Friday, 4 August 2017

Bookbinding conference

I am attending the biennial Bookbinders conference in Keele University and having a great time. I am almost tempted to leave now, rush home and start out making hinged boxes, covering books with parchment, applying the lovely endpapers I have just bought and generally having a good time. I have also solved a bookbinding problem. I bought a text block from a private press two years ago. I have had a go at designing the covers for it but failed because the book is a very odd size, sort of portrait A3 but taller and narrower. This means I do not have any material to cover it with. I have plenty of bookcloth but I do not want that. I want a natural linen which I have over printed. But my printer will not do bigger than A3. And sitting in the lecture hall today, I saw the solution!!

The lecturers here have 75 minutes each. Some of them just lecture, some do demos. If you go into the hall and equipment is laid out on tables, the lecturer wears an apron and a man with a video camera is present, you know you are into ' now measure the inside dimensions! ' and the lecturer will be waving a steel ruler. It has all been great fun.

And the suppliers exhibition has been great fun too. I intend to buy some leather but I have not got round to that yet. I have bought three lots of endpapers and a length of linen for reinforcing spines. I will probably buy some special glue as well.

I know quite a few people and was talking to a bookbinding friend from Malvern.  Now she grows alpine plants including auriculas and wins prizes at national shows. She bookbinds of course but she also is an enthusiastic silver smith. So I asked her how she managed all this and she spends from September to December bookbinding, from January to April silversmithing and the rest of the year looking after her plants. I was rendered a bit speechless by this. But have been wondering if I could do the same. How would it go? I have booked into a linocut course for autumn --- so august to December bookbinding and Lino cuts. December to march weaving, April to July gardening. No, I do not think that would work for me! But it is true that on occasions when I have done two or three weeks steady bookbinding, I have got a lot done and got quite good at the end,

Talking of quite good, the Bookbinders international competition is on exhibition here. Some of the stuff is fabulous. Some is mediocre and not well done. My trouble is that I do not think of starting till too late. I think I will try to have a couple completed by the end of 2018.


  1. That person who divides her year up into 3 periods must be very just wouldn't work for me as there are too many other aspects to my life that have to be taken into consideration. I can totally understand why she gets so much done; one can waste a lot of time changing direction for the different requirements of life.

  2. I agree. I just do not see how I could manage that but I do wonder if concentrating on one aspect of life for 3 or 4 weeks might work!

  3. That's an interesting thought...I might have a go at that version!



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About Me

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.