the new year. It has been a very steep learning curve for me, learning new skills, correcting the way I hold and use my tools, as well as, understanding materials that I was once afraid of. Mark has been rather patient with me, coaxing me to push my boundaries, going to the edge, but not fall over. In his words, I find a lot of truth and years and years of experience and wisdom.
dddots turned 2 today!
A post by kjung woodworking to show our collaboration and the making of the shelf for my books.
Adelene was invited to be part of an exhibition called ‘Mi casa su casa’. It was a collaboration amongst various artists from various disciplines. She finished her piece and wanted me to build a small shelf for her. I suggested making a small shelf that mirrors her art work and that started our own little collaboration!
I cut a few pieces of pine to size, shaped them, and finished them with a thin coat of walnut oil.
It has been almost a month since I started having lessons with Mark at Studio 5, and things have been very exciting and overwhelming. To my dismay of not constantly taking enough photos, and updating this blog. But for updates, just this Tuesday, 8 October, I was at St Brides Foundation, for Mark’s lecture “Liverpool, Doors and Coconuts” and it was really refreshing to listen to how his inspirations for his work evolve from pub talk. Just today, 10 October, a visit to Shepherds Bookbinders to split leather for a book. List of things I have done so far, but technology seems to not “get in the way” and I always forget that I should take more pictures and blog more. Oh well, more to come.