A Bookbinder's Resource by Richard Norman

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A Bookbinder's Resource by Richard Norman

  1. 1. http://britishletterpress.co.uk/letterpress-guides/other-arts/binding/simple-bookbinding/ Cover image from: http://erinzam.com/blog/2008/07/08/a-few-bookbinding-tools/
  2. 2. Hello, my name is Richard Norman For nearly 20 years my wife Margaret & I ran the Eden Workshops a system of craft workshops devoted to the exploration of the Book Arts. During that time we worked in almost total isolation and seclusion in the grounds of a very private monastery in rural England. We developed four book related skills; hand book binding, paper marbling and book edge marbling, printing & box making and took those skills to high levels of excellence. In 1997 after nearly 20 years running the Eden Workshops we were voted a National Living Treasure by Country Life magazine for our contribution to the Book Arts. In 2004 we decided to close our workshops and move out here to Southern France, I now concern myself with teaching and have the time to concentrate on aspects of the book arts that interest me. I have been approached by several people who have asked me to advise them with regard a starters pack for novice and aspiring binders, I am only to happy to provide this service, just ask. I also provide a block making service to book binders at prices about four times lower than that charged for making blocks in brass. I have published several manuals concerned with the book arts and will be releasing more very shortly, all these manuals can be found on my website and are free to download, here is a list of current and forthcoming manuals free to download from http://www.edenworkshops.com If you are interested in gilding in particular please do check out our new website at: http://www.gold-vault.com
  3. 3. Sterling Silver Book Clasps Being concerned largely with liturgical binding, I have been asked many times to fit book clasps to anything from small devotional books to large Family bibles. This book clasp is a development of a very old idea; you will find it useful for any type of book that has a board thickness of 3mm or more. You will not need special tools, pliers, a hand drill, hammer and a soldering iron are the basic requirements plus a scalpel and a couple of sanding blocks fitted with a coarse and fine abrasive paper. You will find it useful if you have a nipping press, but this is not essential. Of necessity this is quite a long tutorial, in order to make it fail proof, a picture of every step of the process is supplied, but when you have made a pair of clasps or two you may well find that you will not need to lean on this tutorial so much. Just for your interest’s sake, if you are a professional binder, costs will be a very important consideration. This method of producing a set of bespoke book clasps adds about 2 hours labour plus materials to the cost of a large high quality full leather binding.
  4. 4. Ok, we start assuming that you have completed the sewing of the book to be fitted with clasps. It is best by far to use millboard for the boards of the book, millboard is tougher than greyboard. The shoulders of the book determine what thickness of board to use, in this case the shoulders were 4mm high, so two pairs of 2mm boards were cut exactly to the final size of the book. We need a pair of boards because we are going to sandwich the silver fittings between them.
  5. 5. Taking a pair of the boards, draw a line about 3/4 of an inch down the side, then measure in from each end about 2 inches and draw two lines 1/2 an inch apart, as shown in the illustration. Taking the silver wire, cut two lengths 3 inches long, and with a pair of pliers bend the wire to the shape shown above. The wire that is pressed together in two strands should be about 1/2 an inch in length.
  6. 6. Take one of the boards and place the board over the bent silver wire as shown in the top picture. The tip of the wire should hang over the edge of the board by about 3/16 of an inch. Then, using masking tape, stick the wires into the position shown above. Taking another board and making sure that the two marry up perfectly, tape them in position with masking tape. Place the boards between two pressing boards and either put them in a nipping press, or clamp the pressing boards together with "G" clamps and tighten the press/clamps as much as you can...we need a lot of pressure here.
  7. 7. Boards in the nipping press or.... Pressed together with "G" clamps, if using clamps as above, place the clamps right over the silver wire, so that as much pressure as possible is bought to bear where it is needed. Leave the boards overnight. The next day take them out of the press and after removing the masking tape used to hold the boards together, separate the boards and mark the silver wires "A" and "B" both on the tape and on the board so that you know which belongs where.
  8. 8. Remove the silver wire and you should see on both boards a clear impression of where the wire was on the board. Taking your scalpel, carefully cut around the outline of the impression, ultimately we are going to cut a recess for the wire to lay in so we want it to be a snug fit. Millboard being as tough as it is will blunt a scalpel blade quickly, unless you are in the habit of re-sharpening you blades you will tend to get through several of them making these clasps.
  9. 9. When you have cut around the outline of the wire on both boards, using the tip of your scalpel pick out a layer of board a little less than a millimeter deep, as shown above. Using PVA glue, glue out the board and insert the sliver wire into the recesses we have just made.
  10. 10. Now take the other board and sandwich the two together, make sure that the edges of the boards marry up as perfectly as possible, and then tape the edges as shown to hold the boards together. Place in a nipping press or clamp using boards and "G" clamps and put the board under moderate pressure, make sure the boards do not slide due to the effect of clamping, leave to dry overnight. After the boards are dry we then think about "cushioning" the outer edges of the boards, boards which are of a considerable thickness can appear overly thick and crude when covered in leather, to make them appear more elegant we reduce the thickness of the outer edges, by first cutting a bevel with a scalpel and then sanding to form a curved edge, begin the bevel with a scalpel as shown above.
  11. 11. Use a new scalpel blade as needed, take off about a 1/4 of an inch wide strip and reduce the thickness of the board by about 3/32 of an inch. When a 1/4 of an inch strip has been removed, lower the angle of the scalpel slightly and shave off another strip a further 1/8 of an inch wide.
  12. 12. Having worked your way along the front edge of the board we now turn our attention to the sides of the board. Note: When beveling the sides of the board, take care to begin the cut about 1/16 of an inch in from the end, see the top left hand corner of the illustration. When you have completed beveling all three edges of the board, take a sanding block fitted with a coarse abrasive, and, working from the middle of the board outwards and pulling the block, not pushing it...round off the beveled edge.
  13. 13. Note: For some books, in particular Bibles, you may choose to leave the edge with a bevel on it rather than round it off. After you have finished sanding the edges they should have a profile something like this. Something I often do after I have finished profiling the boards is to make up some stiff starch paste and using my fingers rub a little paste all over the board, when it is dry I then gently sand over the board with a fine abrasive block, this gives an extremely smooth finish to the board, and also acts as a "key" for the leather when covering. Now we come to the other pair of boards. Glue them together with PVA glue, tape the edges together, press and allow to dry. When dry, remove the tape as before and using a scalpel cut around the shaded area to a depth of about 3/32 of an inch.
  14. 14. Using the tip of the scalpel, or any thin flat edged tool, gently lever out the two pieces of board with the shaded area as shown above. Note: Make sure you identify each piece so you know which slot it came from and retain the pieces of board for later. Using a chisel, bring the flat edge right up to the back edge of the slot as shown above, place on a wooden board or piece of waste greyboard and with a hammer cut right through to the waste board below.
  15. 15. Turn the chisel round so that the bevel edge of the chisel is facing towards the back as shown and move back about 1/16 of an inch from the first cut, again, using a hammer cut right through to the waste board below. When you have made the two cuts with the chisel, using your scalpel cut through the sides of the 1/16 of an inch strip you have exposed and remove the strip leaving a slot.
  16. 16. This is what you should be looking at after removing the strip of board with a scalpel. Turn the board over, and from the sides of the slot draw a rectangle as shown about 1.5 inches long. Note: We are going to use these pieces of board later, so make sure you identify them so you know which is which. Then using your scalpel, cut round the edges of the rectangle to a depth of about 3/32 of an inch.
  17. 17. Again, using your scalpel or any thin flat bladed tool, pick out the two rectangles as shown above. Next, using a hand drill and a 1/16 of an inch drill bit, drill a hole through the board in the position shown above.
  18. 18. Drill three more holes as illustrated, you may find that where the drill bites through the other side of the board that he edges of the hole are a little ragged, if that is the case, trim across the top of the hole with your scalpel or sand smooth with fine abrasive paper. Once again we are going to bevel the edges of the board and then sand smooth. Begin the bevel about 1/16 of an inch in from the slot, not right up to the edge, as shown above.
  19. 19. Here I am beveling the far edge of the board, notice again how I start the bevel about 1/16 of an inch in from the edge of the slot. When you have finished beveling the edges of the board, sand the edges into a smooth curved profile.
  20. 20. Turn the board over and mark out an area about 1/8 of an inch long and as wide as the hole that has been drilled. Cut around the marked out area with a scalpel to a depth of about 1/8 of an inch. Using a scalpel, pick out the pieces of board you have cut around as shown above. Ok...that has taken care of the preparation of the boards, check them over, look at the profiles and make sure you are satisfied with the finish you have obtained, you can also feel a little pleased with your self at this stage, this is precision craft engineering after all! I recommend the idea of rubbing paste into the boards and after drying, sanding with fine abrasive paper, the paste soaks into the surface of the board a little, dries hard, and allows you to get a very smooth finish with a fine abrasive paper.
  21. 21. Now we turn our attention to the rest of the silver fittings. What determines the size of these fittings is the size of the book, we will look at plaiting with three and four strands later on, the book I am binding is about 2 inches thick and a three plait is plenty for this size of book. We are therefore trying to get fittings forming a triangle, the width of each side being the width of the three strands of vellum placed side by side...how wide your strands of vellum are will again depend upon the size of the book you are making clasps for, for this book I opted for strands about 1.8 of an inch wide, thus the sides of the triangular fittings are 3/8 of an inch wide. Try to make sure that the ends of the silver fitting are touching each other, or at least very close to one another. Next, we have to solder the two ends of the fitting together...most general purpose soldering irons come in a 15watt size, this wattage soldering iron is perfect for this job, I use ordinary solder for this but you can if you wish use silver solder which is available from the supplier of silver wire listed at the end of this tutorial.
