Tag Archives: book binding ireland

Golden bird artist’s journal

28 Feb

A short while ago, I was asked to create an artist’s journal that had a vintage feel whilst avoiding looking too traditional. After discussing several different ideas, he chose a Japanese binding with heavy velvety paper with a hand-ripped edge.

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At the start, the client was torn between several papers but I think he made a good choice with the beautiful green paper who’s golden birds give the book a slightly whimsical feel. This journal was made to accommodate the addition of extra photos and other memorabilia – a scrapbook of sorts. This was enabled by adding several spacers along the spine of the binding.

I particularly like the inscription ‘Lee Lee Angels’ – it seems to match the quaint quality of this journal. I experimented with several different fonts before choosing one called ‘Free Booter Script’.

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Classic guest book

9 Aug

Here is a wedding guestbook I made recently for a client in England. She was looking for a unique customised guest book that had a classic feel but wanted to avoid the usual white guest book. After looking through my cover papers, she chose the Inky Blue Flowers paper which has a rich and slightly antique quality.

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This guest book is a traditional case bound book. As the colour scheme for their wedding was pale blue with silver and plum accents, I chose complementary end papers and book cloth to suit these colours and the cover paper.

Complete wedding album

22 Jun

This wedding album was given as a birthday present. The couple had never gotten around to printing their wedding photos so the bride asked me to bind, print and complete their wedding album as a gift for her husband. There was a lot of discussion about the cover paper: she wanted a blue and gold cover, but knew that he would prefer a simpler black and white one! Eventually we found a compromise – a black and white cover with a bright blue ribbon.

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After finishing the binding, I then started sorting through all the photos, selecting and resizing the best photos. By the end of the album, I felt like I had been at the wedding!

Plum Vine Wedding Album Set

14 Feb

Here is a set of wedding albums which I made a few days ago. The bride sent me a swatch of cloth from the bridesmaid dress so that I could colour match the albums. The swatch was a plumy pinky red so I chose a paper that had a mix of this colour in it. The rich ribbon colour brought all the albums together, creating a luxurious feel to them.

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I made 2 Japanese Stab stitch albums using a decorative Crossed stitch and 1 medium-sized Case-bound album. Each of the books has an inscription inside with the bride and groom’s name, wedding date and venue.

Polaroid wedding guest book

7 Nov

This Polaroid guest book is a novel twist on the regular wedding guest book: it is a mix of a guest book and photo album, where a photo of each guest or couple is taken and pasted in, then the guest writes a personal message beside it. It is a beautiful memento to have of one’s wedding day, serving as a visual record of all the guests as well as capturing all their good wishes!

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The bridesmaids’ dresses were a mixture of dusty pink and charcoal grey so I matched the cover with this using a variety of greys and pinks. The binding is a plain Japanese Stab stitch using two different ribbons to had depth to the bind. I also added bookcloth corners to the album so that the corners would be protected from wear and tear.

The spine of the album guest book had to be made quite wide to accommodate the thick Polaroid photos. To do this, I cut double the amount of paper spacers than a regular album and added them to the spine. If I not done this, the album wouldn’t close correctly and would look jam packed.

Each of the pages is scored several times with a bonefolder in order to make the pages turn over easily. This is important to do in a photo album as the paper is quite heavy – 300gsm – and would possibly crease in the wrong places otherwise.

Floral wedding album set

26 Sep

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This is a wedding album set that I made for a couple this summer. Their colour theme was salmon pink so I chose a coverpaper that reflected this colour without the book becoming a sea of salmon pink!

The smallest album is an Accordion or Leporello book. This was the first time I have made one of these as part of a wedding album set. This album can be opened up and put standing on display, showing different photos on the front and back pages.

The leporello book has an interesting origin. The name Leporello comes from the opera Don Giovanni, an opera that contains music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Leporello was a manservant who kept a record of Don Giovanni’s female conquests in a book. At the end of the play, Leporello spreads this infamous book across the stage.

Art Deco wedding album set

19 Aug

I was asked to make this wedding set (guest book and 2 albums) for a couple who like a minimalistic style. When I heard that their wedding colours were black and white, I instantly thought of using this paper.

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The guest book is a Secret Belgian binding – my new favourite! I thought that this style would really compliment the paper pattern. I have included some photos of this book in progress, to give you an idea of how it is made.

The large album is a Japanese Stab stitch album. It also has an inscription on the front page ‘I am convinced that to live is to travel to the world’s end’. This quote was chosen because the couple meet while working in a bar called ‘World’s End’. The smaller album is a traditional case bound book. I used the black book cloth in a way that mimics the paper pattern. Each of the albums have black paper inside, making a nice contrast with the coverpaper.

DIY Accordion book workshop

2 Aug

In July 2011, I gave a workshop in ‘Binding without thread’. This workshop focused on simple, sewing-free methods of book binding. The particpants made beautiful books with an emphasis on using recycled materials and figuring out alternative ways of making this style of book.

As it was such a sunny day, we did the workshop outside in my back garden – so everybody got a book and a tan that day! Below are the instructions for this complete book, along with a few pictures of the workshop.

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The group were really creative and some used drawings that they had made for the covers. Another participant used cassette tape to fasten the book, tying in with the image on his cover of a cinema and TV.

Secret Belgian binding

26 Jul

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I finally have figured out how to make a Secret Belgian binding using a mixture of these instructions and these useful tips. Thank you fellow binders for sharing them!

If you would like to make this book using these online instructions but with different measurements, here are the ones I used:

Coverboards = height of textblock + 0.4 cms, width of textblock + 0.2 cms;

Spine = height of textblock + 0.4 cms, width of spine pressed down tight + 1 bookboard width (0.3 cms?)

This binding dates from the 14th – 16th centuries and was rediscovered by Hedi Kyle, who figured out how it was done. This book is for sale in my online shop – Milis Books on Dawanda.

Woolly book

26 Apr

Over the past few months, I have been working closely with the Sheep and Wool Centre in Leenane, Co Galway. The Centre has recently made many changes, including commissioning three books as part of its new display.

The idea was that the first book would display a range of Aran knitting samples, with information about each type of stitch. The wool samples had originally been part of the old display. They were a range of different sizes, colours and thicknesses, which meant it was a challenge to bind them.

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After some experimenting, I decided to crochet a wide border around each sample, using white wool, in order to create a uniform page size and thickness. I resisted the temptation to mount the samples onto another material, as this would have complicated the look of the book and would have restricted the viewer to only seeing/touching the front of the stitch sample.

There was a concern that the pages might be too floppy and might stretch over time. In order to avoid this, I inserted a thin flexible wire around each of the wool pages. I used a nylon-coated fishing wire as I didn’t want it to rust in the salty sea air – Leenane is on the Atlantic coast. The wire is hidden inside the wool and provides a subtle frame for each page.

Before each woollen page, I designed a transparent sheet, which outlines the stitch and gives its name and some information about it.

The book is covered with a highly durable, waterproof book-cloth. The raised design is a ball of wool running from the front to the back of the book. For the front page and end pages, I decided to use Aran stitch patterns as a motif – I was intrigued by the language of knitting patterns.

The book will be on display in the Sheep and Wool Centre in Leenane, Connemara, Co Galway if you happen to be passing by!