Inspiring Bindings


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Welcome to a series of posts devoted to bindings I consider inspiring, on the basis of technical excellence, originality of design and overall style.

Please keep in mind that the selection of binders represents only personal taste, it is in no way a criticism towards other bookbinders. Furthermore the order by which they are presented is random. Last but not least, the bindings included in the post aren’t necessarily my personal favorites from those binders but simply works I consider representative of their creators.

Hope that you’ll enjoy these wonderful bindings as much as I do and feel encouraged to learn more about the selected artisans.
Feel free to share your thoughts and favorites as well!

Mirbeau by Anne Giordan
Anne graduated from Ecole Superieure des Arts Decoratifs and is a member of APPAR (Association pour la promotion de l’Art de la Reliure) and ARA France.
  She has taken part in numerous exhibitions, both group and solo. Her bindery is located in Strasbourg.
  Her bindings are marvelous but -my, OH my- have you seen her atelier as well?

Paradise lost by Kate Holland
Kate is a multi-award winning bookbinder, specialising in contemporary fine bindings to commission or for exhibition.

La Creation by Luigi Castiglioni
A master binder with a very distinct personal style.

The Thread by Monique Lallier
Monique is an internationally recognised book binder and book artist. Her work can be found in many public and private collections.

The Silk Road by Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown has studied under Paul C Delrue and his work has been exhibited in various museums and other public venues. He has won many awards in the Annual National Bookbinding Competition (UK) and his work can be found in private collections in the UK and USA.

Alice in Wonderland by Michael Wilcox
Calling M. Wilcox a master binder would be an understatement.
Wilcox, however, does not regard himself as an artist but rather as a bookbinder and a craftsman” (found here)
  I couldn’t agree more – I always say that bookbinding is first and foremost a craft: a fine binding can be very simple and devoid of any decoration, yet its making may require exceptional skills.
  Our task is to preserve the context of the book. Making it pleasing to the eye and touch comes second, although Wilcox excels in both.

The Dreamtime by Jana Pullman
Jana Pullman is a renown binder who is also widely known as a bookbinding instructor. She teaches at the Minessota Center for Book Arts and at various other venues and often travels to give seminars.

La Mort De Venise by Paul Bonet
Little needs to be said about Paul Bonet, one of the most celebrated artisans this craft has ever known. Bonet’s designs defined bookbinding, mostly through the ingenious use of curves and lines to create optical illusions, the sense of a 3rd dimension on the cover.
The man was a wizard – seriously, look him up.

Omar Khayyam’s “Rubaiyat” by Sangorski and Sutcliffe
These two, founders of the famous Shepherds bindery, together created some of the most spectacular bindings ever made. Apart from extensive and immaculate gold tooling, many of their bindings featured a plethora of precious and semi-precious jewels.

Revenge by Midori Kuikata – Cockram
Midori opened Jade bookbinding studio in 1997. Her work is characterised by a distinct style centered around elegant designs.
  She has given workshops, lectures and exhibitions in the UK, USA, Europe and and Japan. She is a Fellow of Designers Bookbinders (UK), a member of the Society of Bookbindinders (UK) and Tokyo Bookbinding Club (Japan).

The Siege of Krishnapur by Derek Hood
Derek Hood has a reputation of as one of Britain’s leading design-based fine bookbinders. He has exhibited in numerous public venues and his books are held in public and private collections throughout the world.

The Revelation of John the divine by Samuel Feinstein
Samuel graduated from North Bennet Street School after a two year program and has been to date a member of the Guild of Bookworkers, the Society of Gilders and the Caxton Club.
  His work features traditional and modern bindings, both showcasing great skill and attention to detail. He often travels to give seminars.


Letter adorned bindings – Βιβλιοδεσίες με γράμματα


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The alphabet is one of humanity’s greatest inventions – the idea that a sequence of squiggles can convey a thought in a way easily and instantly apprehensible by everyone. Form those squiggles on the sand and they will last more than the brief sound of our voices. Carve them onto stone and they will outlast entire civilizations.