  22. 22. The solder should naturally flow into a smooth cylindrical shape and leave no rough edges, if for whatever reason your soldered joint does have rough edges, either re-make the joint or sand the joint smooth with a fine file. It is important that the joint is smooth so that it does not chafe the edges of the vellum thongs and wear through them. Next we are going to form the silver staples that provide reinforcement and also add a very professional finish to the clasp. You will need a hard metal surface; I am using a piece of printer’s furniture, and a small hammer. Make sure that the hard metal surface you are using is as flat and as smooth as possible, the hammered surface will have hammered marks in it, this is not a problem as this surface will be hidden, but the other surface will be exposed, so make sure you choose something which is hard, flat and smooth. You are going to need two pieces about 1 and a half inches long, the silver is quite soft, but you will still need to strike the silver firmly with the hammer, work your way along the wire, hammering as you go, we are looking to take the round out of the wire and get a flat ribbon...you can buy silver ribbon, but you would then have to purchase it separately and it would increase the cost of the project. Flatten the wire until it is about three times as wide as it is thick. When you have hammered out your silver wire and formed it into a ribbon, cut two pieces 1 and a half inches long and place them to one side.
  23. 23. Now we want to put a fine polish to our silver fittings. I suggest using a wooden block onto which has been stuck a piece of dense grained leather such as goatskin, Onto the leather pour a little brass or silver polish, and give the fittings a really good rub, I take a little time over this, the ribbon which has been hammered out sometimes has slight marks on the surface which can be polished out using this method, buff the fittings with a cotton cloth occasionally and examine them for blemishes, if you do not, be certain your customer will! OK...we should now have our boards formed and sanded smooth, our fittings made and polished till they glow.
  24. 24. Next we move on to cutting the vellum for plaiting into strips. As I mentioned, the size of the fittings will depend upon the size of the book, in this case I decided that the strips should be 1/8 of an inch wide, the vellum when cut into strips like this should be in length, four times the thickness of the book. Here you can see that the three vellum strips equal the width of the silver fitting, sometimes, when working with plaits consisting of four, five or even six strands, for the sake of elegance we may want to keep the size of the fittings on the small side, in which case it is perfectly ok to place the strands one on top of the other and not lay them side by side, as long as the appearance of the clasp is not adversely affected you can please your self.
  25. 25. Glue out the strips of vellum on one side and just over half the length, thread the strands through the fitting and gently rub down the vellum so that it sticks, I keep a small pot of pva glue that I have allowed to become thick by allowing some of the water in it to evaporate, this is perfect for this job, you want an adhesive with a high tack. Place the fittings, with the threaded strands of vellum fitted and glued, and place them between boards, give them a gentle press and allow them to dry.
  26. 26. When dry, remove from between the boards and plait the three strands together, I think everyone knows how to plait three strands don't they? Vellum is a stiff and difficult material to work with when dry, it may be necessary to tape the ends together with masking tape to stop them from unraveling. Next, take a sponge and run it under a warm tap...squeeze most of the water out, and then gently run the sponge down each face of the plait, do this two or thee times, that will be sufficient, we are just trying to introduce a little dampness into the vellum. Too much moisture will result in parts of the pressed vellum becoming almost transparent... so not too much moisture please.
  27. 27. Leave the vellum for a minute or two, and then stretch it between your fingers, pull it quite tight. After you have stretched the vellum thongs, place them between a pair of clean smooth boards and put them under moderate pressure, leave overnight until dry.
  28. 28. When binding books that are to be bound in full thickness leather, it is the custom to fit what are called "stretchers" to the inside of the boards, these consist of, typically, brown ribbed craft paper which has been thoroughly wetted so as to allow the fibers of the paper to soak up water and expand, then most of the excess water is blotted from the paper, and while still damp the paper is stuck to the back of the boards using paste/pva. They have the effect of counteracting the "pull" of drying leather, so that the boards do not end up becoming convex, or bowed, on a large book more than one stretcher may have to be applied, this after the first has dried properly ...First the stretchers are cut over size. Having been thoroughly wetted and now damp, the stretchers are pasted out and stuck to the back of the boards. (To "wet" the kraft paper it is best to spray the paper first with a 50/50 solution of Industrial Methylated Sprits...IMS...and water, this will break the surface tension of the paper and allow water to soak straight in to the fibre structure of the paper, if you do not have IMS, ordinary Methylated spirit will do at a pinch, or put the kraft paper into very hot water, this will have the
  29. 29. same effect, After "wetting" the kraft paper should be blotted to get most of the moisture out of the paper) The board is turned over and the paper rubbed well down with the heel of the hand, at the same time the paper should be smoothed outwards from the center, this has the effect of stretching the paper over the board, so that when dry the stretcher will have the effect of pulling the board inwards slightly, this will counteract the effect of the drying leather which will want to pull the board in the opposite direction. When the stretcher is dry, the paper is cut out to leave the recessed parts of the boards exposed as shown above. The board having had a stretcher applied should
  30. 30. be very slightly concave now. The result should be a board which when covered with leather, is at least flat and ideally very slightly concave, if necessary; another stretcher can be added to facilitate this. The boards of the book would now be laced on to the text block, and now be ready for covering in leather, the next stage involves the book having had the leather prepared for covering and drawn over the book, the head and tail of the book having been turned in, we are now dealing with the front edges of the boards and how they effect us. Here you can see the book as it is being covered in leather, the cusp of the clasp will have to pass through the front edge of the leather after it has been turned over the front board, using your scalpel, note where the cusp protrudes from the edge of the board and measure out from the edge by that amount and make a small slit for the cusp to pass through.
  31. 31. Turn in the leather and feed the cusp through the slit, then, using a bone folder, gently push the leather back to the edges from around the cusp, take care, when damp, leather is rather unforgiving and it can mark very easily. Again using a bone folder, gently accentuate the carved edges of the board, later when the leather is very nearly dry these areas can be gone over with a warm single line pallet or fillet to emphasize these parts of the board. On the back board, where the leather passes over the recessed areas, press the leather down firmly. Normally I place several sheets of thick blotting paper under
  32. 32. the boards of the book and allow it to dry, in our normally damp climate I find that overnight is sufficient drying time, I like for their to be just a little dampness in the leather when it comes to doing any blind tooling, when a hot tool comes into contact with slightly damp leather, the tooled area darken nicely. Using the pieces of board which you have kept, place them into the recesses on the back board and gently press them into place, then taking care to set the joints* before closing, place blotting paper under the boards of the book and also several sheets on the top and bottom, place between boards and put under a gentle pressure, a couple of house bricks covered in buckram does this very well. *When I teach this method to my students, we go into the subject of setting joints in some detail, if you are uncertain what this involves, look at any decent bookbinding manual for instructions as to what this involves....in another tutorial...Step by Step Fine Binding, I go into this in depth, as it is of crucial importance.
  33. 33. After drying overnight, gently open the book, it may be a good idea to damp the outer joints with water and allow the leather to soften a little before doing this, using a scalpel, cut the leather away from the areas which we have recessed to accept the silver staples. Remove the pieces of board which by now will have nicely accentuated the recessed areas on the back board, and, using a scalpel cut a slit through which the vellum thong will pass, and cut two small slits which will allow the staples to pass through.
  34. 34. Now, take the silver wire which has been hammered into a ribbon and polished...the silver is gleaming and free from marks yes? Of course it is...bend down the two legs of the staple so that they match the width of the slots cut into the board; with wire snips trim the ends of the staple to a point as shown above. Now take the vellum thongs and pass them through the slits you have previously cut. Close the book, the vellum thongs should be a tight fit through the slits and their should be plenty of friction to hold them in place, pull them through and close the clasp as shown, we do want a tight fit at this stage, their are several factors which could be mentioned here which can affect the eventual tightness of the clasps, such things
  35. 35. as leather joints which are fitted later will cause the clasps to be tighter than they appear now, also hidden cloth joints will affect the tightness of the clasps, for this exercise it is sufficient to mention these factors in passing. In another tutorial "The Thousand Year Binding" I go into these factors in detail. When you are happy that the clasps fit tightly, use pieces of masking tape to hold the vellum thongs in position as shown above. Now open the book and using a scalpel cut the vellum exactly where it meets the edge of the board.
  36. 36. Fill the recessed area with pva glue, not right to the top, as we are going to replace the pieces of board we cut out and kept to blank this area off, but it is important to put plenty of glue in here as you can see, effectively this is what will be holding the vellum thong in place, I have toyed with the idea of putting a silver stud through the board and thus riveting the thong in place but this seems to me to be a case of over engineering in the extreme. Take the piece of board we have previously removed and press it down firmly into the recess, wipe away any glue that is pushed up from around the edges, allow to dry. Note that it is not the object to push this piece of board down flush with the board itself, perhaps 1/16 of an inch will stick up proud of the board, that's fine.
  37. 37. When dry, using your scalpel pressed flush with the board, trim away the proud edges as shown above. Now take the staples and push them through the slots as shown above.
