Σεμινάρια Βιβλιοδεσίας Φθινόπωρο 2020 – Bookbinding Courses Autumn 2020

The bookbinding courses are also available for English speakers.
Contact me for more info and availability if you’re living in Athens or planning to visit and would like to learn bookbinding!

Τα σεμινάρια που θα διεξαχθούν το φθινόπωρο είναι:
– Ραφτή Πανόδετη Βιβλιοδεσία ~ Cloth Case binding, Bradel Binding
– Κοπτική Bιβλιοδεσία ~ Coptic Binding
– Ιαπωνική Bιβλιοδεσία ~ Japanese bookbinding

Θα ακολουθήσει σεμινάριο δερματόδετης βιβλιοδεσίας την άνοιξη.

Τοποθεσία: Το εργαστήριο βρίσκεται πλησίον Εθνικής Άμυνας και έχει εύκολη πρόσβαση με τα μέσα ή με αυτοκίνητο.

Εάν θέλετε να συμμετέχετε:
α) αποστείλετε ένα mail στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com
β) καλέστε με στο 6936474123 (απογευματινές ώρες).

Θα χαρώ να σας δω στα σεμινάρια!

ΣΗΜΑΝΤΙΚΗ ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ – Covid19
Προκειμένου να μπορέσουμε να απολαύσουμε ξέγνοιαστοι τα σεμινάρια και να παραμείνουμε όλοι υγιείς θα τηρηθούν μέτρα προστασίας:
– Ο μέγιστος αριθμός μαθητών ανά τμήμα είναι 2.
– Θα γίνεται χρήση μάσκας καθόλη την διάρκεια του μαθήματος.
– Θα γίνεται χρήση αντισηπτικού για απολύμανση των χεριών όποτε χρειάζεται.



Χειροποίητη Ραφτή Πανόδετη Βιβλιοδεσία – Cloth Case binding, Bradel Binding

Το σεμινάριο αυτό αποτελεί μια εισαγωγή στην παραδοσιακή βιβλιοδεσία μέσα από την τεχνική του “καλύμματος” (cloth case binding / bradel binding – ραφτή πανόδετη βιβλιοδεσία). Με την ολοκλήρωση των μαθημάτων θα έχετε στα χέρια σας ένα δεμένο βιβλίο και τις γνώσεις για να δένετε βιβλία με απλά υλικά και εργαλεία βιβλιοδεσίας.

Κόστος σεμιναρίου: 200 ευρώ (συμπεριλαμβανομένης της προκαταβολής για κατοχύρωση θέσης, παρέχονται όλα τα υλικά και εργαλεία), τα οποία θα καταβληθούν σε δόσεις.
Έναρξη μαθημάτων: 3-4 Οκτωβρίου, δήλωση ενδιαφέροντος μέχρι 27 Σεπτεμβρίου.
Αριθμός μαθημάτων: 7
Διάρκεια μαθήματος: 3-4 ώρες (ώρα αναλόγως τον αριθμό συμμετεχόντων και το περιεχόμενο έκαστου μαθήματος).
Μέρες και ώρες: Σάββατο ή Κυριακή (πρωί με μεσημέρι ή απόγευμα με βραδάκι). Ακριβής ώρα και μέρα θα καθοριστεί κατόπιν συνεννόησης με τους ενδιαφερόμενους.
Αριθμός θέσεων: 2
Η κατοχύρωση θέσης γίνεται με μια προκαταβολή των 50 ευρώ (το οποίο αφαιρείται από το συνολικό κόστος του σεμιναρίου).

Σημείωση: Το ποσό αυτό δεν επιστρέφεται σε περίπτωση ακύρωσης 1 εβδομάδα πριν την έναρξη του σεμιναρίου ή λιγότερο.

Συνοπτικά τα στάδια που θα δουμε:
1) Ξύλωμα του βιβλίου και ενίσχυση των τυπογραφικών
2) Πριόνισμα των τυπογραφικών για το ράψιμο
3) Ράψιμο του βιβλίου σε τεζάκι
4) Ψαροκόλλημα ράχης
5) Στρογγύλεμα ράχης
6) Πέρασμα εσωφύλλων
7) Κατασκευή κεφαλαριού από ύφασμα
8) Ενίσχυση ράχης
9) Κατασκευή καλύμματος
10) Ντύσιμο καλύμματος με ύφασμα και διακοσμητικό χαρτί
11) Πέρασμα καλύμματος και ολοκλήρωση της βιβλιοδεσίας
12) Μοστράρουμε το βιβλίο μας σε κάθε συγγενή, φίλο και γνωστό! 

Θα χαρώ να σας υποδεχτώ!

Κοπτική και Ιαπωνική βιβλιοδεσία

Η Κοπτική και Ιαπωνική αποτελούν ιδανικό ξεκίνημα για όσους θέλουν να γνωρίσουν τον κόσμο της βιβλιοδεσίας -και της χειροτεχνίας γενικότερα- καθώς είναι εύκολες και απαιτούν λίγα και πολύ απλά υλικά και εργαλεία, παράλληλα όμως προσφέρουν αναρίθμητες δυνατότητες για δημιουργικότητα.

Στα ολιγόωρα αυτά σεμινάρια θα μάθουμε τις βασικές τεχνικές ραψίματος για το κάθε είδος, πώς να ντύνουμε ένα σκληρόδετο κάλυμμα και θα χρησιμοποιήσουμε όμορφα χαρτιά για να διακοσμήσουμε τα σημειωματάρια μας!

Κοπτική βιβλιοδεσία – Coptic Binding

Κόστος σεμιναρίου: 30 ευρώ + 5 ευρώ κόστος υλικών, παρέχονται τα εργαλεία.
Μέρα – ώρες: Σάββατο 3 Οκτωβρίου.
Διάρκεια μαθήματος: 4 ώρες
Μέρες και ώρες: Σάββατο ή Κυριακή (πρωί με μεσημέρι ή απόγευμα με βραδάκι). Ακριβής ώρα και μέρα θα καθοριστεί κατόπιν συνεννόησης με τους ενδιαφερόμενους.
Αριθμός θέσεων: 2
Κατοχύρωση θέσης: γίνεται με την πληρωμή του κόστους συμμετοχής.

Οι συμμετέχοντες ενθαρρύνονται να φέρουν δικά τους χαρτιά για το ντύσιμο ή την διακόσμηση του σημειωματαρίου!

Ιαπωνική βιβλιοδεσία – Japanese stab binding

Κόστος σεμιναρίου: 30 ευρώ + 5 ευρώ κόστος υλικών, παρέχονται τα εργαλεία.
Μέρα – ώρες: Σάββατο 10 Οκτωβρίου.
Διάρκεια μαθήματος: 3-4 ώρες
Μέρες και ώρες: Σάββατο ή Κυριακή (πρωί με μεσημέρι ή απόγευμα με βραδάκι). Ακριβής ώρα και μέρα θα καθοριστεί κατόπιν συνεννόησης με τους ενδιαφερόμενους.
Αριθμός θέσεων: 2
Κατοχύρωση θέσης: γίνεται με την πληρωμή του κόστους συμμετοχής.