Detail from Island of the Fay – a binding by Juan A Fernandez Argenta

This marvel of ingenuity can be found, in one form or another, within most civilizations. A great variety of alphabets has been used from ancient times until today, their function and form a synopsis of the culture that created them. Immensely useful, infinitely versatile and long lasting, it is perhaps the ultimate tool of the human race. So, it’s no wonder that at some point its users so past its practical values and realized there is a beauty to be found here.
  I’m referring to Calligraphy, which views letters as an art medium. And then there are alphabets, the Arabic and Chinese to name two of the most widespread, the very nature of which gives emphasis on the visual aspect of the written word. In such cases writing is more similar to drawing and it has often been considered a form of meditation.

Geoffroy Tory et Gilles de Gourmont, Paris, 1529 – Bound by Paul Bonet in 1956

With all these in mind I consider the use of an alphabet decoratively, either as an element or the very basis of the decoration, a great choice – if applied skillfully. You really can’t go wrong with something that carries so much meaning and offers endless possibilities artisticaly.
  Alphabets incorporated in a design always captivated me and combining them with the art & craft of bookbinding can be ideal: letters are -usually- the heart of a book, its quintessence found inside it. Bringing them out on the cover in a way that recognizes and displays their beauty seems like an interesting full circle.

Here are a few examples of this combination.

The Four Gospels – bound by Deborah Evetts.
Utilizing only letters this binding achieves its narrative purpose to the fullest through their stark contrast in color and size.

Robust, austere and awe-inspiring, all in perfect accord with the book’s content.

Bound by Paul Bonet.

Little needs to be said about Paul Bonet, one of the most celebrated artisans this craft has known. Bonet’s designs defined bookbinding, mostly through the ingenious use of curves and lines to create optical illusions, the sense of a 3rd dimension on the cover.
  The bindings featured here may not be examples of his trademark style but a testament nevertheless to great skill and the ability to create striking designs using letters as the decoration’s main element.

The Somme – bound by Pamela Richmond
The letters, small, numerous and insignificant -as are the dead viewed through the war’s impersonal prism- parade across the cover. Few by few however they compose names, and names are anything but insignificant – they speak of a person, his world and his story…
  I believe Pamela Richmond has thus managed through her design to paint an excellent depiction of the brutality of WWI and at the same time honor the individuals who died by the thousands – and yet are far more than “a mere statistic”, as Stalin once said.
(A big thank you to the people who helped me identify the binder behind this wonderful binding! It has been one of my personal favorites since I got into this craft)

Shakespeare – bound by Juan A. Fernandez Argenta

To my great joy, Argenta’s designs focus largely on the decorative use of letters. Structurally inventive and endlessly creative, this bookbinder from Spain seems to me like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, only instead of children he lures letters: they dance playfully on his covers or arrange themselves in robust lines and structures, adopting colors and shapes in a way that looks effortless and natural – as if they were always so.
You can see more of his work here.

Lastly I would like to humbly (after the work of such skilled and renowned binders) add one of my bindings to this list: Cicero’s Orations.
  The great orator from Rome molded and transformed the latin language, which had profound effects on the Roman civilization and, in some ways, the entire human culture. What you see on the cover is not simply text but the human thought caught during a turning point in its history.
  The absence of pause between words, punctuation marks and the use of capitals resemble how latin were written or inscribed on a surface. The text’s irregular shape hints at an inscription carved on stone.
  You can read more about the binding’s creation here.

Bindings for You – Cloth bindings


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It’s been a while but Bindings for You are back, this time in cloth!
Three classic works of literature available for you to acquire.

Key features:
– Covered in bookbinding cloth

– Handmarbled paper
– Handmade cloth endbands
– Handtooled titles on leather labels
– Line tooling in foil on both covers and spine.

Title tooled on irregular pieces of leather, hinting at the frozen landscape included in the story but also at the fragmented nature of Frankenstein’s creation.