  38. 38. Using a pair of pliers, bend the legs of the staple over as shown, you may find that you have to snip them to size, you will not be able to bend them over a right angles owing to the "give" in the leather and board, but bend them over as far as they will go. Using a punch or an old drill bit gently hammer the edges of the staple down into the recess as shown above.
  39. 39. Next, cut pieces of grey board to fit on top of the staple legs and glue them in position as shown. Next, cut a piece of thick blotting paper or thin greyboard 1/4 of an inch smaller than three edges of the board and with just a spot of pva on the back, glue it into position, we will want to remove this later, so just a small spot of glue to hold it in position.
  40. 40. Using your scalpel cut through the card and the leather about 1/16 of an inch in around all three edges, firm pressure on the scalpel needed for this. Remove the card liner, and also remove the surplus leather leaving an area into which the card can then be glued into place, this neatly covers all the working underneath and also ensures that the liner is a perfect fit. Do the same to the other board.
  41. 41. And there you have it...close the boards of the book and allow the liners to dry, and then fit your endpapers or doublures and pastedowns. You can now run a single line fillet or pallet around the raised areas of board to add a finishing touch. not stretch any more, on the contrary as they dry Having damped and stretched the thongs they will they will tend to shrink just a little bit, if necessary you can bend the cusps slightly upwards to ensure that the clasp does not inadvertently come undone.
  42. 42. 3 & 4 strand plaits plus variations. Here are some 3 and 4 plait ideas for you, you can of course consider extending the plaited vellum thong across the whole of the board, lacing it up and over the board as you go, some very intriguing designs can be obtained by doing this. A simple four way plait using two double strands. A method of joining a four way plait. A method of joining a four way plait. A method of joining a three strand plait.
  43. 43. Suppliers of Materials. Drawn sterling silver wire in round and ribbon forms among others, can be obtained online from this link. You can also find other useful fittings in both sterling silver and 9 carat gold here. http://www.gouldsjewellers.co.uk/ This contact will supply you with vellum off cuts. William Cowley, Parchment Works, 97 Caldecote Street Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire,MK16 0DB, England Tel:(44) 01908 610038 FAX:(44) 1908 611071 http://www.williamcowley.co.uk/ ……………………………… I hope you have found this manual of interest, check out www.edenworkshops.com for some good bargains with regard bookbinding papers and gilding materials. Richard Norman Finish
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  46. 46. Hello, my name is Richard Norman For nearly 20 years my wife Margaret & I ran the Eden Workshops a system of craft workshops devoted During that time we worked in almost total isolation and seclusion in the grounds of a very private m In 1997 after nearly 20 years running the Eden Workshops we were voted a National Living Treasure by to the exploration of the Book Arts. onastery in rural England. We developed four book related skills; hand book binding, paper marbling and book edge marbling, printing & box making and took those skills to high levels of excellence. Country Life magazine for our contribution to the Book Arts. In 2004 we decided to close our workshops and move out here to Southern France, I now concern myself I have been approached by several people who have asked me to advise them with regard a starters pack I also provide a block making service to book binders at prices about four times lower than that charged I have published several manuals concerned with the book arts and will be releasing more very shortly, with teaching and have the time to concentrate on aspects of the book arts that interest me. for novice and aspiring binders, I am only to happy to provide this service, just ask. for making blocks in brass. all these manuals can be found on my website and are free to download, here is a list of current and forthcoming manuals free to download from http://www.edenworkshops.com If you are interested in gilding in particular please do check out our new website at:
  47. 47. Marbling -Tricks of the trade learned over 20 years If you feel that you may suffer from the particular illness that causes people to pursue the Art of It was not so long ago that the secrets which underlined successful marbling were just that, secret. Now h Y Right at the start let me explain that we with acrylic colours...why? cu pa n Marbling with acrylics differs from marbling with gouache or artists water colour pigments in several t t In times gone b e b l asking But....there is another way...and when I found out about it I never looked at ox-gall again! The secret is......Fairy Liquid! Yes, believe it or not good old Fairy Liquid will d For those living outside of Europe who do not household liquid detergent used for You must use a spreading agent with gouache or water colour pigment, but with acrylics things are a lit s Marbling, then I hope that the material contained here may be of some small use to you. you may enter "marbling" as a search term in Google and come up with hundreds of pages, many of which give the authors own ideas and experiences, but it should be noted at the start, that everyone's situation is going to be different, the climate in which one lives, the variations in temperature and umidity, will all play a part in how your papers turn out. Perseverance will pay off, I spent more than a year just experimenting before I began to get the results I wanted, but then I learnt by trial and error. ou, it is to be hoped will benefit from these experiments and they may lead you to making short cuts to the desired result. will be talking about marbling Because I got fed up with the characteristics of ordinary gouache or artists water colour, when you rubbed the sheets, loose pigment would come off on your fingers, you had to treat the papers with beeswax in order to make the colours fast, and even then the colours would still come off on the stomers hands when the book was handled extensively. With acrylic colours the result is not only a per whose colours are absolutely fast, but the use of such colours makes the sheet damp proof, you ca wipe them over with a damp cloth with no ill effect. ways. With gouache or water colours, it is necessary to add a spreading agent to the colours to make hem spread on the surface of the size...If you were to drop a small amount of gouache or water colour on the size without this spreading agent, the drop of colour would simply sink straight to the bottom of he tank, with a drop or two of spreading agent added instead of sinking, the spreading agent breaks the surface tension of the size allowing the colour to spread on the surface. The more spreading agent...the more the colour spreads and the less pigment their will be in a given area, and the paler the colour will appear, thus giving you control over how intense or pale your colours are. y this spreading agent used to be ox-gall, I used to use it, and you can to, it can b ought, or if you are feeling heroic you can make your own. However this involves going to your loca slaughterhouse and for the gall bladders of cattle or calves (eek) having collected your galls in a plastic bucket, they then have to be burst and the flesh separated from the raw gall, next the gall needs to be-fatted by straining through a column of rock salt, after which it is allowed to stand and when two distinct layers form (oil or fat on top) it is decanted and the fat or oil is discarded...this process is repeated until all the fat or oil has been removed....if that were not enough...the gall then has to be mixed with a strong alcohol, about 20%, so that the gall does not go off...It gets better (stronger) the older it gets. o the job just as well....to get a working strength mix 20 parts of water with one of Fairy Liquid. know Fairy Liquid it is a washing dishes, it is the detergent that causes the effect we want so any quality brand liquid should work as well, though you may need to experiment before you get the working strength you need. tle different....acrylic colour has it's own spreading agents embodied in the colours itself...some colour (white) spread on their own and need no spreading agent, while black needs quite a bit, critics of acrylic
  48. 48. colours point to this anomaly and suggest that working ust because of this characteristic, I would say that if you not matter, you have to learn one system or the other, and the advantages of acrylics over gouache or water colours is distinct. with acrylics is difficult j are starting out it does Experiment...try it and see. I experienced quite a few problems obtaining good materials for marbling, carrageen moss is available in If you have any specific problems, please do not hesitate to contact me. Email richard.norman@cegetel.net powered form but neither myself nor others I know, have had much success with it. The very best moss I have found is available from Ireland, details of this contact are given at the end of this book. Also, Alum used to be available in small quantities from chemists but mine stopped supplying it years ago, an up to date contact for this essential ingredient can also be found at the end of the book together with links to other sites which may be of interest. I found that the acrylic colours manufactured by Windsor & Newton under the name "Galleria" are very a Whilst on the subject of water it should be noted that the water used for mixing the colours and for p f suitable for use in marbling, they are quite economically priced, have plenty of pigment and opacity and re widely available in this country (UK) and abroad. You will need to dilute these colours for use, I found that an ideal consistency could be found my mixing the colours 5:1 with water. reparing the size should be soft water...if you live in a hard water area, obtain water softener tablets rom the supermarket and add 1 tablet for every 3 gallons of water or one tablespoon of water softener powder. Note: Do not use the salt used in dishwashers as a softener. If all else fails use rainwater.
  49. 49. I found it useful to keep an accurate record of colour recipes. In order to make repeat patterns you will need all the help you can get, and keeping accurate records of the colour you obtain is one step towards this. Any laboratory supply company can fit you up with all the plastic containers you will need, particularly useful are the calibrated measuring cylinders in the picture. Details of such a supply company can be found at the end of the book. One critically important step in the process consists of sponging the paper that you use with Alum. This has the effect of making the paper "Mordant" or receptive to the colours, without it after marbling your sheets the colours will just slide off the sheet, which can be a little disheartening. I found after some experimentation, that 100g of Alum to a pint of water worked well. Take care to add the Alum to cold water not hot, then slowly heat and stir the solution until all the Alum has dissolved. An ideal applicator I found to be the replaceable sponges of the type that are fitted to floor cleaners. I found a good way to treat the paper was to dip the sponge into the hot Alum solution and squeeze a little out, then wipe over the whole sheet of paper quickly making sure that the sheet gets
  50. 50. saturated in the process, then I squeezed the sponge out and wiped away the surplus solution. Build up a pile of perhaps 20 sheets of paper, and turn them over, thus you will have face upwards the first sheet that you treated and the water will have soaked right through the paper, the sheet should be damp rather than wet. Taking care to remember which face of the paper has been applied with Alum, lay each sheet down and smooth it out flat, carry on until you have used up all the sheets. If you require more...then carry out this process a sufficient number of times. Now we come to rendering down the carrageen moss. You can see the size of container I used for this, we lived in a hard water area, so I added one tablet of water softener to the container which held about five gallons, the water can be boiling when you add the moss, I used to bring the water to the boil and then go and treat a pile of paper with Alum and then come back when the water was boiling. I found that for three gallons of water one should add 8 ounces of carrageen, when the moss has been added, turn down the heat and simmer for half an hour stirring occasionally.