Θα παρέχονται χαρτιά Chiyogami για την διακόσμηση του σημειωματαρίου σας!

Animalcula – a collaboration with George Balojohn for the benefit of Humanity

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Have you ever heard of Animalcula? I would wager probably not, though many of you owe your existence to them!
The obscure Animalcula and the knowledge surrounding them have remained elusive for more than 250 years, until George Balojohn and yours truly were tasked by Mister C. to prove their existence once and for all by capturing them; Let it never be said that bookbinders don’t contribute to the advancement of science and progress of humanity!

In 1750 a letter was humbly addressed to the Royal Society by Abraham Johnson, in which he claimed:
“It is proved by most incontestable evidence, drawn from Reason and Practice, that a Woman may conceive and be brought to Bed (i.e. become pregnant) without any commerce with Man.

The reason behind this are Animalcula:
Small, original, unexpanded minims of existence […] Little Men and Women, exact in all their limbs and linaments, ready to offer themselves little candidates for life whenever they should happen to be imbibed with air or nutriment […]

According to the scientist these are carried by the West Wind and can impregnate women if they are standing at the right place at the right time. Such a discovery sounded of course preposterous to the decorated scientists at the time, but Dr A. Johnson’s believed so firmly in it that he even suggests of a way to prove the legitimacy of his findings: if the King would prohibit any kind of sexual intimacy between people, if only for a year, people would still  be born. And since no one would dare to disobey the King in such a matter it would be obvious Animalcula exist.

To validate his theory though Dr A. Johnson had to capture some Animalula first. He contrived an invention suitable for the task: a “wonderful cylindrical, catoptrical, rotundo-concavo-convex machine” that functioned by the “nicest Laws of Electricity”, the design of which he intended to publish. Alas, it was not to happen… The prints were never published, the prototype was lost and the knowledge surrounding Animalcula faded into obscurity. Until now that is…

Mister C., an avid book collector and most kind patron of the book arts, managed to locate a copy of that letter. Moved by the unfair treatment of history towards the great scientist and intrigued by curiosity he called two bookbinders and laid upon them an almost impossible task: re-create the contraption and capture enough Animalcula, contributing thusly to the progress of humanity and also clearing Abraham Johnson’s name once and for all.
The bookbinders were George Balojohn and yours truly. I was to make the device and George had the most difficult task, to capture and preserve the Animalcula.

How was I to succeed though without any knowledge of the original design, besides its description and its intended purpose? George was able, after considerable study and research, to provide me with an accurate depiction of the Animalcula. With this as an aid and after months of trial and error, and experiments quite dangerous to my well being – thought knowledge has never been gained without considerable risk, I finally managed to create the necessary device, a fine instrument which, through delicate use and the wonders of electricity, could capture this elusive quantum of life.

The most difficult part was still ahead of us though. George had to capture enough Animalcula and then find a way to preserve them indefinitely for study, so as to prove their existence. To do so he needed a vessel suitable for such a purpose: robust yet functional and ever lasting. Determined he toiled and using the finest materials brought from the other side of the world he created such a vessel out of Dr A. Johnson’s letter – a most fitting tribute to the brilliant forgotten scientist.

A great many months followed as he prepared for the day when the device would be lit up and, guided by his hand, extract Animalcula from the west wind. And that day surely came and one by one the tiny seeds of life were collected. The more he captured the more daunting became each following attempt, since a small mistake could lay waste upon all of his progress. Yet he persevered and through steady and skillful hand the Animalcula where captured and laid upon the binding, forever visible to anyone who would dare raise an eyebrow at the groundbreaking discovery.

And so, through a patron of the arts and the collaboration of two artisans, knowledge previously thought as lost has been reclaimed, brought to light and its validity proven. The only thing remaining is for the Royal Academy to take notice, of which I have absolutely no doubt.

Cambridge Panel

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Here are some bindings I’ve made featuring proper Cambridge panels. They are so British you can almost see them sip tea and keeping a stiff upper lip.

Ok ok, you’re right… The tea part was probably too much.


Jokes aside, these are actually French bindings in British disguise. I think I can hear the cries of disgust and horror carried by the wind from old Albion! The way I work is much more akin to the french school of bookbinding and I haven’t used calf, among other things.

I tried to remain faithful to the style/period as much as possible though: the headbands are similar to those found in similar bindings of the era and the marbled paper (from Payhembury) is as fitting and traditional as it gets.

I would like to take a moment and talk about Mister C, the client behind these. Mister C. is a connoisseur of refined tastes and a benevolent patron of the bookbinding Craft&Art (yes, I swapped those on purpose).

What’s quite interesting is how he enjoys commissioning a binding in many ways – particularly when it comes to challenging us. He carefully researches the kind of work each of his binders does and orders something just outside our comfort zone: familiar enough but at the same time one has to reach a bit beyond his/her existing skillset -or mindset- to make it…

Cambridge is his Alma Mater and the books did lend themselves perfectly fine for this style in regards to their (academic) content and time of publication. But the fact my work mostly revolves around design bindings also played an important role in prompting Mister C. to ask me for this particular style. I was more than keen though as I’ve been itching to try this style for a long time.

Bonus info: he did the exact opposite and commissioned a design binding from a fellow binder who mainly does classic work. To another, who finds peace in the Zen qualities of simple geometry neatly and orderly arranged (don’t ever change K.!), he commissioned a surreal book requesting that he would include a number of different marbled papers with designs capable of inducing a seizure!

Mister C. you’re a legend.

When the two volumes were brought in it quickly became apparent the paper was in poor condition, dry and fragile. Even though Eleni Tsetsekou, a book conservator, carefully took them apart they still needed an extreme amount of repairs: it took 5-6 days of work from Eleni and me to reinforce almost all the folios, we’re talking about 600-700 page books here, which in turn yielded some extremely thick spines.

For those unfamiliar with bookbinding; one of the things binders must do to produce a sound binding is to manage the thickness of the spine. The covers need to be parallel to each other so that the book has that rectangular box shape and can fit neatly on a shelf between other books.
However when a book is sewn the thread’s thickness is added dozens of times as it goes through the book’s signatures, thus increasing the spine’s thickness in relation to the fore edge. That’s one of the two reasons we round the book with a hammer, to distribute the added thickness.

Repairing tears or reinforcing the folios with Japanese tissue is another thing that can cause such an increase. In this case the amount of strips added (you can get an idea from the headband image) resulted in a spine almost double the thickness of the fore edge for one of the volumes. I thoroughly pressed and hammered those to reduce the swell and used on-off sewing to minimize the added thickness from the thread, but as you can see the spine was still too thick, especially in Vol II.
Rounding and backing was quite difficult…

This style is not particularly ornate, still, a lot of effort went into their making.
I’ve said time and again that most of the binder’s work goes unnoticed since people usually just look at the covers and how eye capturing they might or might not be. The quality of a binding though is mostly measured by its soundness, how well it is made. And many of the things that lead to a well made binding are either not immediately visible, unless you know where to look for, or not visible at all.