The books are Everyman’s Library editions of:
– Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (available)
– Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (available)
– Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (available)

Cost – 100 euros for each volume (excluding shipping)

If you’d like to own of them you can:
1) Order through email –
2) Visit my Etsy shop The Bookbinder’s Bench

Upcoming: leatherbound copy of Orwell’s 1984

You can browse other available bindings by visiting Bindings for You subpage!

Cloth Bindings


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  In the past 6 months, due to a combination of commissions and the seminars I’ve been giving, I have made more cloth bindings than I’ve made in 9 years of bookbinding.

 To be honest I wasn’t really fond of them until recently. I always felt cloth very restricting as a covering medium: it stains easily, is far less susceptible to decorative techniques compared to leather, less pleasant to work with and of course inferior in durability.
 However, working with it more often I’ve also come to appreciate its virtues: big variety of colors readily available, doesn’t require preparation, easy to work with, disposable (in case things get messy) and very cost effective.

Here are some examples of work from recent cloth bindings.

Nausicaa by Hayao Miyazaki
 The film version use to be on the TV here often, I remember watching it as a kid. Masterfully illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki (widely acclaimed director and animator) for over a decade, Nausicaa is an interesting story with rich and diverse lore.

  The person who commissioned it wanted a classic cloth binding in a color that would represent the earth’s polluted landscape in the story. I combined it with an amazing marbled paper from Jemma Lewis. It was supposed to be a much simpler quarter binding but I wanted to try out this style instead, which was more complicated than I had imagined, and then matching endpapers are a must, but then I also figured it needs some (which turned out to be a lot) gold tooling/framing to really show, and by the time I had finished the binding I realized it took 3 times more work than initially planned. Fellow colleagues, do you feel me?!?

The Holy bible
L.K. brought this bible which was owned by his uncle. It is of sentimental value to the family and -as is often the case with bibles- it was falling apart. The late owner had made a few efforts to keep the book in one piece, most notably sewing the spine (notice the sewing holes) and the front cover in a coil fashion.

  The original plan was for a new simple cloth binding, however I thought it would be interesting to preserve the original covers and spine which, through the repair efforts and the hand-drawn cross, tell the book’s story, that it was used and loved a lot. Plus the cliche stamp on the old covers looks lovely.

 What is interesting with this particular cloth binding is the recessed covers in which the original ones are inlayed as panels. It was the first time I tried this and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I made sure to remove the original cloth covers with a substantial layer of old bookboard still attached to them or else they could tear easily or be permeated by the glue and soil or loose shape.
 The exact opposite was required for the original spine cloth though: it had to lay completely flat on the new spine and follow its flex, keeping the coverboard layer would make it protrude (and thus prone to detachment) and less flexible.

Notice the french groove? Quite neat if I may say so!

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
What do you do when you simply can’t find a way to split a title/word in a grammatically correct way?
Answer: what word? what order?

  Problem with thin spines is that you have to either tool with very small type size or tool vertically. The first one leads to an impractical result – a book’s author or title need to be distinguishable on the shelf. The second can easily lead to misaligned letters, plus it’s not always possible, especially with long titles or author names.

  There was another thing as well: I could not split “Labyrinths” in any grammatically correct way because of the 4 consonants at the end (seriously, what’s wrong with you english language?!?). So I decided to have some fun by going around the problem and at the same time elevate the title into a small design element, hinting at the title’s meaning by altering the correct order of letters and adding a small gold trail line!

I’m really fond of using letters and a book’s title  as part of the decoration (here are some examples from my work). Will do a post featuring some great works by various binders on this decorative approach in the future.

Brass Band Nippers II


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Band nippers are used to adjust the leather tightly around the spine bands when covering the binding. An essential tool for every bookbinder.

Introducing Brass Band nippers II
The Brass Band Nippers offered by Dimitri’s Bookbinding corner have found home in binderies located in over a dozen different countries around the world and have received much praise for their design and functionality by professional binders and bookbinding enthusiasts alike.

Not stopping there and in my effort to provide the bookbinding community with useful and long lasting tools I have redesigned the brass band nippers and their manufacturing methods using feedback, personal experience and the aspects that made them popular to offer you an improved version.

