dendritejungle: (Default)
[personal profile] dendritejungle
You know, last week just pretty much sucked and I'm bloody sick of renovation blather, so let me tell you about what I *am* excited about right now: the miniature bookbinding course I took this past weekend! :D

I know that some people have been interested in the past about how this whole bookbinding thing works, so I've taken the time to put together a little picspam explanation of what, exactly, has gone into these babies.

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We started with a double-sided sheet that would ultimately be our textblock. It was written and formatted by our instructor.

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So we cut the sheet into pages and folded them in half...

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...before arranging them in signatures of three pages each. (Getting them in order with no page numbers took a bit of doing!)

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Next was marking where the holes needed to be...

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...so I could stitch the signatures together...

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...into two adorably tiny textblocks. *pinches their figurative cheeks*

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Next was using this freakin' ADORABLE little press along with a "plough", a device that shaves paper, to make the edges of the textblock all smooth and even.

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Like so! You can see a sample before (top edge) and after (fore-edge) of the beauty of the plough. (It's a fiddly little fucker, though, lemme tell you.)

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Ta-daaah! Two beautifully ploughed books. *coughifyoudon'tlooktoocloselycough*

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Next up, rounding and backing, the process of...well, making the spine round. Back in the little press goes the book!

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Now that the textblock is all set, it's time for the covers. Here they are, freshly cut and the edges closest to the spine properly bevelled (if you look closely).

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One book would be casebound in leather, and the other would have a simplified French style of binding. Here I cut the leather for the full leather case (in blue, wheee!)...

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...before paring it to get it super thin.

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How thin? Well, here's the before and after. The after (on the left) is thin enough that you can see the pores of the skin just below the surface of the leather.

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Some work later, the leather is folded around the boards and spine, and then "filled in" with some extra card and leather to keep the thickness of the leather from making the final product irregularly thick.

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In the meantime, we made some mini leather endbands (could they be any cuter?!?!) and infilled the rest of the spine with the extra leather for the same reason.

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After making the leather spine for the French casing...


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...we used the stamping press to create titles on the spines.

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After cleaning up the stamping a bit (here I'm scraping off a bit of excess gold)...

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...we rounded the leather spines themselves so they would fit nicely to the rounded textblocks.

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After attaching the decorative paper covers and spine for the French binding, we let that dry and turned out attention to...FINISHING. OMG FINISHING.

FINISHING IS SO FREAKIN' NERVE-WRACKING, GUYS. Sorry, to back up: "finishing" is applying the decorative tooling - here blind stamping (pressing a hot tool to imprint the leather), gold tooling (pressing a hot tool with gold foil to both imprint the leather and leave gold impressions) and onlay (literally laying extra, super-thin pieces of leather on) - to the otherwise finished book. And it's TRICKY. Because you have to create the same imprint again and again without SEEING where you're putting the tool because the $%^&!! gold foil is in the way. Which is VERY STRESSFUL if you've NEVER DONE IT BEFORE and don't want to, you know, WRECK WHAT YOU'VE JUST SPENT FOURTEEN HOURS WORKING ON.

WHICH I DID. The instructor fixed it the best he could, and I keep trying to tell myself it's a first time and relax, but it was pretty distressing. :( Anyway. So far no-one's noticed. I mean, it's freakin' GOLD TOOLING, BABY.

Anyway. Here's the blind tooling:
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Cutting out the onlay:
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...and prepping the surface to receive the onlay *coughwithmycrappygoldtoolinginevidencecough*
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Next was pasting the endsheets down to attach the case to the textblock:
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...and doing likewise on the French simplified binding:
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...and then pressing the hell out of them as they dry.
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The final step is burnishing, which creates a subtle but distictive sheen to the finished product as you can (maybe?) see here.
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Burnishing my baby...
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...until it's all shiny
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And my blue baby too.
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All done!
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(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neeuqdrazil.livejournal.com
OMG, sweetie, these are amazing! I'm in awe.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 03:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
*twirls you* I can't wait to show you. You will LOVE them! And read them in about two seconds. ;D

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anidada.livejournal.com
THAT IS SO COOL. *gobsmacked*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Why thank you! *beams*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 03:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mycrazyhair.livejournal.com
That looks like an absolutely insane amount of work for a really cool result. Nice!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Insane? Cool? My thoughts exactly. *rueful grin* Glad you liked - and I hope you're on the mend!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 05:49 am (UTC)
caffienekitty: (Squee Dean)
From: [personal profile] caffienekitty
OMG THEY'RE SO CUTE!!! \o/ And they really are books with actual words and stuff too! *makes dolphin noises*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
AREN'T THEY THOUGH?!?! I kept squeeing throughout the workshop. It was undignified and probably annoying, heh.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 06:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nebulein.livejournal.com
Wow, that's pretty awesome! How did they take to make? All in all?
I can imagine that all the stuff must have been really fiddly. If I ever get into book-binding, I'm starting with something bigger ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Thanks! :D The workshop was two full days, so sixteen hours in all. But some of that was waiting around for equipment to be free, so I imagine it would have worked out to something like 12 or 13 hours of solid work.

The one nice thing about working small is that if you screw something up, you've used so few materials it doesn't feel like such a waste. But yes, it was INCREDIBLY fiddly. *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unhobbityhobbit.livejournal.com
Gosh, that was all really unteresting. And the outcomes are so cute too!

It's a bit surreal seeing how big your fingers are in comparison in all the pictures.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Heh, I'm going to assume you meant "interesting"? ;) If so, thank you!

I know what you mean: in real life my fingers are actually really slim, but they look like freakin' sausages next to these books!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unhobbityhobbit.livejournal.com
I did mean interesting. I'm ill, my typos are nothing to do with me. HMPH.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 11:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Oh good. ;D Sorry to hear you're sick, though! *sends healing thoughts and virtual chicken soup*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trias-cube.livejournal.com
These are amazing and beautiful!!! And so much more beautiful because of the effort that went into creating them.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-05 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Thank you for the kinds words, hon! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krakkernuts.livejournal.com
Wow. That is some majorly impressive work. And it sounds like, despite the nerve-wrackiness, you really enjoyed it which is the important thing. You are so cool!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-05 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Aw, shucks. *blushes* Thanks! :D

(and I have to agree with [livejournal.com profile] gair - great icon!)

(Edited to close the bracket)
Edited Date: 2010-06-05 06:33 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nixwilliams.livejournal.com
TEENY BOOKS OF AWESOME!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-05 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
:D \o/ :D \o/

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-02 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shippyflo.livejournal.com
OMG so cute! How long did it take you to make these tiny beautiful babies?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-05 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Sixteen hours, give or take the couple of hours waiting for the equipment to be free to use.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-03 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostandalone22.livejournal.com
That is so neat! I love that you're that creative.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-05 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dendritejungle.livejournal.com
Thank you, my dear! :D

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