The boards are a good example. In 90% of my bindings I use composite boards (3 layers with the one in the middle having the grain running horizontally) for added strength and to prevent intense warping in various stages.

They are more resilient but also take a lot more time to make: excluding beveled edges (not a big fan), a regular single-ply board takes about 1-2 minutes to cut to size and smooth the edges a bit, whereas it takes 10 times as much to make the same piece as a composite – plus you have to wait 1-2 days for it to dry out under pressure.

Imagine a whole list of such details and you can realize why a plain looking binding takes so long to be made and costs a lot!

For the Cambridge panels I followed the well presented instructions by Nick Cowlishaw, which you can find in the issue No36 of Hewit’s excellent Skin Deep.

One issue I encountered is the binding being sticky and leaving a bit of smudge at the end when handled. Since the tutorial doesn’t mention any sealer or finish product my best guess points to the brand of spirit-dye I used, which strangely enough was the only one available and only at one store (!).  I buffed the covers vigorously with a smooth fabric and then did the same applying two coats of Carnauba wax cream, which did the trick. The bindings now have a gentle sheen which is visible in some of the photos.

I must admit this was a lot of fun. If you haven’t tried doing a Cambridge panel you should definitely give it a go!

It’s been a welcome change to do some more classic bindings every now and then. Design work is very interesting but can also be very draining. I plan to share more thoughts on the matter, comparing the two styles in a future post.

Cheers!

I used my Brass Band Nippers to shape the spine bands and Versatile Typeholder to tool the titles on these bindings – both of the tools are available upon request!

Interview with Kate Holland – Techniton Politeia

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Summer is almost here and the Covid-19 crisis has pretty much left Greece, hopefully soon the rest of the world as well.

We return after a long pause at Techniton Politeia to talk with Kate Holland.

Before we get to the interview I would like to thank Kate who managed to find time while juggling a number of things amidst the chaos.
She approached the interview openly, with a “playful” attitude and as a chance to explore her own thoughts and introspect, thus making it feel less “formal” and more like I was there at the bindery, having an interesting conversation with a fellow binder. It was a pleasure.

When asked for her artist or artisan statement -I tend to use both terms because people sometimes prefer one over the other- her reply was:
Artist or artisan, that is the question. But what about artistan? I think we can be both.

I’d always loved the visual arts and I studied Mandarin Chinese at university with the vision of becoming a contemporary Chinese art dealer but a stint of unemployment (or fortuitous circumstance) led me to take on the role of manager of a prestigious London antiquarian bookshop. I had grown up near the book town of Hay-on-Wye and had always loved books so this was a wonderful job, handling some of the world’s most important and valuable books. It never ceased to amaze me that all our civilisation, so far, was contained between these covers. I started a morning class in bookbinding at City Lit (an adult education establishment) with Flora Ginn as a way of learning to refurbish and repair the books and I was immediately hooked. From there, an HND in bookbinding at London College of Printing (now Communication) and stints with Jen Lindsey back at City Lit and Mark Cockram at Studio Five before setting up on my own. All while raising three kids.

My work is fairly evenly split between artist bindings, either on commission or for exhibition; the whole book, either my own artist’s books or one-offs and limited editions for clients, supervising typesetting and layout, printing and binding; and teaching, currently at West Dean College, Shepherds or in my own studio. I was elected as a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2015 and am a regular binder to The Booker Prize. I have books in The Walker Library of the Human Imagination, British and Bodleian Libraries, National Art Library at the V&A, as well as numerous other public and private collections.

In 2018 you had the honor of being chosen to bind one of the six shortlisted books, Mars room by Rachel Kushner, which was then presented to the author. BBC’s The One Show featured your work in a lovely 5 minute video giving us a bit of insight into the creative process behind that binding and bookbinding in general.

I was wondering: what is the Man Booker prize and how does a binder get chosen to bind on of the shortlisted books for the award? Can you tell us a bit about your experience with this binding and maybe share the author’s reaction upon seeing it?

The Booker Prize is the foremost literary prize awarded annually to a work of fiction in the English language. Past winners have included such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Iris Murdoch, J M Coetzee. A longlist of about 20 titles is announced in July and then a shortlist of 6 in September Each of the shortlisted titles is bound as a design binding for presentation to the author at the awards ceremony. Only Fellows of Designer Bookbinders are eligible to apply to bind these and we are chosen on a rotating basis. We do not know which title we will get until the shortlist is announced. On that day a mystery package of unbound sheets arrives. We have between 4-6 weeks to read the book, come up with a design and bind it. These are expected to be full design bindings with all that entails – sewn headbands, leather joints, doublures etc. so it is incredibly intense with lots of late nights but it often throws up some really interesting and exciting responses.

I was really pleased to get “The Mars Room” as my book. It touched on one of my favourite themes – that all humans are born equal, or at least in theory. I am fascinated by how circumstance – where, when and to whom you were born – can affect the path you take and the choices you make. How does a girl, like Romy, from a ‘nice’ middle class background become a sex worker, imprisoned for murder? Throw in an abusive mother, an absent father, early sexual abuse, rape at a formative age, a drug habit to numb all those feelings and a predatory stalker and maybe we begin to understand. In my bindings I seek to explore the yawning divide between the haves and the have-nots. I have covered topics such as illegal immigration, homelessness, drug addiction, rape, asylum seekers. I chose to write on the endpapers of The Mars Room some of the grim statistics about the abuse that sex workers suffer on a daily basis, about the mass incarceration with which the US chooses to manage its population and the number of women who are stalked. 

In the video mentioned previously you also talk about the continuity of our craft and how our tools and equipment have remained practically unchanged through the centuries – along many of the techniques we use, if I may add. You also bring up the bonefolder saying it’s “man’s earliest tool”, which is fascinating if one stops to think about it…

What are your thoughts in regards to this continuity: why is it important and how does it affect your mindset towards your work?

I love the fact that a bookbinder from 500 years ago would recognise the tools, the techniques, the equipment that I use today. Though I would hope my aesthetic and sentiment have evolved. Tools of polished bone, used to scrape hides and make leather, have been found in Neanderthal sites from over 50,000 years ago. That the bone folder I use every day, is one of man’s earliest tools, is an exciting connection to one of the most integral parts of what makes us human – our ability to use tools. And we humans have gone way beyond ”just” using tools and can aspire to stupendous levels of craftsmanship.

I came to bookbinding via antiquarian bookselling handling some of the greatest books ever printed. The codex form has been used to transmit the wonders of civilisation for centuries, whether science, literature, travel, art. It works well. The pages open and you can read the words, the covers protect the pages. Why fix it when it ain’t broken? But this all sounds like I am wedded to the past. Far from it. It is imperative to respect tradition and all that has gone before in order to be able to push the boundaries and move forward. My son is currently studying design engineering and together we are exploring ways of integrating the most cutting-edge technology into one of our oldest technologies, the book. 