Precision made

The tool remains entirely handmade. However, introducing precision machinery in various stages of the tool’s making has resulted in more even and smooth surfaces and  -most importantly- better function.

More robust
The tool now has an additional 20% of mass compared to its predecessor making it even more resistant to wear and continuous use. Made to last, it will accompany you for a life-time.

Bigger and wider jaws
The jaws have been enlarged and also feature a wider span to make sure that you can have good results with bands of various thicknesses.


Each Brass Band Nipper is made entirely by hand and finished to produce smooth jaw edges suitable for fine bookbinding work.

Solid Brass
As with the previous version the tool is made from solid brass, a timeless metal used in many bookbinding tools. Brass doesn’t rust and won’t stain your book spine.

Practical design
A simple and efficient spring at the top facilitates use by spring-back action.

PRICE – 120 euros

How do I order?
a) Just sent me a mail in the address at the top of the right column of my blog or leave a comment here letting me know which tools you are interested in. Payment can be received through Paypal.
b) Or head over to my Etsy shop and see what tools are in stock. Buying the tools from etsy is just slightly more expensive than purchasing them from here but gives you minimum preparation time and thus much faster dispatchment.
Note – Etsy tool listings show tools that are “ready or almost ready” for dispachment, not availability. If the tool you’re interested in isn’t currently listed on Etsy you can still order it here!

Check out more tools at my page-> Tools for bookbinding


Techniton Politeia – Interview with Jana Pullman


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jana-pullman-venus-adonisAlthough Book Arts are a constantly growing world, receiving more and more interest – especially in recent years, they remain for the most part unknown to the general public. One of the blog’s goals since its beginning has been to bring people closer to the art and craft of bookbinding and other associated crafts. To make them understood and appreciated.
Some time ago I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Emma Taylor From Within a book. Since then I have been entertaining the idea of more interviews with bookbinders and people from the book arts world in general.
Following the philosophy described above, Dimitri’s Bookbinding Corner will present you with a series of such interviews, which will be less technical in nature and more of an invitation to step into the binderies and workspaces of various artisans and illustrate different kinds of craftsmanship.

Today we have a special guest who was kind enough to talk with me about her experiences and perspective on certain matters as a bookbinder: Jana Pullman.

Jana began working with books in 1983 while pursuing her BFA and MFA degrees in art. She is the owner of Western Slope Bindery at Minneapolis, specializing in custom bindings and repair of books. She focuses her artistic energies on fine binding and participates in book exhibitions. During many years of working in book arts she has been a printer, papermaker, bookbinder, illustrator, conservator and instructor.
She teaches at the famous Minessota Center for Book Arts and various other venues and travels often to give seminars.

Her inventiveness and  long experience in the craft are evident in her work which she showcases at her blog About the binding through numerous pictures and well detailed presentations of the creative process.

jana-pullman-open-horizon_2In her own words:
My primary artistic work in the Book Arts is in the area of design bindings. I create unique bindings for specific books using materials such as leather, wood, handmade paper and gold tooling. I work with the books to find a design that complements the style of the text and illustrations as well as the intent of the authors.

There is a high expectation of craftsmanship in design binding and this pushes me to improve my techniques and explore new approaches. I am always intrigued by the opportunity to use new materials as well as utilizing historical elements and techniques. Throughout the book’s long history individuals have found many answers on how to work with books and I enjoy exploring that history.

I believe that does it for an introduction – now on to our interview!

– Hello Jana and thank you very much for this bookbinding talk.
You teach bookbinding at the distinguished Minessota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). You are also very active in giving seminars and courses at various locations in the US. Last but not least you own a bookbinding blog the posts of which are full of step by step pictures, thorough descriptions of the process involved and lots of bench tips&tricks.
Sharing the craft is obviously a big part of your life as an artisan. What are the reasons behind such a stance?

jana-pullman-pasting-down-onlaysWhen I started to learn about bookbinding I had several wonderful instructors. Soon I thought I too should pass on these methods and understanding of the craft to others. After teaching my first class I found that I enjoyed interacting with my students and telling them about the techniques of bookbinding and my love of books. Over the many years that I have taught book arts classes I have also gotten good relationships with a lot of students.

janas-class-2– Teaching bookbinding, as with any handcraft, is challenging on many levels – can you give us an insight from the instructor’s perspective?

