At last I have got to the end of paperwork so today I can do what I want - which is bookbinding. I have another textbook sewn and will finish that today and I have torn and folded the mulberry bark paper from Samarkand. This, being handmade, had deckled edges and I wanted to avoid a straight cut so I used a ruler set acros the centre of the sheet and passed a paintbrush loaded with water down the ruler's edge, then carefully tore the edge through the wet paper. It worked a treat and the edges match the original ones. I had to wait till the paper had dried before folding but the textblock is ready to be pressed now.
I have acquired several books in the last few days. The Midlands Region of the Society of Book-binders is having an internal competition to bind a Japanese book and is prepared to sell copies of the textblock to 'outsiders'. So I have bought two copies. It is properly done on very thin paper with two prints to each page. The pages will be folded and the fold goes at the fore edge. I fancy binding this and will have fun designing the covers. I still have not used some paper printed in gold and bought in Kyoto. It is to have a box too. The Society itself is having a free-for-all in 2014, binding a book called ' Sweet Thames, Run Softly' by Robert Gibbins. It is illustrated with his own woodcuts which are lovely. The idea is that anyone who wants can bind a copy and enter it at the 2014 Conference. There is no judging. I am not a Book Designer and I am sure there will be superb designs on show but why not do what I can do, which will be to design as piece of fabric for the cover. I am sure there will lots bound in leather. That's is beyond me. The book itself is very good and I read it is two sittings.
The other book I have acquired is something I have wanted since 1981. I was ill that year and could not work for several months. I borrowed a very early copy of Ruskin's The Stones of Venice from Gloucester Library, three volumes bound in leather and worked my way through it. Over the years, I have looked at second hand copies but they were either abridged, missing the illustrations or too expensive. Yesterday at Aardvark Books, I asked if they had a copy and they produced two. One abridged and the other a Folio Society version of 2001 in a case - complete. I bought it for £20.00!!
I have been clearing out in what is known as the Fax room, although we have not had a Fax machine for several years. The shelves need to be taken down before the builder starts in on doing something about the damp in that room. The shelves on that side go to the ceiling and were Michael's province and I had no idea what was there. So after 2.5 years, I found all sorts of strange things. A whole lot of tools for making stringed instruments (I know a good home for them), stones for sharpening tools (I need them), innumerable fancy drills, far too many power extension leads, and more cable ties than I will ever use. Oh and lots of internet connections which will go to a good home. So the shelves look quite bare now and at least I know what is there. One day soon I must do the same to the cellar. Another 2.5 years?
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- I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.