Your bindings often feature alum tawed skins and various dyeing techniques – to great effect I must add. Your Paradise Lost and Regain’d bindings come to mind.

What is it that makes this creative option so appealing to you and what would your advice be to fellow binders who would like to try their hand at leather dyeing? Any suggestions when it comes to the materials and techniques used?

I suppose my love affair with leather dyeing came from my need to have a wider palette to work with. I didn’t want to be restricted to just the colours available in ‘off the shelf’ leathers or my bindings to be identified by the number on the colour chart of the tannery catalogue. If you can dye your own leather then you have an infinite range of colours, textures, subtlety and intensity to hand. I tend to use fair or alum tawed calf or goatskin, generally sourced from Hewit’s – the fair gives a more nuanced, warmer colour and the alum tawed a starker, brighter colour being a whiter base. I use either Hewit’s Aniline dyes in powder form or Selladerm dyes available from Leather Conservation Centre. I buy only red, yellow, blue and black and mix accordingly.

I am currently particularly fond of graduated colour schemes such as in “Paradise Lost and Regain’d”. I think most people assume that this is airbrushed but, in fact, the colour is built up in thin washes incredibly gradually over several days to give a much more subtle and sophisticated finish. Always remember to fix the dye as well before covering! I use Dyefix or Tinofix which are the respective fixatives for Hewits and Selladerm.

Silly question but I’m really curious: what’s with the dot fascination?!
Many of your bindings feature dots as a recurring decorative element. Is there something to it?

Early in my career I made two books for the annual Designer Bookbinders’ competition – Elizabeth David’s “Book of Mediterranean Food” and H E Bates’s “Through the Woods”. Both of them wholly featured dots as the design motif. And they won respectively Second Prize Set Book and First Prize Open Choice and Mansfield Medal for Best Book. Around the same time, some well-meaning person had advised me that, in order to become a successful bookbinder, you had to have a recognisable, signature style. I had had no artistic training, only being allowed to study needlework at school not art, and I struggled massively with my self-confidence and my ability to design. Dots seemed quite easy so, I guess, I thought I was onto something.

That was until a well-known dealer commissioned a design binding from me saying, “Just do your dots thing.” I did, but, it was a huge struggle as dots were so wrong for that book. I vowed that I would only produce designs that truly reflected the book’s contents, not just another iteration of a previously successful, but now hackneyed, motif. One of my greatest compliments recently, was that my bindings looked like I had actually read the book!

While reading about your binding on Doors of Perception I thought about Huxley’s use of psychedelics and how many artists have used them as a means of searching for inspiration or expanding their creative expression. Bookbinders, at least to my knowledge, can’t benefit from that: bit hard to use a paring knife while tripping… That said if a design binding is to live up to its name it does require of the binder to be immersed in the book’s story to some extent. I believe your words “When I’m working on the books they become my whole life, I live and breathe them…” represent this in a very poetic manner.

So, how do you experience that immersion? (In what ways do you live and breathe in/through the book you are working on each time?) Are there any steps or guidelines you follow to facilitate it? Is it a purely positive state or does it also come at a cost?

I can testify that I have not yet found a stimulant which helps in the actual process of bookbinding! Hand-eye co-ordination when handling sharp tools or delicate leather requires absolute concentration. I immerse myself utterly into the world of the book I am working on, reading it, taking notes, re-reading if necessary, researching the times in which it was written, artistic fashions, societal upheavals, political tensions, historic events. All these affect the writer and the writing and I aspire to be able to reflect them equally in the binding, but hopefully with a contemporary twist.

I usually have about five or six books on the go at any one time, in different stages of research and development, experimentation and materials gathering, then actual execution. Any more than that and my head would explode. My process, if you can call it that, is to consume as much as I can find intellectually and then let it percolate for a bit – I find walking and swimming incredibly helpful for emptying the mind and working through these creative conundrums. I also use my insomnia as an excellent time for reflection and problem solving. Though my husband might not agree!

Bookbinders gradually diverged from classic decorations that were purely ornamental in nature and started viewing their bindings in a different light: a complex, multilayered, functional object offering limitless potential as a medium for artistic expression. Design bindings came to be known as the modern face of bookbinding.

“[…]Though there is absolutely no inference that this is to disguise a hedonistic lifestyle like Dorian Gray’s but purely a comment on the contemporary pursuit of the preservation of youth and beauty. ” Kate Holland

I consider your binding on Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray, with its stricking covers and unexpected endpapers, a perfect example of what a Design Binding can be: not just a creative representation of the book’s content but also a commentary that expands beyond it and becomes a reflection on society, posing questions that challenge us and our views on the story they came from.

Isn’t that what art is in its essence – making connections between a thought or realization, a creation based on that thought and our world, redefining our perception of all 3? And the amazing thing is that this fermentation, taking place in the mind of someone witnessing a piece of art, can potentially have infinite outcomes.

What were your thoughts while making this binding? How did you end up with this design and endpapers? And how do you view design bindings in general?

I had always held Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray” in mind as a potential title to bind having seen photographs of a collection of Dior dresses with a fabulous peacock feather design of highly embellished beading. However, it wasn’t until I read an article about the world of extreme plastic surgery that these two, seemingly disparate worlds, collided in my head and, along with a long-held love for the artwork of Aubrey Beardsley, I came up with this design. It just goes to show that you never know where inspiration will strike from and you have to soak up anything and everything around you to get to it.

Bookbinding has traditionally been one of the applied arts, a merely decorative and protective covering to the bookblock, albeit a highly technical and exacting one. It rarely referred to the contents within, save the title. Generally, any tooling would be to a prescribed formula, whether a house style or to reflect the owner’s taste and wealth. With modern design binding came a move towards a more fluid style and a decorative response to the text within. I would argue, though, that there is still room to push bookbinding one step further into the “art” world, by drawing analogies between classic texts and contemporary issues, whether to make a political statement or as a simple emotional or intellectual stimulus. I’m increasingly drawn to the term ‘artist binding’ over ‘design binding’.

My lack of art education means that I’ve always struggled with calling myself an artist. I felt there was something rather egotistical about going to art school and being an artist. I always referred to my space as a workshop not a studio. I always called myself a craftsperson not an artist. But very recently an artist friend of mine described me as an artist bookbinder and I thought I’ll take that. In a way, though, I feel liberated by my lack of art education – I have no rules to follow, I just have to try and achieve what I envisage in my head and see what happens – so more of a happy accident than anything.  Now that I feel relatively (and I use that in the loosest sense) at ease with the technical side of making a book, I am free to explore the intellectual exercise of confining my ideas to the book form. I worked out that there are 13 planes on which to express yourself creatively, not including the box, which gives such wonderful scope, how they work singly and interactively. 