Preparing for classes is challenging but it also gives me reasons to explore new techniques and find ways to present different methods to a class. Over the many years I have taught, I have learned more and have strengthened my own ability to do the work.

jana-pullman-book-ready-for-gold-tooling– Your work is really diverse, from traditional (historical style) fine bindings tooled in gold to a variety of unique design bindings. What was the most challenging binding project you ever tackled and why would you describe it as such?

jana-pullman-gilt-and-gauffered-edge-3A few years ago I was asked to rebind a book of William Shakespeare’s plays in the style of a binding done during Shakespeare’s lifetime. I had to learn more about techniques and styles in the late 1500s. I enjoyed gold tooling prior to that, but this project made me find new ways to improve my work. When I wanted to try a new method of tooling I began by creating another book for myself to see if I had come up with the right technique. So I took a lot more time to practice and then finish the Shakespeare book than I need to do with most of my other bindings, but I was very happy with the work when it was done. This is described in one of my blog posts.

– You are proficient in the use of various techniques, either regarding the structural properties of a binding or its decoration. Which technique would you say is the most enjoyable to you? Can you describe it and mention what makes it special?

jana-pullman-paper-reliefFor a structural challenge I really like the Bradel bookbinding. This style of binding can be traced back to the 18th century in Germany. The origin of the binding is uncertain, but the name comes from a French binder working in Germany, Alexis Pierre Bradel. It gives the book a strong connection between the pages and the cover. For a design element, the spine can be wrapped in one material and the covers wrapped in another.
Another way to finish the cover is the method known as the “milimeter binding”. What distinguishes the technique is that cloth, leather of vellum trim is added at the head, tail, fore-edges and corners of the case for greater durability while making the book look more elegant. The rest can be covered in a decorative paper.
I have three posts about Bradel bookbinding.

jana-pullman-bradel-binding–  You have been in the craft for a long time. What stands out more for you during your journey as an artisan?

I can always learn more about books and improve my ability to make them. I also encourage anyone to look at the history of books because you can find ideas and techniques that can give you inspiration for your own projects. When I see a picture of an old book, I make a drawing of it and then make a few more drawings with variations to give me more ideas for new bindings.

jana-pullman-omar-khayyam– On a different note…
Despite those who are convinced the book as an object will become obsolete in the near future, it appears there is a slow but steady shift of mentality back to traditional crafts. In an age of run-of-the-mill products people are starting to appreciate once more the quality and uniqueness of a handcrafted item. Bookbinding is also part of this. What’s your view on the matter?

A handmade item has a unique appearance and you can see the artist’s work, which gives it more details and design elements that are not found in industrialized items. When I show my books to people they are always fascinated that it was handmade. I also think they wonder if it is something they could do as well.

jana-pullman-the-dreamtime– Last question:
Although this re-appreciation of bookbinding has helped in the strengthening of bookbinding communities and public awareness regarding our craft this seems to more evident in well-faring countries. Bookbinding is in decline in Greece (where I live) and from what I hear in many other countries of similar conditions as well. Here almost none is taking up the craft…
With these two different sides of the bookbinding world in mind what would your advice be to an aspiring binder today?

Because bookbinding has a rich heritage around the world you should always look to see what is being done both locally and internationally. The work of other artists can give you new ideas and challenges to move you forward with your work. You can learn a lot from other binders and then pass it on to more people which helps build a bookbinding community that you are part of.

Hope you enjoyed our talk with Jana Pullman! If you haven’t already do spend some time to visit her blog About the Binding and website Western Slope Bindery and get acquainted with her wonderful work!

You can read more interviews at Techniton Politeia.


