[Byzantine Bindings]

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Presses and boards...

Today has been about making some presses.
I seem to be making things in fours so I thought it would be good to make four presses. They are from some 'found' wood and a packet of bolts from Wilko's. Worked out at £1 each - can't be bad. About 300mm x 190mm they will take up to A5 so I have enough to keep things pressed.


The other thing I have done today is cut all the boards chamfer them and laminate them with some thin card stock.
Laminated board.

A busy day all in all, just going to finish of the last of the boards now, so I will be able to start attaching them tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Spine lining

Spent yesterday doing the bands other end of the four blocks. It was a lot easier this time around though I didn't get the consistency right yet. The tagging trips me up each time and I haven't got the finishing right yet. These are half decent though.
Woven bands

Adding some watercolour paper to fill the gaps between the spine and the sewing threads.

Watercolour Paper

Measure the gap:
Apply just a little PVA.

Apply a little glue to the paper and then mould it into place and rub down well with a bone folder.

The top pieces also help to stabilise the headband which is unsupported until now.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Too easily satisfied.

Started this morning with a will only to be somewhat disheartened. Seemed as if yesterday and all I had learned was for nothing but after several false starts I found this website. and had a go at doing it that way.
Some learnings:
It's good to pierce the hole before starting. It makes it so that the needle will pass through easier.
It makes it so that the needle will pass through easier.


This method just catches a stitch in the middle 
rather than each signature as I was doing before.
Tagging half way along 


It ends up with a nice finish.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Where's my Cigar?!

Getting there.
Just had another go and it worked a treat, well I'm pleased with it. Another successful day on the set of four.

Taming the Headband

The thing is there are too many variables for me. There's the thread, weave, tension, newness of it all and having no idea what I'm doing. The biggest problem of course is that every time I get it wrong that's another book spoiled, though thinking about it, I could always undo the last one.

I decided to eliminate a few of the variables and go for something that would get me into the weaving rhythm. I made a jig to simulate a book and it worked well. At least now I have some idea of what it looks like and the rhythm of the pattern.

I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence here - just hoping it might help other beginners.

This is the jig with the back and front below. I can undo and redo it a few times now and then give it a go on the book. I know it will be a different matter but at least I will have a bit more of an idea.



Headbands - good try but no cigar.


This is my first go at headbands, it's a bit like learning to swim by reading a book! Anyway here's what a false start looks like! Struggling with the tension and so forth, that and only having two hands.

Start again.

"Always we begin again". St Benedict was right.

Simple things learned by doing, like when it says in the book, 'from here on maintain equal tension' it isn't until doing that you realise the threads can be just gently tugged and they will hold themselves in the pages.

Seems ok...
going on a pace now and things seem to be going well - you see I know the end of the story!

Hmmm... maybe not!
Seem to have missed the kettle stitch hole here in my eagerness to get it finished. Eagerness is not a great thing to have when sewing headbands apparently.

Clearly the blue thread which is supposed to form the bead went walkabout after the first section, and there was me as pleased as punch, before close inspection!
Good job I have three more to go.

What have I learned: make sure the blue thread goes back in and round the yellow at each section. Don't be too eager. But it's a start

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Next in Line

Ready to go.
Next project 4 A6 K118 style books. A little bigger than the last one but the point here is to practise the binding style. I learned this at a summer school last year at the Grange it was taught by Glenn Malkin. Like many other things I never got round to making one in between so it's hard to remember  - even with his very helpful notes, so making four of them is enough of a challenge and should help get it fixed in my mind.

All sewn now. Just stopped to make an observation.

Today I have tried to be more relaxed, over the last while I have been a bit tense, worrying about getting it ‘wrong’.

I just thought the unthinkable - what if the weaver’s knot didn’t take and had snipped off the ends? Of course I’d just undo the stitches to a place where it was long enough to attach, and that would be that.

Funny where the tension comes from and how trying to be mindful helps out a bit.

See how that theory works when it comes to the next bit.

Meticulous planning, path-working and tidiness are the keys.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Three Sneaky Peeks!

I am really pleased with how this turned out. I just wanted to get a sense of the proportions of this book that I am obsessing over at the moment. It will make a nice little journal. I have a long way to go in typesetting the Psalms which I hope to print out and then eventually bind in leather. These little steps give me confidence and help me learn the techniques.


I have learned a lot over the last few weeks of folding, sewing and glueing. Each time I case a book in I get a little less afraid of messing it up. It's ok when you are on a course and the teacher is there to help and advise, but at home, on your own you have to sort out your own muckravels.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Ta Da!

Geography of the Soul.
Just taken these out of the press after a couple of days. My faith in myself has been restored and I am now ready to take a couple more steps.
I have lots of 'makings' for more like this. Strips of mull, boards, book cloth and some simple templates so I can make more at the drop of a hat. These are for little gifts and I think they have homes already. 
They need explanatory bookmarks now and then that's it done.


Thursday, 2 February 2017


Pleased to say progress made.
All sewn up now and cases made. I decided on making a cover for the five:

Book Cover
Learning a lot as I am going, how important it is to check and check again and to give everything a 'dry-run'. To tidy everything away after each process and to keep dry and wet stuff away from each other. I am learning that it is important to take time and not to rush, to scrap things that go wrong and know when to stop wrestling and let go.

Tomorrow is casing in and I struggle with that.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Back to Bay 6

Here we go, back to Bay 6.
Found a hoard of recycled A4 decided to free the log jam by getting on and making. Cut a pile of boards and folded the paper cut the mull and I’m on the way. Just a few simples to get me back into the swing of things.


All the untangling saved ages!