What’s interesting about design binding, though, is that, unlike most other artforms eg painting, sculpture, you’re not starting from a position of zero. You’re always reacting to someone else’s artistic output ie the author, the illustrator, the typesetter, the printer etc. I have recently been questioning binding the work of others and wanting to be in control of the whole book so I am currently looking at printmaking and letterpress printing though I feel I must keep this under control and concentrate on the binding alone. It’s an ongoing internal argument.

An excerpt from a 1918 manual (see image) describes bookbinding as an excellent therapeutic aid for various disorders.

It is a testament to the many and diverse benefits our craft has to offer. I would kindly ask you to share your personal experience on the matter, given that you recently had the privilege of seeing all that in effect.

One of my particular passions is teaching and converting new people to the joys of bookbinding. I have seen the immensely therapeutic benefits of it when working for the charity ‘Bound by Veterans’ which teaches bookbinding to wounded, sick and injured ex-servicemen and women. Also to children with learning difficulties and on the autistic spectrum. There’s something so wonderful when you are “in the flow”, your head and hands working together, you forget all your cares and the sense of achievement and growth in self-esteem is palpable. I’m thinking of one particular girl who had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s and told that she wouldn’t be able to work in the “real world” and that she would require lifelong care. On day 1 she felt unable to attend the bookbinding course, due to her social anxiety but by day 5 she was fully immersed and loving it. She now has a skill which means she can work from home and hopefully make a modest income.

My local medical practice in Frome is at the forefront of the social prescribing movement, where patients with multiple health issues, who are struggling with their mental health and well-being, are being prescribed access to a wide range of resources, whether it’s park runs or talking cafes. The decrease in GP appointments and hospital admissions there has been dramatic. Together with a GP friend of mine, we are looking at getting some qualitative measures of the therapeutic benefits of bookbinding and other crafts, so that we can eventually look at applying for NHS funding to provide these.

As it happens this interview is taking place amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The outbreak has brought the entire world to a halt, changing or taking away many of the things we took for granted and imposing a new reality. It made us sceptic of the future that awaits us in the aftermath and has put a questionmark on various aspects of our lives.

I’ve been talking with a few fellow binders and here in Athens – we’ve been in lockdown for a while now. Some felt creatively numbed and took a step away from our craft to reevaluate it’s importance in a situations like this, others told me the exact opposite – that it provided a way for them to remain active and creative during self isolation and took the opportunity to explore ideas previously left in the backburner.

How has the Covid-19 outbreak affected your relationship with bookbinding? What was its impact on you firstly as a professional binder and secondly as a creative maker. Please share with us your experience and thoughts so far.

(Click on the photo and zoom-in for a detailed look in HQ!)

Wow, what interesting times we are in right now. I confess I am really enjoying them, though I feel terribly guilty saying that. My eldest children are back from university, my youngest home instead of school and my husband off the daily commute hamster wheel. We are incredibly privileged to live in the countryside and have a garden. We have both been able to keep working so we have some income at least. My heart goes out to those trapped in flats with no outside space or forced to go to work at great risk to themselves and their families.

I have spent much of my time helping to set up and maintain Mask Force, a community of volunteers making fabric facemasks for key workers and the most vulnerable. As I write, we have donated around 2500 facemasks and now have 8 satellite groups around the country. I have also been working with the #Masks4All movement, a group of activists who have been instrumental in changing public and political thinking worldwide about the importance of wearing facemasks to stop the spread of the coronavirus, though the UK government is still proving a hard nut to crack.

I have been bookbinding, though, interestingly and unwittingly, I have chosen to concentrate on the jobs which don’t require too much creative input. I have a huge typesetting and layout project to work through which involves lots of mind-numbing screen time and several commissions for relatively straightforward bindings, for which, I luckily manged to get all the materials gathered before lockdown.

I frankly haven’t had time to explore ideas left on the backburner. I wish I had. There are so many.

” It cannot be overstated how important it is for all of us to work with our hands on some level. It should be made compulsory in schools. “
The above quote from you resonates with me a lot. I remember back when I was at school wondering why everything is geared towards “doctor – lawyer – IT”. Why did noone ever mention I could be a woodworker, a machinist, a jeweller, a bookbinder…?

For 99.9% of your existence as a species we had to work with our hands and,  although it still remains essential to our civilization, it almost seems that somehow handcrafting has faded into obscurity in our lifetime.

What has our negligence towards learning to work with our hands caused? Why do you think it should be a part of our school curiculum? And last but not least, do you have any thoughts on how it could be implemented?

Humans are the only great ape who have evolved not only opposable thumbs but tiny bones within the thumb which allow us to manipulate tools to create really fine and delicate work. The further we move away from making for ourselves, and into the world of consumerism and globalisation, the sadder we are. I teach undergraduates who cannot thread a needle or tie a knot. This is shocking.

Too many children are spending their learning lives in front of screens and not exploring some of the most basic skills and there is far too much emphasis on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) here in the UK curriculum with the Arts subjects being sidelined. Bookbinding used to be taught in primary school here. It covers so many basic skills – measuring and estimating, calculating and cutting, folding and manipulating, fine motor skills such as threading and sewing. It can be taught as a supplement to any of the academic subjects – English, Modern Languages, History, Geography, Design Technology, Art. Children who struggle to engage with the written word in manufactured books, relish the idea of putting their own words into their own books. I have had the chance to speak about this to the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on ‘Art in Education’ on the importance of bookbinding and making in general. And I am cooking a plan to fund a “Bookbinding Bus” which will go to schools, festivals, city centres, inner city estates, anywhere to spread the joy of bookbinding and hopefully impart some of those basic skills.

The importance of using the creative ‘right’ side of our brain as well as the logical ‘left’ side cannot be overestimated. Creativity is problem solving and invention as well as expression and feeling – where would we be without those? And making with our hands is so much a part of that creativity. Hopefully some of the backlash to the onward march of technology will be an increased resurgence in making by hand and a respect for the handmade. We must appreciate the handmade, the artisan, the crafted for its integral value to mankind and not just as a marketing tool.

Be sure to check Kate Holland’s site and also IG account!

Closing I would like to thank you for visiting the blog and reading our talk with Kate Holland. If you enjoyed it consider having a look at the blog section for Techniton Politeia, where you can find more interviews.

Till next time!

 

5 sources of book arts content to read during the quarantine

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The outbreak of Covid-19 has by now forced most of us to stay home. I won’t really try to comment on the situation as it’s a rather complicated, strange and sad topic. I understand one might feel confused and uninspired amidst all this – I certainly do!

That said this forced and unexpected time-off can be for us bookbinders an opportunity to rest and explore new things and that’s why I’m sharing with you this list of online sources I’ve found useful and interesting over the years. The list is short but with a huge amount of content, to keep you creative and entertained during these times of self-isolation!

Hope you’re all well. Stay safe and wish you a good reading!

The Bonefolder
https://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/

The bonefolder was a free online book arts journal that run from 2004 to 2012 spanning 14 issues (excluding extras) in total. Each has 50 or so pages on average (last one is 118!) and is filled to the brim with interesting articles, interviews, reviews and tutorials.