Celebrating 6 years in blogging and 1000 likes

When this blog began 6 years ago little did I know that it would become such a driving force and a foundation upon which much of my progress and future plans have been built. It has kept me focused, gave me the opportunity to learn a lot, encouraged me to work hard and, most of all, it inspired me…

kain-ergast2Dimitri’s Bookbinding Corner has evolved in many different ways but its purpose, the spark behind its creation and momentum, remains the same: storytelling.
I wanted to share the stories behind my bindings and my journey as a bookbinder. But I also wanted to bring people closer to the very world of bookbinding. To make its vastness, beauty and wonderful stories known.
And to serve such a purpose the blog had to be an inviting place where the binding enthusiast, the apprentice and the seasoned binder alike would converge and find diverse and interesting content.

I’m happy to say that as time goes by it feels more and more to be going in the right direction…!

It’s also a great coincidence that only a month before such an anniversary the blog’s FB page has reached 1000 likes.
The blog’s readers and followers, from all around the world, have shown amazing support – κeeping up a blog like this is hard work and your words have played a significant role in keeping it rolling.

So this is for all you people! – As promised a huge giveaway with 3(!) winners will take place 3 weeks from now.
1st prize – a full sized quarter leather journal with a lovely handmarbled paper.
2nd prize – a small full leather copticstitch journal
3rd prize – a 20% discount on anything bought from the blog’s Etsy shop, the Bookbinder’s Bench.
If you want to take part head over to Dimitri’s Bookbinding Corner on FB!

I’ll leave you with the picture of journal I made recently.
Here’s to another great 6 years! Lots of nice things in store, stay tuned!


Σεμινάριο βιβλιοδεσίας και Καινούριος χώρος


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( To my english readers – post in english at the bottom of the post)

Το blog αυτό, o ψηφιακός χώρος της δουλειάς μου, παραμελήθηκε εδώ και κάποιο διάστημα προς χάριν του πραγματικού: ύστερα από μήνες και μήνες αναζήτησης και έπειτα προγραμματισμού και πακεταρίσματος το εργαστήριο μετακόμισε σε καινούριο χώρο!

dimitris-bookbinding-corner-%ce%b5%cf%81%ce%b3%ce%b1%cf%83%cf%84%ce%ae%cf%81%ce%b9%ce%bfΠρόκειται για ένα συμπαθητικό και άνετο υπογειάκι στο Νέο Ψυχικό και όλοι όσοι ενδιαφέρονται είναι ευπρόσδεκτοι να το επισκεφτούν κατόπιν συνεννοήσεως!

Με την ευκαιρία αυτή θα ήθελα να σας ανακοινώσω την έναρξη κύκλου μαθημάτων βιβλιοδεσίας. Παρακάτω οι λεπτομέρειες.

(Ραφτή πανόδετη βιβλιοδεσία)


Το σεμινάριο αυτό αποτελεί εισαγωγή στην τέχνη της βιβλιοδεσίας με την τεχνική του καλύμματος (case binding). 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.

Έναρξη μαθημάτων: μέσα Νοέμβρη
Αριθμός μαθημάτων: 6-8 (αναλόγως τον αριθμό των ενδιαφερομένων)
Διάρκεια μαθήματος: 3 ώρες
Μέρες και ώρες: Απογεύματα καθημερινών ή πρωί/απόγευμα Σαββάτου. Οι ακριβείς μέρες και ώρες θα οριστούν κατόπιν συνεννόησης με τους ενδιαφερομένους.

Εάν θέλετε να συμμετάσχετε αφήστε μου ένα σχόλιο εδώ ή επικοινωνήστε μαζί μου στο

Συνοπτικά τα στάδια που θα δούμε:
1) Λύσιμο 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 απλού χειροποίητου κεφαλαριού από δέρμα ή ύφασμα
8) Ενίσχυση ράχης
9) Κατασκευή καλύμματος από χαρτόνι
10) Ντύσιμο καλύμματος με ύφασμα και διακοσμητικό χαρτί
11) Πέρασμα του καλύμματος και ολοκλήρωση της βιβλιοδεσίας


Things have been quiet here at the blog for some time, but for good reason; after months and months of search and the extensive planning preparations and packaging that followed the bindery has finally moved to a new location!

