31 July 2009

More on the D250 Project

I know I said I was going to go backwards in time with my updates, but I wanted to post some pictures of the Democracy 250 project that I shot yesterday and today.

I spent all of yesterday and part of today trimming out the turn-ins on the books and filling the boards in with thin card, so that when the endpapers are put down, the inside covers will be even.

You can see in the photo above that the leather around the edges is uneven. To make the book look neat, it needs to be trimmed so that the turn-ins are the same all the way around. Here's one in progress.

Yes, I got to take a knife to $600 worth of leather. Twelve times in a row. Fortunately, I didn't mess it up.

Sometimes it's not really possible to make all three sides equal, depending on how the leather stretched when it went on, and the kind of paper was used for the endpapers. The paper in the D250 books is handmade, so it won't stretch very much, which means that the turn-ins may have to be left wider at the side. In that case, we just make the top and bottom the same, and the edge as close as we can while still leaving enough to overlap with the endpapers.

Occasionally, the leather goes on so unevenly that there are small gaps where the boards will show once the endpapers are down. They might stretch enough to cover, but just in case, those spaces get filled in with scraps from the leather that was trimmed off.

Once the leather is trimmed, the boards are lined with card to bring them level with the leather.

This isn't something that's always done in bookbinding. In fact, more often than not, it's not done. There's something to be said for the tactility of the ridges on the boards from the covering material. But it does make the book sleeker and neater, and is used mostly for very expensive, special books, which these are.

None of the books are quite finished yet. There are still spine labels to apply, plus blind tooling on the covers and gold tooling on the spines. Here's Joe doing some of the blind tooling.

The rest of today Chris and I spent making some of the lining pieces for the boxes. If I go in tomorrow, I'll be working more on lining the boxes, and possibly on putting down endpapers while Joe finishes the tooling.

And just for fun, here's a shot of the apple I had with my lunch. If you look closely, you can see that the seed on the left is about to sprout into a tiny apple tree. I felt a little bad eating it. Perhaps I should have saved the seed and tried to grow it. It could keep the tiny oak sapling I stole from the graveyard company.


stampernancy said...

thanks for that update - nice to see the photos - interesting about adding the card!

Niko said...

You're welcome. It's good to know someone is interested. I'm hoping to get some more photos before the books go to their new homes, but I'm not sure if I'll get into the studio again before that.