Reading Bonefolder has helped me learn a lot, from bookbinders and bookartists, the work of whom has expanded my view on our craft, to experimenting and trying new techniques guided by detailed articles and tutorials.
A good example are my Cicero bindings, the surface gilding on which was achieved by reading James Reid Cunningham’s how-to in Vol 6 No 1.

Although I focused on Bonefolder in particular do take some time to explore Book Arts Web (curated by Peter D. Verheyen) in general, as there is a wealth of bookbinding content to be found there. To quote from the site:
…the Book Arts Web which features links to a large selection of book arts related sites on the web, including educational opportunities, professional organizations, tutorials, reference materials, and galleries withimages.

Skin Deep
https://www.hewit.com/skin_deep/

Skin Deep is a binannual newsletter by J. Hewit & Sons with some 48 issues available online. Apart from product and company news they include study oppotunities, recent work from various binders, interesting articles on the treatment of books, history and research, and tutorials.

Here’s a good example: the medieval girdle book by Renate Mesmer.

The Pressbengel Project
https://pressbengel.blogspot.com/

The Pressbengel Project is a blog exploring German bookbinding traditions curated by Peter D. Verheyen.
Among other things you can find tutorials, bookbinding stories and a fish skin challenge!

Guild of Book Workers Journal
https://guildofbookworkers.org/journal

I’ve only recently managed to start reading these and after a couple I’m definitely eager for more!

To quote:
The Guild of Book Workers Journal is published annually by the Guild of Book Workers and contains articles that address our members’ interests in the arts and crafts of the book, including traditional bookbinding, paper making and decorating, conservation and restoration, calligraphy, the making of artists’ books, and printing. Published continuously since 1962, the GBWJ welcomes submissions from members and nonmembers. All articles are reviewed and meet either peer review or editorial review standards.

ibookbinding
https://www.ibookbinding.com/

Curated by Stepan Chizov ibookbinding offers a varied bookarts content: news, interviews, study and job opportunities, links and literature on books and bookbinding. It also includes personal bookbinding projects and a shop for the tools Stepan makes.

I would like to focus on the large collection of (digitized) books (almost all of them on bookbinding) they’ve made available for free since 2017. With 105 books to choose from I bet you’ll find a few to keep you some digital company!

Strange Tales and El Tarot

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After 10 years or so I’ve been working as a bookbinder I realized at some point my work is almost exclusively comprised of design bindings. Equal parts chance and choice have led to this: I just happened to have more clients asking for simple design bindings initially, I focused more on them since I liked it and in turn they attracted more work of the same kind.

So, what’s wrong with that? Nothing really, I love doing design work! However constantly trying to come up with creative ideas and ways to implement those can be draining…
Classic decorations require a fraction of the inspiration and there’s endless reference material at hand to rely on concerning the design. As such they involve a lot less stress and it’s easier to be satisfied by the end-result, at least from the creator’s point of view.

It’s actually funny because most of my colleagues here in Greece are burdened with non-design work and often yearn for more artistic commissions! Nonetheless it seems there can be too much of a good thing and I found myself on the opposite side, longing for the day a client with a taste for more classic work would appear.

Enter V.G., a bibliophile with a wide range of interests, who got in touch and delivered salvation to my bookbinding soul! V.G. wants a series of books bound in classic manner and these two are the first I’ve completed.

Strange Tales features one of my old time favorite marbled papers, by Arzanart in Venice. What really sets it apart though is its decoration, which was achieved with two stamping inks of different color. I first saw a similar technique used by Hannah Brown (have you read her interviews?), who was most helpful in sharing some information and advice, though she uses carbon leaf instead.

Here’s what I did:
1) Cold press the handtool for the first impression.
2) Blind tool (hot).
3) Then cover the tool’s face with ink from the inkpad and stamp the tooled impressions (cold). I did this 2-3 times (with the first color) depending on how well the ink was transferred and the tone I wanted to achieve.
4) Blind tool again – this helps the ink set.
5) Repeat step 3 with a different ink.
6) Blind tool a final time.

As you can see this requires a great deal more time compared to foil. The result is interesting though as the decoration has a gradient look, shifting from blue to purple.

If you want to try this make sure to do tests first, as some ink colors end up looking quite dark depending on the leather you’re using, or don’t mix well together.

El Tarot is a peculiar book, filled with strange artwork.
Its oddness is reflected by its unusual shape which is – you guessed it – that of a Tarot card. I’ve never bound a book as tall and narrow and I assumed it would bug me but I actually found it very enjoyable to work with! There’s something oddly satisfying handling a door-shaped book, can’t put my finger on it.

Given that I went for a simple decoration I thought to add some spark and luxury through genuine gold leaf. I’m very happy with how it turned out, it reminds me of some old volumes I’ve seen in libraries and I believe it’s my first binding to achieve this look-feel so well.

Since the binding is so classic but the book is quite quirky I wanted to include a quirky element in the binding as well. The endbands were the perfect candidate, being too narrow for a traditional handsewn style. I played around a bit and the result is this curiosity, both covered in leather and handsewn with silk thread. Fitting!

To make those bindings I used:
1) My brass band nippers
2) My stylus set

3) My dot set
4) Tools from Kevin Noakes

Σεμινάριο Δερματόδετης Βιβλιοδεσίας ~ Χειμώνας-Άνοιξη 2020

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Σας προσκαλώ στο σεμινάριο δερματόδετης βιβλιοδεσίας το οποίο θα ξεκινήσει στα μέσα Φεβρουαρίου!

 Το σεμινάριο αυτό εμβαθύνει στην χειροποίητη ραφτή βιβλιοδεσία τύπου case-binding, με βασικό πλέον υλικό το δέρμα.
 Η δερματόδετη βιβλιοδεσία, όπως θα διδαχθεί, παράγει ένα καλαίσθητο βιβλίο με αντοχή στο χρόνο ενώ ταυτόχρονα ανοίγει τις πόρτες για ένα μεγάλο εύρος από μορφές και τεχνικές βιβλιοδεσίας.
Με το πέρας του σεμιναρίου θα μπορείτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε τα όσα μάθατε για να φτιάχνετε δερματόδετα:
– Βιβλία
– Σημειωματάρια
– Άλμπουμ
– Καθώς και διάφορα άλλα αντικείμενα (κουτιά, θήκες, κλπ).

dimitri's bookbinding corner - leathers
Για όσους έχουν ήδη παρακολουθήσει το σεμινάριο πανόδετης ή έχουν βασικές γνώσεις βιβλιοδεσίας ακολουθούν μερικά από τα σημαντικά καινούρια στάδια και τεχνικές με τις οποίες θα έρθετε σε επαφή:
– Σφύρισμα του βιβλίου
– Χειροποίητα κεφαλάρια (ραφτά στο χέρι)
– Ρεφελάρισμα δέρματος
– Κατασκευή νεύρων στην ψευδοράχη
– Διακόσμηση έγκαυτη/foil με εργαλεία χρυσώματος


—Επιπλέον Πληροφορίες—

Σε ποιούς απευθύνεται το σεμινάριο
Το σεμινάριο είναι ανοιχτό σε όλους. Λάβετε ωστόσο υπόψιν πως αφορά την διδασκαλία μιας πολύπλοκης μορφής βιβλιοδεσίας με αρκετά στάδια.
  Για την ομαλή παρακολούθηση του είναι επιθυμητές κάποιες βασικές γνώσεις βιβλιοδεσίας (από συμμετοχή σε άλλα σεμιναρία ή προσωπική εξάσκηση).
Εναλλακτικά, σε περίπτωση που το παραπάνω δεν ισχύει, οι συμμετέχοντες πρέπει να είναι εξοικειωμένοι με την χρήση απλών εργαλείων (χάρακας, κοπίδι, ψαλίδι) για μέτρηση και κοπή υλικών ή να υπάρχει κάποια εμπειρία με χειροτεχνία και κατασκευές γενικότερα.