It’s a comfy basement located in the northern suburbs and you are more than welcome to visit if you ever happen to be in Athens – Greece!

A seminar on case-binding is to take place there soon. It will be an introduction to bookbinding and participants will learn the basics of bookbinding (european sewn bookbinding). By its end they will have made a binding and will have the knowledge to bind books using simple tools and equipment.


Λεξικό βιβλιοδεσίας – Μέρος ΙΙ


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Για τους καινούριους αναγνώστες ιδού το Μέρος Ι!

Σε αυτό το άρθρο θα δούμε όρους σχετικούς με την ανατομία μιας βιβλιοδεσίας καθώς και με κάποια από τα στάδια της δημιουργίας της.
Όπως έγραψα και την προηγούμενη φορά δεν πρόκειται για ενδελεχές λεξικό του επαγγέλματος αλλά συμπεριλαμβάνει κυρίως όρους που είναι συνήθως δύσκολο να γνωρίζει κανείς τον αντίστοιχο αγγλικό τους ή να περιγράψει τι αφορούν.
Επίσης να τονίσω πως οι όροι στα ελληνικά αποδίδονται όπως τους διδάχτηκα κατά την μαθητεία μου, αντιλαμβάνομαι πως κάποιοι ενδεχομένως να τους έχουν υπόψιν με άλλες ονομασίες, φαινόμενο συχνό στον χώρο της χειροτεχνίας.


Dimitri's Bookbinding Corner - First quarto from Titus AndronicusΤυπογραφικό – signature
Τα “φυλλάδια” από τα οποία αποτελούνται συνήθως τα βιβλία. Πρόκειται για μεγάλα κομμάτια χαρτιού που διπλώνονται προκειμένου να σχηματιστούν οι σελίδες. Οι πιο συχνές μορφές τυπογραφικών είναι το “quarto” (κυριολεκτικά το “τετράδιο”) και το octavo, το γνωστό 16σέλιδο.
Εικόνα: το πρώτο τυπογραφικό από τον Τίτο Ανδρόνικο του Ballantyne Press.

Ράχη – Spine
Το κομμάτι που είναι ορατό σε εμάς όταν το βιβλίο είναι όρθια τοποθετημένο σε ράφι.
Η ράχη, κάτω από το κάλυμμα, αποτελείται από το σύνολο των διπλωμένων τυπογραφικών. Αυτή ράβουμε, κολλάμε και ενισχύουμε προκειμένου το βιβλίο να πάρει τη γνωστή μορφή του. Η κατανόηση της μηχανικής λειτουργίας που επιτελεί καθώς και η σωστή διαχείριση του όγκου και του σχηματός της παίζουν καθοριστικό ρόλο στην ποιότητα και την μακροβιότητα μιας βιβλιοδεσίας.

Πινακίδες – Boards
Το μπρος και το πίσω μέρος του καλύμματος, τα κομμάτια που ανοιγοκλείνουν και προστατεύουν το βιβλίο.

Dimitris bookbinding corner - Endband blue-redΚεφαλάρι – Endband (Headband)
Πρόκειται για το κομμάτι που εξέχει από τις άκρες της ράχης. Στη σύγχρονη εποχή του φτηνού βιβλίου κεφαλάρι ονομάζεται γενικά το σημείο αυτό του καλύμματος αλλά κανονικά είναι ένα επιπλέον στοιχείο που ράβεται ή κολλιέται στη ράχη κάτω από το κάλυμμα.
Σημείωση του γράφοντος: η λατρεία προς τα χειροποίητα κεφαλάρια είναι υποχρεωτική.

Ακμές – (for-) Edge
Οι άκρες των σελίδων, το κομμάτι που είναι ορατό όταν είναι κλειστό το βιβλίο. Σε μερικές περιπτώσεις διακοσμούνται με κάποιο χρώμα και παλαιότερα συνηθιζόταν το χρύσωμα τους ή, σπανιότερα, η ζωγραφική πάνω τους. “Foredge” ονομάζεται η μεγάλη ακμή στο ύψος του βιβλίου.