  51. 51. When the moss has been rendered down it has to be strained into a suitable container, obviously if you are marbling a lot of paper this has to be of some decent size, but for small quantities a bucket should suffice. Note: After straining the bucket of size, another bucket of soft water should be poured through the strained moss otherwise the size will be much to thick to use. The right consistency should be about that of single cream and a pale gold colour. If you follow the amounts of water and moss that I use you will automatically come to this correct thickness of size. Perhaps I should mention at this point that the smell of carrageen moss being rendered down is very much an acquired taste...dogs have been known to run from the room after smelling it! And one other point concerning the size, being organic it will go off quite quickly...a day or two in warm weather...then the smell will affect even the hardiest of souls. One solution is to add a capful of Formaldehyde to the size, but be warned this substance is very hazardous and should be used with the utmost care....and never, never add Formaldehyde to warm size or the fumes will overpower you...always add to cold size, and even then wear a face mask...I never did like using it, but some people do because it allows the size to stay workable for several days longer. The tank that you use to marble paper can be made of wood, stainless steel or plastic, in fact anything that is large enough and deep enough will do the job. The tank should be bigger than the sheet of paper you are using by about 2 inches all the way round. Notice at the right end of the tank is a piece of metal set at an angle. After marbling your sheet of paper, a piece of card is drawn across the size to skim off the colours that remain, this card is then scraped up and over this metal and the waste colours fall into a reservoir. I am using dropper bottles to apply the colour to the size, but colours can also be thrown on with brushes. Using dropper bottles means that you can apply the colours in a disciplined way and it allows you to repeat certain patterns with comparative ease. All the plastic containers used are available from the laboratory supplies company listed at the end of the book. Another essential part of the equipment consists of a range of combs, the principle is quite simple, for some of the simpler patterns you do not need combs, the colours are simply thrown on with a brush and not combed at all, however for many patterns combs are indispensable. The principle is quite simple, after the colours have been dropped onto the surface of the size, they are combed horizontally and then vertically until the desired pattern is arrived at. The first comb to be used needs to be able to draw the colours into horizontal bands, to do this you will need a comb which causes plenty of movement, see the combs at the bottom of the picture, they are made from 1/4 inch wooden dowel and are widely spaced, these are perfect for the first combing, and if a very fine pattern is desired, they can also be used for the
  52. 52. second vertical comb. Thereafter, combs made from piano wire are used with varying spaces between the comb points.
  53. 53. Here you can see the first comb in action, see how this comb causes so much movement in the colours, and how the colours are being drawn out into bands. The colours, having been combed vertically and horizontally with the thick dowel combs, are now being combed using the thin piano wire combs, these thin wire combs add the final touches to the pattern, there are many patterns that are possible using this technique.
  54. 54. Having manipulated the colours into the desired pattern, now comes the somewhat delicate task of laying down the sheet of paper to take the print. By now your pile of paper should have become thoroughly damp, damp not wet! Making sure that you pick up the sheet in such a way that the face of the paper which has been sponged with Alum is facing downwards, take the sheet at each corner, notice that I am resting one hand on the corner of the tank, it allows me to keep the sheet steady and in one place as I slowly lower the rest of the sheet down onto the size. Carry on lowering the sheet carefully until the whole sheet is laying on the surface of the size. The sheet is then lifted clear of the size and draped across a stick...a bamboo garden stick is fine for this...the size will then begin to drip of the edges of the sheet so this is best carried out on some sort of rack made for the job, water from a hose is then gently played over the sheet to remove the surplus size.
  55. 55. Note: Some marblers do not bother to wash of the surplus as they believe that the size as it dries gives the paper a little more strength. I have no strong feelings one way or the other on this point. The sheets should be left at least overnight to dry, they can then be placed in a pile and pressed with a wooden board covering them with a brick or two placed on top. A lot of people wonder how this is done, actually it is quite simple, but care is needed as it is the last thing that is done to a book before sewing headbands and covering, a lot of work can be wasted if you ruin the edge at this stage. After the book has been sewn, cut boards that are exactly the same size as the text block, and clamp them in position as shown in the picture, I always do the front edge of the book first as it is the most
  56. 56. difficult, the top and bottom edges are simple, after sponging the edges with Alum and letting the edges dry, each edge is dipped into the size, it is that simple. Take care not to dip the edges too far into the size, really the edge should just kiss the surface and the pattern will be transferred to the edge. However the front edge presents a problem, usually the front edge is concave due to the action of rounding and backing, if you were to simply dip the front edge into the size an air bubble would form in the concave trough of the edge and the pattern would be ruined, causing you to have to let the book dry and then prepare the edges all over again...tedious! To get around this problem the book, having been clamped, is held at an angle above the size as shown in the illustration above. Note: It is important that the book is firmly clamped for this operation. The book is then gently lowered into the size, keeping the angle shown in the illustration, thus any bubble that forms will slide up the edge and dissipate at the top, just lower the book into the size sufficiently that the pattern covers the entire front of the edge. As you can see, the bottom edge has to go down quite deep into the size, as much as an inch or more...so it is worth repeating that the boards should be clamped very firmly. The pattern will be transferred to
  57. 57. part of the bottom edge, this can be simply wiped off, and when the bottom edge is marbled it will cover any marks left after doing the front edge. After marbling, leave the book(s) under a weight to dry thoroughly, the edges may then be given a light coating of beeswax and the edges burnished. Our workshops were one of the last to regularly carry out book edge marbling and we obtained a lot of useful work from being able to do it. Practice in this case will make perfect. After marbling, the headbands can be sewn, boards laced on and you are then ready for covering! The thing I really liked about edge marbling is that unlike gilt edges, which can be reasonably faked, a marbled edge can never be obtained by any other means than real skill, and the effect is much appreciated by customers. …………………………………… Most of the combs used to make the well known designs in marbling are very simple to make and the design straightforward to produce. Below and on following pages you will see examples of combs, particular designs and how they are obtained. Here is a selection of combs that you would need if you intended to produce all of the designs shown here. Note that it would be advisable to have combs of each type shown which are as long as the bath
  58. 58. you are using, and also a set which is as wide as the bath you are using, so two sets of combs of different lengths. The top comb I made from a strip of wood and inserted 1/4 inch wooden dowels to form the pins. With most combed designs you will need to draw out the colours into bands and to do this you need a comb which will cause a lot of movement in the size, when it comes to the finer points of the design you will use a finer comb. To obtain many of the patterns you will need to apply the colours in quite a disciplined way, something like the diagram below for example, I used dropper bottles to drop on the colours, using them you can achieve a high degree of regularity in the placement of the colours. Here you can see me applying the drops of colour, in this case I applied a lot of yellow to act as a background colour, by the time all the other colours are dropped on much less yellow will be visible. Of course you can apply the colours across the tray or down it's length it's up to you.
  59. 59. By using the comb with the thick wooden pins, the first time you comb through the colours you will achieve a lot of movement, what you are trying to do is draw out the colours into long bands, something like the above effect. Here you can see me using this comb and also see how the colours are being drawn out into bands. There is nothing like experience as a teacher, experiment by drawing out the colours using different combinations of combs, the conditions in your area will affect how things work out, don't be frightened of having a go, make mistakes, it's all part of the learning process.
  60. 60. To obtain this pattern and others which are similar you need to follow the combing formula shown below. With all these patterns I am going to assume that you start by applying the colours using dropper bottles as shown previously. This pattern is a variation of the one above, to produce it, comb the colours out until you obtain the pattern above from the directions shown, then apply one more comb as shown in the picture below. Draw the comb through the colours in a snake like movement.
  61. 61. This is yet another variation on the original pattern we explored, this time construct the pattern as we originally did using the method shown below. Lastly using comb d) starting at the top of the tray and at about 2 inch intervals, make a series of twists rather like the letter 6 as shown in the picture below. Lastly we come to a very attractive design known by various names, such as "Peacock Curl" or "Peacock Fan". Depending on which direction you apply the final comb you will get one or other of the patterns shown below.
  62. 62. First let us see how to make the comb...
