Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Part 2: Binding Practice

The online course I was taking, Extending Embellishment, finished long ago, and although I hadn't completed all the tasks, I had to set it aside for now if I am to meet my bookish deadlines.

So since mid-September I've been working on two book projects simultaneously, with a slight leaning towards the wedding album I am making for my friend, as the deadline for it is sooner. When the album is finished, I will blog about it in greater detail, but I thought you might enjoy seeing my practice-run of the binding.

Initially I had planned to make a porcelain covers, and to use a combined coptic and celtic binding, which the bride had seen on some of my other books and loved. However, photo albums are largish and heavy, so I scrapped the porcelain covers.

A little more research convinced me that a coptic/celtic binding might not be sufficient for a decent sized wedding album. The problem is that these are across-the-spine bindings, and especially after my time bookbinding in Paris, I now understand the greater strength that binding along the spine imparts to a book.

I spent some time reading Keith Smith's volume, Exposed Spine Sewings, and was pleased to find what seems a very happy compromise. Smith suggests a mixed binding, part across the spine, and part along it. Perfect! (Hopefully!)

In the end I have opted for a combination of a celtic binding and the icicle. The former is a binding with which I am quite familiar, while the icicle is new to me. It has packed raised cords combined with spine stitches and is very attractive, while providing good, firm spine support.

As it was completely new to me, and I had to teach myself from Smith's book, I thought it was advisable to have a trial run. It was certainly worth it, as I was a bit over-zealous with my cords, pulling them a little too tightly, and as a result the cover pops open.

Icicle binding and coptic headband

Nevertheless, I was encouraged and am now in the middle of binding the actual album. It looks good so far, but there is still a way to go.

Next time, I have some photos of  tests for my Book*Art*Object work to show you.


  1. this is totally cool amanda

  2. A beautiful binding and implementation of Smith's construction! I am looking forward to seeing your BAO tests, too.

  3. Ronnie and Hilke - thank-you both. :-)

  4. An interesting binding, Amanda. The wedding album is going to look beautiful.

  5. I'll have to buy that book myself. I love your bindings, they look lovely and very professional. The wedding album will be fantastic.

  6. A wonderful undertaking Amanda - and what looks like a great resolution. Always good to do a test-binding! Enjoy the making of the real thing.

  7. ma è bellisssssimo posso avere il tutorial? grazie