Αν ενδιαφέρεστε για το σεμινάριο αλλά δεν είστε σίγουροι αν απευθύνεται σε σας μη διστάσετε να επικοινωνήσετε μαζί μου!

Δήλωση συμμετοχής
Μπορείτε να δηλώσετε συμμετοχή:
α) Με ένα μήνυμα στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com
β) Καλώντας με στο 6936474123 (απογευματινές ώρες)

Έναρξη Σεμιναρίου
Το σεμινάριο θα ξεκινήσει Σάββατο 8 Φεβρουαρίου.
Εγγραφές έως 3 Φεβρουαρίου.

Τοποθεσία
Το εργαστήριο βρίσκεται στο Νέο Ψυχικό, 10 λεπτά με τα πόδια από το σταθμό του μετρό Εθνική Άμυνα και έχει εύκολη πρόσβαση οδικώς από Μεσογείων και Κηφισίας.

Μέρες & ώρες Μαθημάτων
Τα μαθήματα θα γίνονται Σάββατα και θα είναι “πρωινά” (12:00-16:00) και απογευματινά (16:00-20:00). Η διάρκεια τους θα είναι 3-4 ώρες, αναλόγως το μάθημα και τον αριθμό των συμμετεχόντων.

Σημείωση: Παρακαλούνται θερμά οι ενδιαφερόμενοι να δηλώσουν συμμετοχή μονάχα αν γνωρίζουν με βεβαιότητα πως θα μπορούν να είναι συνεπείς στις μέρες και ώρες του σεμιναρίου. Θα υπάρξει πολύ περιορισμένη δυνατότητα αναπλήρωσης.

Αριθμός μαθημάτων
To σεμινάριο θα ολοκληρωθεί σε 10 μαθήματα.

Κόστος συμμετοχής
 Το κόστος συμμετοχής είναι 300 ευρώ. Σε αυτό συμπεριλαμβάνονται όλα τα απαραίτητα υλικά και εργαλεία, τα οποία και θα παρέχονται από το εργαστήριο.
 Θέση κατοχυρώνεται με μια προκαταβολή των 100 ευρώ. Τα υπόλοιπα θα καταβληθούν σε δόσεις των 50 ευρώ, ανά 2 μαθήματα. Στο 1ο μάθημα δίνεται η πρώτη.
Σημείωση: η προκαταβολή δεν επιστρέφεται σε περίπτωση ακύρωσης 2 εβδομάδες πριν την έναρξη του σεμιναρίου.

Τμήματα
Τα μαθήματα θα γίνονται σε 2 ολιγομελή τμήματα (έως 4 άτομα).

Θα χαρώ να τα πούμε στο σεμινάριο!

Watership Down

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Dear readers, welcome to the last post of 2019!

Binding a book is often like a journey. One must traverse hills and valleys, cross bridges and reach unexpected turns, experience joys and struggles. So imagine binding a book that is about such a journey –literally- and happens to be one of your favorites… Isn’t that a treat for an artisan!

Watership Down is the story of a group of wild rabbits, Hazel and his companions, searching for a new home. It’s a journey with “small” heroes going through big adventures and overcoming obstacles relying on their camaraderie, wisdom, cleverness and courage, learning and maturing on the way.

There’s really no simple way to describe how lovely it is.

It was born from a story Adams used to tell to his daughters. When he first tried to publish it the manuscript was rejected multiple times (!), the reason being “older children wouldn’t like it because it is about rabbits, which they consider babyish; and younger children wouldn’t like it because it is written in an adult style”. Boy, were they wrong…!

It is now considered a classic and has been loved by people of all ages for generations.

One of those people is C.B. who contacted me with a desire to have her favorite story bound in a beautiful volume, a heirloom to be someday given to another lover of Adams’ story. This quickly became a personal challenge too: I love Watership Down and have a soft spot for lapines.

Finding a proper copy (one printed in folios) took a while and we ended up using the wonderful edition by Oneworld Modern Classics, with illustrations by Aldo Galli.
I own this edition and I fully recommend it for its excellent design, print quality and lovely numerous illustrations.

I talked a lot with C.B. regarding the design and we agreed on a concept. The idea was to produce a dreamy landscape that would represent the story’s downs when it comes to shapes but at also the heroes’ struggles and hopes when it comes to colors. The golden yew tree symbolizes their destination, a perfect home. It appears to be far away and yet within reach.

My sister Marianna, passionate about bunnies and talented comic artist, was called in to help since I can’t draw if my life depended on it. What you see before you is her version of the concept I and C.B. came up with.
She also assisted greatly in the layout of colors because I happen to suck big time at that too!

C.B. had two main requirements: to include a yew tree (from Fiver and his vision) and use a gradient effect on the sky region of the cover to simulate the coming of dawn. The rest of the colors would be based on that.

I’ve made three bindings in the past using this effect in a random manner. This time however I had to be much more precise as the effect had to have a direction and go through specific hues in certain intervals, which should also blend effectively.

I used an airbrush and aniline dye as I wanted the color to penetrate the leather instead of just sitting on the surface (as would be the case with acrylics). This caused some problems since the aniline dampens/darkens the leather surface when applied and it takes several hours before you can see the actual color, which meant I had to do the airbrushing in sessions, taking several days for each test batch.

After the tests I prepared the piece for the covers and filled with confidence I…  botched it! After another botched attempt I was able to achieve something very similar to the image I’ve been provided as reference. However when preparing it for pasting on the covers I noticed the color smudged a bit when handled. This baffled me as I had sealed the colors properly with a dye fix and also applied a light finish to further protect them from the handling required to cover the binding. I’ve done all these in the past plus the tests specifically for Watership Down and never faced this problem.

It was barely noticeable; with very careful handling I could’ve have probably gone through with the covering and end up with very few/small imperfections. My main concern was what would happen after that, with the book being read time and again as the years go by. I didn’t feel ok with such a prospect, so the gradient was abandoned.