  63. 63. Above is an illustration of the comb we want to make, I used piano wire for the pins of all my combs with the exception of the one with thick wooden pins. You want two rows of pins about .75" apart and 1.5" between each pin. Obtain the original pattern using the method shown below. Then apply the comb shown above in a zigzag pattern down the length of the tray as shown below. This lovely pattern is obtained by creating the peacock fan design and then taking your sheet of paper to be marbled, you hold one corner of the paper steady on the corner of the tray, and in contact with the size. Then with the other hand gently flap the sheet of paper as you lay it down onto the size, done correctly the design above will be obtained, but even the ones that don't work correctly will be interesting. The pattern is obtained by the peaks and troughs that form underneath the paper as it is being laid down, the peak of the wave is where the colours become stretched out and thin, the troughs are where the colours are forced together and you get a much denser colour, interesting isn't it. There are many other patterns which can be obtained using the combs mentioned, just have fun and experiment, many of the simpler "stone" patterns do not need combs at all, the colours are just thrown
  64. 64. on in an irregular manner and whatever pattern forms is what you get, something like the one shown below for example. Material Sources & Useful links Finding sources of materials can be a problem, especially when it comes to finding good carrageen moss, I have tried powdered carrageen but I had no luck with it, by far the best moss is fresh of the beach and dried. This moss can be obtained from the company below, they are prepared to ship worldwide and in small quantities (1 or 2 kg) Carabay Seaweed Health Products Kylebroughlan Moycullen Galway, Ireland Tel: (From UK) 00353 91 773370 Email: graham@carabay.ie Alum is another item which I found hard to get hold of, it used to be available in chemists in 100g boxes, but chemists in my area (Bath/Bristol) stopped supplying it several years ago. It can be obtained by J.M.Loveridge PLC Southbrook Road Southhampton
  65. 65. A paper which is ideal for marbling can be found for sale on our website at: www.edenworkshops Here are some links to suppliers in the UK. Alum can be purchased here. Tel: (UK) 023 8022 8411 Website: http://www.jmloveridge.com Dropper bottles at the company below. Lab3 Laboratory Supplies Tel: 0870 4445553 Email: mailto:sales@lab3.co.uk Since the advent of the internet it is now possible to find out a great deal about marblers and marbling, I suggest doing a search for marbling on Google, you will find out a wealth of information on the subject and also be able to read about other peoples experiences having tried to master this wayward artform. Finish Advertisement The Gold Vault is a new website solely devoted to achieving antique and other distressed finishes to gold leaf and composition gold leaf. We explore the methods behind creating such finishes as this, our Standard Antique Finish.
  66. 66. We look at what we consider to be the most reliable and easy to apply crackle glazes available. Applying gesso and obtaining distressed finishes like these is quite simple, we look at this technique in depth and show you that you do not need expensive equipment or materials to achieve these finishes. There are also Gilding Kits available which supply all the materials needed to achieve these finishes plus a comprehensive manual which talks you thought the process’s involved and is very fully illustrated. This manual; How to Achieve Distressed & Antique Finishes to Composition Gold Leaf Is now available can be downloaded for free.
  67. 67. In this manual are the complete instructions for each of the kits we supply. The manual is free to download here.
  68. 68. Hello, my name is Richard Norman For nearly 20 years my wife Margaret & I ran the Eden Workshops a system of craft workshops devoted to the exploration of the Book Arts. During that time we worked in almost total isolation and seclusion in the grounds of a very private monastery in rural England. We developed four book related skills; hand book binding, paper marbling and book edge marbling, printing & box making and took those skills to high levels of excellence. In 1997 after nearly 20 years running the Eden Workshops we were voted a National Living Treasure by Country Life magazine for our contribution to the Book Arts. In 2004 we decided to close our workshops and move out here to Southern France, I now concern myself with teaching and have the time to concentrate on aspects of the book arts that interest me. I have been approached by several people who have asked me to advise them with regard a starters pack for novice and aspiring binders, I am only to happy to provide this service, just ask. I also provide a block making service to book binders at prices about four times lower than that charged for making blocks in brass. I have published several manuals concerned with the book arts and will be releasing more very shortly, all these manuals can be found on my website and are free to download, here is a list of current and forthcoming manuals free to download from http://www.edenworkshops.com
  69. 69. A Simple Step by Step Method of Gilding onto Leather. I would greatly appreciate any feedback with regard this manual please do tell me if it has been of help, or if you think anything could be added that would be of help to other would be gilders. richard.norman@cegetel.net Gilding, to the uninitiated, can seem at best a complicated affair and at worst an impossible skill to master. I bit my teeth on the English method of gilding which was made complicated by paste washes and the mixing of egg albumen glair. The person who taught me was a distinguished expert, I have taken all he taught me and tried to simplify the process so that a novice will have a reasonable chance of getting a good result. I have come to use composition gold leaf and this is used throughout this tutorial, composition leaf looks very much like gold leaf but costs a fraction of the price, and also look far more convincing than regular gold foil. Composition gold leaf comes in a variety of shades, I use and sell the one that is closest in appearance to 23 carat gold leaf. Below is a picture showing what equipment you will need. 1 Finishing Stove 2 Gilders Cushion & Gilders Knife 3 Gold Leaf (Note I am using composition leaf) 4 BS Glair (see note concerning glair) 5 Pumice powder 6 Lint Free Cotton Wool 7 White Spirit or Turpentine 8 Thin Lacquer (Bookbinders varnish is fine) 9 Vaseline 10 All books to be gilded 11 Finishing Press A few words about the equipment needed. A proper finishing stove is ideal, but you can also use a simple single electric hotplate with a thermostat, these are available from many hardware stores, I have also used a paraffin stove with a long metal chimney and rested the tools on the top, this works fine too. A gilders pad is made from a piece of good quality thick (3mm) leather stretched over a wooden block, underneath the leather is a pad of cotton wool about 1/4 of an inch thick. A gilders knife can be an old kitchen knife with the front of the blade ground off at an angle, it should not have a razor like edge, rather it should be coarsely sharpened, rather like sharpening it on the kitchen step!
  70. 70. I use composition leaf for many bindings, I use it instead of gold leaf on cheaper books, you do need to give the gilded areas a thin coat of shellac to seal it so that it does not tarnish with age, but it is so much cheaper than 23 carat leaf and looks just as convincing...as you will see. Note Concerning Glaire You have two choices when it comes to the glair (adhesive) you use when gilding onto leather. The first is the method of beating up the whites of eggs in order to extract the egg albumen used for gilding, you can also purchase dried egg albumen. Or you can use a shellac based adhesive, there are two currently on the market, one is known as BS glaire and is spirit based, the other is JHS glaire and is water based, the JHS glair has the advantage of being free from fumes which irritate some people. Both types of shellac size have the advantages of being easy to apply with a brush or cotton wool pad, I am currently using the JHS glaire and it is this glaire that is available from the site. Most book binders develop a preference for one sort of size or another, I did use egg albumen for many years but went over to a shellac based size due to it’s more flexible attributes. You can obtain this glaire at my website by clicking here. Pumice powder is used to degrease the gilders cushion and the gilders knife, a material called Bath Brick used to be used for this but I believe it is no longer available. A finishing press, or some small wooden press is needed to hold the books to be gilded. There are some excellent quality press’s which can be found at; http://www.edenworkshops.com I have found that the best time to gild (for me) is first thing in the morning, you need to be fresh and alert, make sure you have time enough to do the job properly, when successful, gilding is extremely satisfying, when it fails you can feel pretty frustrated, so give yourself the best chance of success. Preparation for gilding
  71. 71. Using the gilders knife, scoop out a little of the pumice powder and deposit it on the cushion. Binders used to use a type of brick which they scraped powder from to degrease the cushion, but this type of brick is now either impossible to find or very expensive indeed, thus I have used fine grade pumice powder for many years as an inexpensive substitute. Next, spread the pumice over the face of the cushion, and wiping the knife back and forth distribute the pumice over the cushion, making sure that the knife gets wiped several times to remove any traces of grease from it; then with the knife, brush of all the surplus pumice. Having gathered all the books together that you wish to gild, take one and place it in the finishing press with about an inch of the book sticking out of the press as shown above. Using a small pad of cotton wool, dip the pad into the glair and gently wipe over the areas of the book that you wish to gild. If you are too vigorous in this, the glair may froth a little causing small bubbles to form, not really a problem as they will disperse soon enough. Now, and this is very important, leave the book for 24 hours before you start gilding, this is necessary whether you use the glair I make or use any other spirit based glair, act too soon after applying the glair and you will get inferior results, or it will not work at all. Remember...leave for 24 hours after applying the glair. No need to leave the book in the press, after applying the glaire it can be removed while you glaire up other books or use the press for some other job. One of the nice things about this glaire is that you can
  72. 72. come back long after applying the glaire and work with it straight away, it does not deteriorate over months at a time. When you are ready to gild, place the book of leaf on the cushion, open the book and slide your grease free knife under the middle of a leaf as shown above. Turning the knife upwards, carefully lift the leaf up the leaf so that it drapes over the edge of the blade. Note that the slightest draft will send your leaf floating across the room, so close all the windows, put the cat out, and even hold your breath while doing this.
  73. 73. Lay the sheet of leaf down onto the cushion and using the knife, cut the leaf up into squares wide enough to fit over the spine of the book, (if you are tooling the whole spine, if not, then cut the leaf up into pieces big enough to cover the parts of the book you intend to gild) Watch your breathing at this stage, just a puff of breath will send these pieces of leaf flying in all directions. Gather together a small amount of cotton wool and push it into a tight pad.
  74. 74. Place a little Vaseline on the back of your hand and using the pad with a circular motion distribute the Vaseline over the back of your hand, the idea being to get a pad with an even thin coating of Vaseline on it. Using the pad, carefully wipe over the areas of the book you wish to gild, making sure that only a thin coat is applied, you do not want to see any concentrations of Vaseline on the book. If you are not careful, concentrations of Vaseline can accumulate around the bands, make sure you avoid this. The Vaseline will cause the leaf to adhere to the area to be gilded so only a thin film is required, any more than that and it will make a mess of the gilding for sure.
