I've finally leapt into the first stages of binding my books. Having cut and folded and glued my way through the challenges and the fun of building up skills, I’ve now chosen a book design that’s strong, pleasing to the hand and eye, and made from materials that will last. 2021 has been all about bringing together fifteen years of work.
Yes, I’m still at it: folding press sheets, sewing pages together and testing materials—inching my way towards a finished book. I’ve come to realise that creating an edition completely by hand isn’t just about bringing together thousands of materials in a very particular way. As if that's not enough, I’ve found that even before you begin you must undertake an elaborate science experiment: testing the pH levels of paper to see whether each will last for the long haul; putting materials...
I'm rapt to have had a feature story about my book project in the Bendigo Advertiser on Saturday January 12th. A big thanks to Tom O'Callahan for his excellent article; and to Steve Bright, who shared his experience of letterpress (and his equipment) for the story on short notice.
As you'll know from my last newsletter, I've been hard at work learning how to marble so that I can produce the endpapers of my book. There's quite a tradition behind that folded rectangle of paper under the cover that comes before the title page on many old hardcover books; and I've been keen to explore the process so I can add another special element, one that fits in perfectly with the book's visual theme.