This meant the entire color layout had to be rearranged. To give C.B. a sense of the design in color and help her choose I scanned leather scraps and then Marianna photoshoped them in place, coming up with several different versions. The binding ended up being a mix between those.
Another important aspect of the design was it being comprised of many different colors, to enhance the sense of distance – plus the different grains and finishes make the binding more interesting on a visual and tactile level.
To do this the pieces must overlap by cutting the edges at an angle. It’s easier said than done though: too steep of a bevel and there won’t be sufficient overlap and thus a good bond between the leathers, too gradual and the leather on the underside will show.
It was my first time doing this and I had to do many (Many) tests to get it right.
When designing the starry sky I had two choices: random vs specific. I’m not good at improvisation when it comes to designs, plus you only have one go with a French leather binding, so I decided to use an actual star chart.

However that is not all: these are the stars and constellations the story’s heroes would see, and the way they’d see them, when travelling from Sandleford Warren to Watership Down! They are depicted realistically (at least as much as possible) regarding their relative position and brightness, the only difference being I added and removed a few to avoid empty or overcrowded spaces.

I took the liberty to  use late June as the date, which was the time I made the design. That way I could discreetly blend something from my (crafting) journey with that of Hazel and his companions!
The stars were originally tooled in (genuine) silver leaf. However it’s been many years since I used silver and I had forgotten how quickly it can tarnish, resulting in a dimmer shine that affected the entire design. To rectify this I ordered some palladium leafs and retooled each and every star.

I felt that the title would look a bit out of place but didn’t want to leave the spine without an indication of the book’s identity/story. So I came up with an imaginary constellation, that of Elahrairah, to act as the book’s title in the absence of one and to guide the heroes to their destination!
I used genuine 22k gold leaf to tool these specific stars.

The upper endband’s main color is a light green, interchanged sporadically with yellow and bordeaux, representing a grass field with blooming patches; an ideal place for Silflay! The lower endband features the same colors but reversed in frequency.
The endbands were made with the original concept/colors for the covers in mind. However by the time the design had to change the spine was lined and it wasn’t possible to change them without starting the binding anew and so I kept them.

The leather clamshell box features an element from a rejected design, which was an underground view of the burrows and the rabbits.

Since the binding itself has a lot of decorative details I decided to go really simple with the bookcase. That way binding and box compliment each other, plus the transition from simple to intricate feels more natural.

To spice it up a bit I made recesses and modeled the leather on/in them to give some depth to the burrow.
I trust you Watership Down fans will easily recognize the scene it represents…!
[No spoilers! Be respectful to the rest of the (potential) W.D. readers!]

Last but not least I used the amazing Aubergine design by Jemma Lewis for endpapers!

I used my versatile typeholder, stylus set and dot set to tool this design, all of which you can acquire by sending me an email (koutsipetsidis.at.gmail.com) or through my Etsy shop.

Watership Down with its new owner 1!Before closing this post here’s a lovely photo of the binding with its new owner!

I feel grateful and privileged to work with people who are kind, passionate about their books, full of ideas, collaborative and patient, and C.B. has certainly been one of them. Thank you!

Hope you enjoyed reading about the making of Watership Down.
See you next year & Best wishes for 2020!

ARA event – Educational Screening

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I had the pleasure of hosting an ARA event at my bindery!

We had a great time: we got together, ate unhealthy snacks, talked bookbinding stuff and -thanks to master Wilcox- we realized we’ll never be able to do a proper gold tooling!
Are you into bookbinding and live in Greece? Consider becoming a member of our ARA: then you won’t be missing out on awesome events like this and will be able to share your passion about bookbinding with likeminded people!

Σεμινάριο Χειροποίητης Ραφτής Βιβλιοδεσίας – Φθινόπωρο 19

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Σεμινάριο Χειροποίητης Ραφτής Βιβλιοδεσίας – Φθινόπωρο 19

Ελάτε να γνωριστείτε με την τέχνη της βιβλιοδεσίας δένοντας ένα βιβλίο στο χέρι!

Το σεμινάριο αυτό αποτελεί μια εισαγωγή στην παραδοσιακή βιβλιοδεσία με την τεχνική του “καλύμματος” (case binding – ραφτή πανόδετη βιβλιοδεσία). Με την ολοκλήρωση των μαθημάτων θα έχετε στα χέρια σας ένα δεμένο βιβλίο και τις γνώσεις για να δένετε βιβλία με απλά υλικά και εργαλεία.


Πληροφορίες
Κόστος σεμιναρίου: 200 ευρώ (συμπεριλαμβανομένης της προκαταβολής για κατοχύρωση θέσης, παρέχονται όλα τα υλικά και εργαλεία), τα οποία θα καταβληθούν σε δόσεις.
Έναρξη μαθημάτων: 12 Οκτωβρίου
Αριθμός μαθημάτων: 7
Διάρκεια μαθήματος: ~3 ώρες (+/- μισή ώρα αναλόγως τον αριθμό συμμετεχόντων και το περιεχόμενο έκαστου μαθήματος).
Μέρες και ώρες: Σάββατο (πρωί με μεσημέρι ή απόγευμα με βραδάκι). Ακριβής ώρα και μέρα θα καθοριστεί κατόπιν συνεννόησης με τους ενδιαφερόμενους.
Αριθμός θέσεων: 4
Τοποθεσία: Το εργαστήριο βρίσκεται πλησιόν Εθνικής Άμυνας και έχει εύκολη πρόσβαση από τα μέσα ή με αυτοκίνητο.

Κατοχύρωση θέσης
Εάν θέλετε να συμμετάσχετε:

α) αφήστε ένα σχόλιο εδώ
β) αποστείλετε ένα mail στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com
γ) καλέστε με στο 6936474123 (απογευματινές ώρες).

Η κατοχύρωση θέσης γίνεται με μια προκαταβολή των 50 ευρώ (το οποίο αφαιρείται από το συνολικό κόστος του σεμιναρίου).
Σημείωση: Το ποσό αυτό δεν επιστρέφεται σε περίπτωση ακύρωσης 1 εβδομάδα πριν την έναρξη του σεμιναρίου ή λιγότερο.

Συνοπτικά τα στάδια που θα δουμε:
1) Ξύλωμα του βιβλίου και ενίσχυση των τυπογραφικών
2) Πριόνισμα των τυπογραφικών για το ράψιμο
3) Ράψιμο του βιβλίου σε τεζάκι
4) Ψαροκόλλημα ράχης
5) Στρογγύλεμα ράχης
6) Πέρασμα εσωφύλλων
7) Κατασκευή κεφαλαριού από ύφασμα
8) Ενίσχυση ράχης
9) Κατασκευή καλύμματος
10) Ντύσιμο καλύμματος με ύφασμα και διακοσμητικό χαρτί
11) Πέρασμα καλύμματος και ολοκλήρωση της βιβλιοδεσίας
12) Μοστράρουμε το βιβλίο μας σε κάθε συγγενή, φίλο και γνωστό! 🙂

Θα χαρώ να σας υποδεχτώ!