  75. 75. Now, using a clean pad of cotton wool, wipe it down the side of your nose, across your forehead or through your hair, the idea is to pick up a little grease, not as much as is on the book, but just enough so that when you touch one of the pieces of leaf the slight amount of grease will cause the leaf to stick to the pad as shown above. If you have dry, non greasy skin or you are for example bald, then you could...with care...apply just a trace of Vaseline to the cotton wool pad. The basic idea is to have enough grease on the pad so that it picks up the leaf, but that your have more on the book, so that the leaf when applied to the book will stick to it, rather than to the pad. Still watching out for drafts of air, transfer the piece of leaf on the cotton wool pad to the area of the book to be gilded and gently lay the leaf down and press lightly, if you press too hard, or move the pad as you are laying the leaf down you run the risk of the leaf breaking up on the book, in which case you will have to lay more leaf over the broken areas...not a disaster, just more work and more leaf, you can lay
  76. 76. one layer of leaf upon another without any problem, but not too many layers please. Care will give the best results in the first place. All things being equal, the leaf should adhere to the book as the book has more grease on it than the pad had, remove the pad and the leaf should be stuck in place, as shown above. Continue to pick up pieces of leaf and stick them to the areas to be gilded until you have covered all the areas that you wish to gild.
  77. 77. Here you can see the spine of the book completely covered in leaf. I plan to do a full gilt back on this book, so I have covered the entire spine in leaf, obviously if you wished to just include center designs between the panels of the spine and gilt lines across the back you would not need to lay leaf over the whole of the spine, just those particular areas you wished to gild. Ensuring your lettering is square on a curved spine can be a problem; here is a tip that will help you with this factor of gilding. Here you can see the spine of a book which has had the leaf applied to the area to be lettered. Cut yourself a length of thin twine, cotton thread is ideal, I am using a thicker thread for the purposes of illustration. Wind the twine around your fingers as shown in the picture below and use your other fingers as a guide and to hold the thread square to the book as shown in the picture.
  78. 78. Try sliding your fingers up and down the sides of the book for practice, the thread should stay square to the spine of the book, do this a few times to give you the feel of this exercise, then slide the thread over to where the leaf has been laid. Sight the thread so that it is where you would like the top of your letters to be and then pull the thread down onto the leaf, give a slight sideways pull and you will find that the thread cuts through the leaf leaving a nice clean line which you can use as a guide when it comes to tooling in your lettering.
  79. 79. Now we come to another very important area of gilding...the temperature of the tools. To be precise a temperature of between 250 and 260 degrees Fahrenheit will do the job, to put it another way, using a Cockerel finishing stove like this one, the simmer setting is just right, bring the tools up to the simmer temperature and they are ready to use. Perhaps the easiest method of judging when the temperature is right is to use this method. Wet your finger and apply the moisture to the end of the finishing tool, what you are looking for is for the moisture to quickly evaporate before your eyes...if the moisture sizzles it is a little to hot, remember we are looking for the moisture to just quickly evaporate...not sizzle away, no bubbles should form...the moisture should just quickly fade away. That is the right temperature for gilding using this method with a spirit based glaire.
  80. 80. When you are happy that your tools are at the right temperature, carefully sight the tool into the position you want to apply it on the book, If you are using a center tool as I am, bring the tool down squarely on the spot you want to gild and quickly break into a rocking movement, which rocks the tool North, South, East & West. The diagram below attempts to demonstrate this movement. In all the tool should not be in contact with the book for more than a couple of seconds. If the resulting image looks fuzzy or blurred that is an indication that you spent too long in contact with the book. Often the face of a center tool will be slightly concave, by rocking the tool back and forth and from side to side makes sure that the whole of the face of the tool comes into contact with the leather. You do not need to use this technique if you are using a pallet or fillet to make lines across the back of the book.
  81. 81. It may be worth pointing out that their are three elements to consider when applying the tool to the book. Heat: The temperature of the tool. Dwell: The amount of time spent in contact with the book. Pressure: The amount of pressure you exert onto the tool. If you gild using a slightly cooler tool then you may spend longer in contact with the book, but these are fine points. When it comes to carrying out lettering to the spine of a book a very good tip is as follows; Having tooled all the areas of the book that were required, get a small pot of white spirit and dip a pad of cotton wool into the spirit, squeeze out most but not all of the spirit and wipe of the surplus leaf with the pad, do not rub the pad over the leaf, rather wipe over an area, remove the leaf, and then using a fresh part of the pad, wipe another area and so on, as shown below.
  82. 82. And below is the result, if the temperature of your tools is right the glair will do the job for you, it is essentially acting as a heat activated adhesive, the heat from the tool being the catalyst. And remember, we used no paste washes, neither did we tool the designs in blind first or make card templates, gilding in it's simplest form. However this manual is designed to give you a start and also give you a reasonable chance of success, when you have mastered this simple process perhaps you might consider getting the book on gilding by Mr. John Mitchell, I consider this man to be one of the very few experts in this field and his book will teach you the finer points of gilding. Lastly, give the gilded area a thin coat of shellac, as shown below...J.Hewit & Sons Ltd make a leather varnish which is just right for this, it is slightly orange in colour and tints the gold very nicely and also seals the leaf from the atmosphere.
  83. 83. Some common problems The gold does not stick after tooling, but gets wiped off when removing the surplus leaf with white spirit. This is caused by the tools being too cold to activate the spirit based adhesive, increase the heat of the tools being used. Also make sure that the tool is being kept in contact with the leather for a few seconds, too little time spent in contact will result in the adhesive not getting enough heat to be activated. The gold sticks in places but in others it looks messy and broken. This may be caused by two things, firstly your tools are to hot and they are causing the glair to rapidly oxidize and blacken. To much heat will cause the leather to blacken. Secondly, make sure you have not applied to much Vaseline, when the hot tool comes into contact, the Vaseline will melt and cause a mess. If you still have problems I would be happy to lend a hand, just mail me with the problem you are experiencing and I will help out. email: richard.norman@cegetel.net Finish Advertisement The Gold Vault is a new website solely devoted to achieving antique and other distressed finishes to gold leaf and composition gold leaf. We explore the methods behind creating such finishes as this, our Standard Antique Finish. We look at what we consider to be the most reliable and easy to apply crackle glazes available.
  84. 84. Applying gesso and obtaining distressed finishes like these is quite simple, we look at this technique in depth and show you that you do not need expensive equipment or materials to achieve these finishes. There are also Gilding Kits available which supply all the materials needed to achieve these finishes plus a comprehensive manual which talks you thought the process’s involved and is very fully illustrated. This manual; How to Achieve Distressed & Antique Finishes to Composition Gold Leaf Is now available can be downloaded for free. In this manual are the complete instructions for each of the kits we supply. The manual is free to download here.
  85. 85. Hello, my name is Richard Norman For nearly 20 years my wife Margaret & I ran the Eden Workshops a system of craft workshops devoted to the exploration of the Book Arts. During that time we worked in almost total isolation and seclusion in the grounds of a very private monastery in rural England. We developed four book related skills; hand book binding, paper marbling and book edge marbling, printing & box making and took those skills to high levels of excellence. In 1997 after nearly 20 years running the Eden Workshops we were voted a National Living Treasure by Country Life magazine for our contribution to the Book Arts. In 2004 we decided to close our workshops and move out here to Southern France, I now concern myself with teaching and have the time to concentrate on aspects of the book arts that interest me. I have been approached by several people who have asked me to advise them with regard a starters pack for novice and aspiring binders, I am only to happy to provide this service, just ask. I also provide a block making service to book binders at prices about four times lower than that charged for making blocks in brass. I have published several manuals concerned with the book arts and will be releasing more very shortly, all these manuals can be found on my website and are free to download, here is a list of current and forthcoming manuals free to download from http://www.edenworkshops.com I can be contacted at edenworkshops@orange.fr If you are interested in gilding in particular please do check out our new website at www.gold-vault.com
  86. 86. An Elegant solution to the problem of Single Section Bindings I hope this little manual will be of use to anyone who has been faced with the problem of how to neatly deal with the problem of single section bindings. The problems arise because of the fact that with a single section you cannot form shoulders on the book. All other methods of dealing with a single section result in drag on the hinge area and never function in the way a book with shoulders will. I did not intend this manual to be for the complete novice, though the structure is simple enough, rather I hope this book structure will appeal to those who have encountered this problem before and do not know this method of dealing with it. It was taught me by Mr. Anton Henley when I was studying bookbinding at Brunel College in Bristol sometime in 1987 I think. The idea lies in sewing the single section onto a stub guard the same thickness as the section to be sewn Gather together paper of the same type or similar and make sure that the thickness of the stub guard is the same as the section to be bound, the stub should be about ½ an inch wide for most books, when you have grasped the principle you will be able to apply this method to books of all sizes. Marry up the section and the stub to make sure they are the same thickness. Depending on the size of the section, make holes the same distance apart in both the section and the stub as we are going to sew the stub and section together. Using simple 3 or 5 hole sewing sew the stub to the section, I suggest tying the knot on the inside of the section rather than on the stub side as the knot may hinder later operations if left on the stub side of the guard.
