Japanes Bindery Work

May 15, 2008

On a project that began last year I had the opportunity to propose something that I had not worked with since undergraduate school more than thirty years ago.  I remembered how pleasant is the activity of hand bindery work in the Japanese accordian style, so tried it as an option for a client.

The original mock-up was with some of the vintage onion skin that we stock, it has acquired a lovely warm patina even thought it is 100% cotton rag.

Each panel of this little booklet was 3″ wide by 7″ tall, bound on the left with silk twist that I had collected in school lo’ that many years ago.  (See below.)

We worked back and forth with the client for months, fine-tuning the text, which would be photo-engraved due to the fact that there was so much of it (the text) and we wanted to maintain flexibility in copy editing up until the very last moment.

When we finally came to a place of agreement, the dimensions had grown a little to accommodate slightly larger text.

Due to the fact that I would still be teaching full-time when production on this would be due, I put the bindery portion of the booklet out to bid.  However, in the end, we decided to do the work here to keep quality control and mounting timing challenges to a minimum. Also, the lovely silk twist that I had archived since about 1973 was no where to be found commercially, so, I had to source it anew. *

(Day one binding, above.)

We alternate between two and three of us working on the project at a time, there are 175 pieces to accomplish and 35 more to go excluding studio samples, artist proof and museum and gallery copies.

(Day three above.)

The project should finish today as long as our power holds.  We are in the middle of a torrential storm and the power went out about 6:30pm yesterday and did not go back on until 3:00 this morning, the electricity is flickering, now.

* Anyone who might be a Beatrix Potter fan, and all those who should be, please not the reference to “silk twist” in Miss Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, F. Warner & Co., LTD., 1903.

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