|Beginning of the planning and mock-up process. |
Good notes and lots of measuring all lead to a smooth book binding project.
|Paper and cover boards all cut and ready for the next step.|
Binding a series of books that you want to all be the same requires some preparation. First a dummy or mock-up has to be made, usually out of similar but not the final materials being used. This mock-up process allows a book binder the opportunity to work out any kinks in the structure and to plan out all of the needed measurements and supply requirements for one book, so that when all the books are being bound the materials can all be prepped ahead of time with nothing forgotten or overlooked.
|Attaching the spine and cover boards.|
After making the mock-up and deciding that my measurements were good, it was time to go into production making the twelve books. I measured and cut all the strips of Mixed Media paper. I then measured and made tiny marks where all of the future folds would go for when I got to that stage. I cut all of my covers and spines using old matt board scraps from my classroom. After the cover supplies were cut, I made a template and taping station so I could quickly and easily attach all the covers to the spines using the same spacing for each book.
|A comparison of the Moleskine book and my mock-up|
using the Strathmore mixed media paper
Unfortunately, I did not think to take any photos of the papering stage (oops). When I papered the outside, I also attached an elastic strap to keep the books closed (the heavy paper wanted to boing the book cover up and open) and a plain sheet of paper in the back as an end sheet. The covers dried in a press for several hours to be sure that the matt board was not going to warp from the gluing process and then the accordion pages were ready to go into the book. I folded the paper using my pre-measured marks and a bone folder, gluing in extensions as I worked. Each book used one full sheet of 18 x 24 paper, cut into 6 x 24 strips, causing me to have to continue the accordion by gluing small tabs from one sheet section to the next. At that point the folded pages were glued in and all twelve books were ready to go back to my classroom for the sketchbook exchange!
As I was folding the pages for the books I noticed one small problem, this paper wants to crack a little bit at the folded edge. It is an irregular cracking, in some sheets it is more severe than others and at this point none of the pages have ripped or become so badly cracked that I a concerned about loosing sections of the book. But, I do know that I will not use this paper again to bind accordion structure books because the paper does crack at the fold edge. The cracking is especially frustrating while working in the books, as sometimes it will peel a bit as it is being painted or after the work is complete causing a small bare spot to emerge.
|Three of the completed books, awaiting delivery |
to the next student in the exchange.