  87. 87. When the stub and section have been sewn together, using a steel rule as a guide, trim off the stub guard to size, what size this will be will depend on the size of the section, but bear in mind that we will be tipping on endpapers onto the stub later on, don’t make it too small. When you have trimmed the stub to size, glue the ends of the stub together, we are going to sew along the stub and having it glued together will help matters. When dry, slit along the join to separate the two stubs. Using a bodkin or a needle with a wooden handle, pierce along the sides of the stub, the holes should be about 1/8 of an inch apart as shown in the diagram. Using a fine strong thread, sew along the sides of both stubs We are now going to form the “shoulders” of the book, so measure the size of the boards you are going to be using and place a steel rule as shown on one side of the stub guard. Using a bone folder sharply fold the stub up against the rule, the depth of this “shoulder” should correspond to the thickness of the board. Do the same to the other side of the stub. When both “shoulders” have been formed and you are happy with them, glue out the inside of the two stubs and press them firmly together and allow to dry.
  88. 88. When dry you should have something that looks like the diagram on the left. Using a piece of grey board, laminated if need be, cut it to the width of the combined stubs, this is going to from the convex shape of a rounded spine, so use your best judgment when it comes to determining the height of this piece of board. Glue the strip of board to the back of the two glued stubs as shown in the diagram on the right. With a scalpel and sandpaper, shape the strip of board to the required profile. The end papers have to be shaped to accept the shoulder of the board; I normally do this with a bone folder and a steel rule. This is the basic structure, you can add re-enforcements such as cloth around the spine, and you can also insert leather joints if wanted. A book bound in this way will function over the spine area just like a book with shoulders; also no drag is exerted by the text paper with this style of single section binding. Finally this is a tight back structure; no oxford hollow is needed. I hope this little manual has been of some help to you, I shall be writing more like this as time goes by so do check out my website at www.edenworkshops.com and www.gold-vault.com for the latest manuals. If you have any comments or think this structure could be improved I would be happy to talk to you. Richard Norman edenworkshops@orange.fr
  89. 89. Finish
  90. 90. Advertisment The Gold Vault is a new website solely devoted to achieving antique and other distressed finishes to gold leaf and composition gold leaf. We explore the methods behind creating such finishes as this, our Standard Antique Finish. We look at what we consider to be the most reliable and easy to apply crackle glazes available. Applying gesso and obtaining distressed finishes like these is quite simple, we look at this technique in depth and show you that you do not need expensive equipment or materials to achieve these finishes.
  91. 91. There are also Gilding Kits available which supply all the materials needed to achieve these finishes plus a comprehensive manual which talks you thought the process’s involved and is very fully illustrated. This manual; How to Achieve Distressed & Antique Finishes to Composition Gold Leaf Is now available can be downloaded for free. In this manual are the complete instructions for each of the kits we supply. The manual is free to download here.
  92. 92. Thank you for taking an interest in this Book Arts E-book. Other e-books and manuals on the subject of the Book Arts and Gilding in particular are available for free download from the Eden Workshops website. http://www.edenworkshops.com If you are interested in gilding in particular please do check out our website at: http://www.gold-vault.com For nearly 20 years my wife Margaret & I ran a system of craft workshops devoted to the exploration of the Book Arts. During that time we worked in almost total isolation and seclusion in the grounds of a very private monastery in rural England. We developed four book related skills; hand book binding, paper marbling and book edge marbling, printing & box making and took those skills to high levels of excellence. In 1997 after nearly 20 years running the Eden Workshops we were voted a National Living Treasure by Country Life magazine for our contribution to the Book Arts. In 2004 we decided to close our workshops and move out here to Southern France, I now concern myself with teaching and have the time to concentrate on aspects of the book arts that interest me. Incidentally the Eden Workshops were named after our daughter Eden who is now 12 years old. You can email me at home richard.norman@aliceadsl.fr Or telephone me. 0033 (0) 555 60 09 63
  93. 93. A New Look at Paste Papers I put this manual together to help someone who wanted to set up small scale production of a unique type of paste paper. I hope their may be something original here for those interested in making paste papers. One item, the decorative engraved wooden blocks which are used in this process, can often be found in Oxfam shops, these blocks were used in India for stamping decorative designs onto fabrics, they are not expensive, perhaps £5.00 each Ok...to make these paste papers you will need three tables, a bit bigger than the sheets size you are working with, I used a trestle table which after use I could fold up and put against the wall. You will also want to have a surface where you can put the various bits and pieces we will be speaking about later. A densely woven blanket and a sheet of plastic to go over the blanket. A rack where you will hang the papers to dry. I used garden bamboo canes and draped the papers over the canes to dry. You will need a sponge, used to damp the paper before use. Alum ...available from most chemists. A paint roller and tray. Acrylic paint. A bag of strong plain white flour...not self raising. The type used for bread making is perfect, I used a brand called Mc Dougals but any will do. A few wooden dowels about 8 inches long with a rounded end. Assorted pots for keeping and mixing colours in. That's all you need. Ok...now I will run through the procedure for making the papers and talk about why I am doing certain things, then I will go over some of the variations in the recipes. Ok so we have our three tables. Over one of them drape the blanket, depending on how thick the blanket is you may have to fold it double, what you want is for the blanket to act as a pad, quite firm, against which you will press the designs into the paper, next get your sheet of plastic and stretch it over the blanket and pin it at the sides ....I did think that a piece of neoprene rubber sheet would be about the best thing to use, but I never got around to getting it to try...as I say you want quite a firm surface that will give a little when you press the designs into the paper.
  94. 94. Next, mix up a solution of Alum...1 ounce to a pint of water is just fine, the Alum is going to act as a mordant to make sure that the colours take to the paper and do not peel off. Put the Alum into COLD water and slowly heat it up, stirring as you go until all the crystals of Alum have dissolved....if you try to take a shortcut and put the Alum in HOT water on cooling the Alum will form crystals and drop to the bottom of the receptacle, thus leaving you with plain water with no Alum in it...lot of people forget this. Next make your paste & mix up your colours. First the paste, you want the paste WHEN COLD to have the consistency of double cream ...quite thick, but not so thick that it will not run off a spoon...it should slowly run off the spoon. As for the colours ..bearing in mind that I used a brand called Galleria which is a very thick acrylic, it will not run at all. I used to mix this brand 2:1 with water so that it ended up the same consistency as the paste. Now we go to the papers. In practice you can work with about 100 sheets of damped paper, I could easily make more than 100 sheets a day ...compared to marbled papers of which I could make about 50. Place a pile of papers on the first table...the second table is where you are going to build up a pile of damped papers... when all the papers have been damped we put them back on the first table and make a neat pile of them....the third table is where you will be doing the printing of the papers. Water can get on the floor so take this into account and put down newspaper if your floor does not like water being on it. Most papers are distinctly two sided, this is useful as you want to remember which side of the paper you have Alumed, I used to get into a routine about this to avoid mistakes. If your paper is not two sided just put a light pencil mark in the corner of each sheet to remind you which is which. Ok we have our three tables, one with a blanket draped over it...one empty and one with a pile of dry papers on it. Get your saucepan of warm water and Alum and your sponge. Take a sheet of dry paper and load the sponge with Alum water...squeeze out some of the water...you want quite a lot still in the sponge as you want to quickly "flood" the surface of the paper, their will be quite a lot of water on the surface of the paper, when it has been thoroughly covered, wipe of the surplus water and place the paper upside down on the second table, do not bother to try to smooth the paper out flat ...while the paper is absorbing the water it will want to expand...just continue with the rest of the papers. If I were you I would start with a pile of say 20 sheets just so that you will get used to handling the papers. Eventually you will have finished Aluming the papers and on the second table you will have a heap of rumpled sheets...now the bottom sheet, that is to say the first sheet you Alumed, will by this time have finished absorbing moisture...so take the pile of sheets, and turn them over so the bottom sheet is now on the top. Take this top sheet and lay it down on the first table taking care to smooth out any wrinkles and air bubbles that form underneath the paper, you may lay them Alumed side up or down as long as you remember which surface has been Alumed. Ok, here is a picture showing how the papers are transferred from one to the other just for the sake of clarity.
  95. 95. Don't let all these instructions give the impression that this is a complicated process, it's not, but I want this instruction to be as complete as possible for you to refer to until the process becomes instinctive. Ok now we come to a part that affects the colour tone and texture of the finished paper, all of these instructions you can vary to give the paper the colour tone and texture you feel is what you want. First, a note about texture. The more paste colour you apply with the roller, the heavier your finished texture is going to be, but be aware that the heavier the texture the longer the papers will need to dry and the harder and less flexible the papers are going to be. Using a roller to apply the colour automatically gives the paper a textured finish, but it can be light or heavy depending on how much paste colour you apply to the roller. Now a note about colour tone. The more paste you add to the colour the more washed out/faded/pastel /paler the colour tone will be. If you want splashes of very intense colour you can add the colour to the roller tray on it's own. See below: If you want a mono colour paper, it could not be simpler, mix up your paste and colour until you have the tone you require then fill the tray that comes with the roller with the colour, just for the record this is the type of roller and tray I am talking about. Every DIY store should carry these. Take a sheet of your damp Alumed paper...by the way the sheet should be slightly damp. not wet. damp, I used to finish Aluming the pile of papers, put a sheet of plastic over them to keep the moisture from evaporating, and leave it overnight...the papers were then perfect for use the next morning.
  96. 96. Take your sheet of damp Alumed paper and lay it on the table that has the blanket covered with the plastic sheet. Apply paste colour to the roller...the more colour the heavier the texture remember. Then roll out the colour over the paper, first apply the roller in one direction only, say up the long side of the paper, until the paper is covered, if you want to vary the direction the texture is going for decorative effect, simply apply the roller diagonally or across the paper. Now take one of the wooden blocks and gently press into the paper, the design of the block will displace the paste colour on the paper leaving the background colour of the paper showing through. Once you have covered the paper in the design, lift it at the corners and place it in the drying rack...as I said I used bamboo garden canes and draped the papers across the canes. I used to do one paper, the quickly wash of the surplus paste colour from the block in a bucket of warm water and shake it dry, this preserves the crispness of the design on each paper, otherwise, paste colour will build up around the design element and it will become fuzzy and indistinct. Ok...told you it was simple...next we come to multi coloured designs, both formal and abstract. Mono coloured designs as we have seen are very simple to execute, multi coloured designs are only a very little more complicated. Ok, say you want a paper composed of two colours, each colour in the form of a band running up the sheet looking something like this...bear in mind with these methods you do not get any sharply defined lines they will be blurred and the colours will blend in to one another slightly. But say you want something like this. Well it's very easy, mix up the two colours you require and pour them into the tray in bands, something like this:
  97. 97. Obviously if you decide on a formal pattern like this then you will have to take care to apply the roller in a fairly disciplined way. Having obtained the bands of colour running up the sheet, impress the designs and hang up to dry. Most of the designs I opted for were abstract background colours, I liked the interplay of an abstract background and the disciplined impressed designs. Abstract backgrounds are very easy. either apply the colour in bands as for the formal banded pattern and using the wooden dowels draw the colours out across the bands, something like in fig.1 below, or simply pour in a single colour and apply drops of colour on top, something like fig.2 below. Fig. 1 Fig. 2 That's about it, you can vary how you apply the paste colours in the tray to achieve different effects, something I had thought about, but not put into practice was the idea of changing the surface pattern of the roller. On the following pages you can see some of the ideas I had but did not put into practice, all of these ideas would lead to more and more complex patterns something you may or may not wish to explore. Depending on the type of paint roller you buy, the actual covering may be quite thick or quite thin, with a thicker roller covering, if you take a piece of string and tie it tightly around the roller in the ways shown, you will achieve quite striking effects, as I say I had never tried it but I am pretty sure it would work.
  98. 98. Thank you for taking the time to read this artists e-book. Don’t miss the other free bookbinding manuals available at; http://www.edenworkshops.com
  99. 99. There are currently three tutorials available which cover gilding onto almost everything. http://www.gold-vault.com You can email me at home richard.norman@aliceadsl.fr Or telephone me. 0033 (0) 555 60 09 63
  100. 100. Thank you for taking an interest in this Book Arts E-book. Other e-books and manuals on the subject of the Book Arts and Gilding are available for free download from the Eden Workshops website. http://www.edenworkshops.com If you are interested in gilding in particular please do check out our website at: http://www.gold-vault.com For nearly 20 years my wife Margaret & I ran a system of craft workshops devoted to the exploration of the Book Arts. During that time we worked in almost total isolation and seclusion in the grounds of a very private monastery in rural England. We developed four book related skills; hand book binding, paper marbling and book edge marbling, printing & box making and took those skills to high levels of excellence. In 1997 after nearly 20 years running the Eden Workshops we were voted a National Living Treasure by Country Life magazine for our contribution to the Book Arts. In 2004 we decided to close our workshops and move out here to Southern France, I now concern myself with mentoring those with aspirations to become bookbinders and have the time to concentrate on aspects of the book arts that interest me. I can be contacted at home via email richard.norman@aliceadsl.fr and phone 0033 (0) 555 60 09 63
  101. 101. How to form cloth and leather corners. I have put together this tutorial after being asked many times to explain how to form leather corners when binding a book. In fact knowing how to form the corners of a humble cloth case binding is just as important. I am going to show how to form; Cloth corners full buckram binding Thin leather corners half leather binding. Thin leather corners full leather binding. Full thickness leather half leather binding. Full thickness leather full leather binding. Some of the methods I show are the same for different styles of binding, so I may repeat myself, I do this so as to make each tutorial complete unto itself. Cloth corners full buckram binding. After gluing out the cover, and positioning the boards and spine strip your cover should look like this.
  102. 102. Now cut each corner at an angle of 45 degrees as shown here. After cutting the corners we are ready to turn in the edges of the buckram, known as “doing the turn in’s”. You always do the head & tail (top & bottom) turn in’s first. Use your bone folder to get under the edge of the buckram, then using your folder and fingers, push or pull the buckram up over the edge, we do not want pockets of air trapped under the buckram. Here you can see the result of turning in the top and bottom edges.
  103. 103. Now we come to a very important element. The little red flap of buckram shown in the illustration on the right, has to be squashed flat and pushed away from you. This is done with your bone folder and is simple when you know how to do it. So in one motion we squash and push away from us. Doing this will ensure that the corners are neat and will protect them from wear and tear. The corner should look something like the illustration on the right. When you have done all four corners you are ready to complete the other two turn in’s. When you have got to this stage, rub down the front and back of the cover, as well as the turn in’s. Rub down the edges with your bone folder to get a crisp edge. Ok so we have made the cover, more properly called the case, now we would proceed with “casing in”, or gluing the book into it’s cover. Ok that finishes the tutorial on forming cloth corners, now we come to forming corners in leather. I make a distinction between forming corners with thin leather and full thickness leather. For one thing the corners are formed differently and for another when using full thickness leather it is customary to line the front and back of the board with card in order to compensate for the thickness of the leather. This is not needed when using a thin leather. So let us start with forming the corners of a half leather style of binding using thin leather.
  104. 104. Thin leather corners half leather binding. What size and proportion the corners should take depends upon the width of the book being bound. Traditionally to arrive at the correct size for the spine leather and corners, you divide the books width into four equal parts, as you can see in the illustration on the left. You must remember that the dimensions shown refer to the covered book; in fact your corners will be a little larger as the marbled paper “siding” overlaps the leather a little. How much larger? I would allow 5mm plus 1 board thickness. See the illustration below. Ok, that has given you a good idea of how to arrive at the size of your leather corners and how to allow extra for the marbled paper to overlap. And also to allow one board thickness which will be needed when we come to form the tips of the corners. Now let’s make a cardboard template which we can use to cut out our corners. Remember we have arrived at the size of the corners by dividing the book into four, we have also allowed extra for overlap, and the board thickness needed to form the tips of the corners. We have mentioned “turn in’s” this refers to the amount of leather we leave to fold over onto the back of the board. I would suggest between 15mm & 20mm.
  105. 105. This illustration shows the template super imposed. So here you can see how we arrived at the dimensions of the template. Bearing in mind in this example we are using a light weight sheepskin skiver, you will not need to do much paring, I feel you could do all the paring with a sharp craft knife, or better still a scalpel using a 10a blade. Right, so you have cut out all your corners, now you want to pare the three longest edges of the corner down to nothing, starting at about 3/4mm in from each edge. You will have to get your scalpel or craft knife down low to slice through the leather. You can do this on a piece of waste board or on a sheet of glass. How much we pare down the shortest edge will depend on the thickness of the board we are using, if we use a 2mm board then we would need to start the cut 2mm from the very tip. Viewed from the flesh side of the leather your corner should look something like this. We are now ready for covering the corners of the book. Get your corners and sponge the hair side of the leather with water; you want the leather damp but not saturated, leave the corners covered with a damp cloth to prevent evaporation for say an hour. I would suggest using a 50/50 mix of PVA and Paste, the paste contains more water which will help keep the leather damp while you are working on it. Take one of your corners and glue it out with the PVA/Paste adhesive and place the corner in the position shown in this illustration. Note that on the short edge, the board is one board’s thickness away from the edge of the leather, and that the leather has been pared back one boards thickness.
  106. 106. Now fold over the bottom edge of the leather, remembering that in all cases the top and bottom edge (the head and tail) are turned in first, followed by the side edges (foredges). You will be faced with a flap of leather which is very thin. Some things you have to do to gain experience, when covering with buckram, this flap is quite stiff, but when covering with thin leather which has been damped and glued out with PVA/Paste, as well as having been pared, it should be expected that it is very malleable and thin. Gently squash the flap and push it forward. The corner will look something like this. You can then turn in the foredges, the leather will still be quite damp and this will give you the opportunity to go over each corner, molding and shaping them. The turn in’s if correctly cut will overlap one another, you can move the leather with your fingers to facilitate this. When using a thin leather it is normal to lay the marbled paper or cloth directly over the leather which has been pared, if the leather has been correctly pared, the leather will not make an unsightly ridge. Thin leather corners full leather binding. You will find that different binders have different methods when it comes to dealing with the corners of a full leather binding. This method was taught to me when I first started bookbinding and it works very well. First cut out your leather, the size of the leather is going to depend on the size of the boards and the width of the spine strip. Ok so you have your leather cut out, now using a wet sponge, damp the hair side of the leather, the hair side is the front of the leather, the flesh side is the back, good to know these terms, helps prevent confusion. Damp the leather well, not saturated but moist all the way through. I would suggest using two types of adhesive, a 50/50 PVA & Paste mix, and a pot of plain paste. The leather can dry out if you work slowly and I find that by applying paste to the edges the leather

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