Αλυσιδάκι – Kettle stitch
Είναι οι ραφές πιο κοντά στις άκρες της ράχης (μη ορατές στο εξωτερικό μιας  ολοκληρωμένης βιβλιοδεσίας). Οι ραφές αυτές, όπως μαρτυρεί και το όνομα τους, περνούν η μία μέσα από την άλλη αντί να συγκρατούν τα νεύρα/σπάγγους του βιβλίου.

Figure-193-How-to-Correctly-bend-the-Signatures-Bookbinding-DiagramΛούκια – Shoulders/Hinges
Στα ελληνικά υπάρχει ένας όρος που καλύπτει 2 παρόμοια αλλά διαφορετικά πράγματα. “Hinge” είναι το σημείο κατά μήκος του καλύμματος, εσωτερικά και εξωτερικά, που λύγίζει προκειμένου να ανοίξουμε ή να κλείσουμε τις πινακίδες.
“Shoulder” ονομάζεται το σημείο εκείνο στο πρώτο και τελευταίο τυπογραφικό (συνήθως οι “φύλακες”) που είναι ανασηκωμένο σε ορθή ή σχεδόν ορθή γωνία ύστερα από το σφύρισμα. Εκεί έρχεται να ακουμπήσει η πινακίδα η οποία έχει το ίδιο πάχος.
Εικόνα: από τo χρησιμότατο

Φύλακες – Flyleafs
Κενές σελίδες ανάμεσα στο κείμενο και τα εσώφυλλα που ο ρόλος τους είναι να προστατέψουν τις πρώτες και τις τελευταίες σελίδες του κειμένου καθώς και να επωμιστούν το στρες από το ανοιγόκλεισμα των πινακίδων. Ράβονται μαζί με το κυρίως σώμα του βιβλίου.

Dimitri's bookbinding corner - Endpapers of The Yellow EmperorΕσώφυλλα – Endpapers
Πρόκειται για το πρώτο (και τελευταίο) δίφυλλο που βλέπουμε ανοίγοντας ένα βιβλίο. Οι μαρμαρόκολλες έχουν υπάρξει η συχνότερη επιλογή για εσώφυλλα τους τελευταίους αιώνες της βιβλιοδεσίας. Πέρα από την αισθητική η πρωταρχική λειτουργία των εσωφύλλων είναι άλλη: αντισταθμίζουν το κουρμπάρισμα που προκαλείται στις πινακίδες από το “τράβηγμα” του υλικού με το οποίο έχει ντυθεί το βιβλίο.

Εικόνα: Τα εσώφυλλα από Τον Κίτρινο Αυτοκράτορα.


paring action by Jana PullmanΡεφελάρισμα – Paring
Είναι η διαδικασία κατά την οποία λεπταίνουμε το δέρμα, συνήθως στις άκρες του. Αυτό επιτυγχάνεται με τη χρήση ειδικών μαχαιριών, μικρών μηχανών με ξυράφι, ή με ένα συνδυασμό των δύο.
Εικόνα: από το εξαιρετικό blog της Jana Pullman που περιέχει ενδελεχή άρθρα με φωτογραφίες από διάφορα στάδια της βιβλιοδεσίας.

Dimitris Bookbinding Corner - Rounding the book blockΣτρογγύλεμα – Rounding
Αφότου η ράχη ραφτεί (και κολληθεί) την κτυπάμε με το σφυρί του τσαγκάρη προκειμένου να αποκτήσει καμπυλωτό σχήμα. Αυτό προσδίδει και στην μπροστινή όψη (ακμή) του βιβλίου το χαρακτηριστικό σχήμα ημισέληνου. Το στρογγύλεμα μοιράζει το φούσκωμα που έχει προστεθεί από το πάχος της κλωστής κατά το ράψιμο αλλά επίσης αποτρέπει το να αποκτήσει η ράχη κοίλο σχήμα (το συναντάμε σε πολλά βιβλία που η ράχη τους ήταν αρχικά ίσια) από τη χρήση.

Σφύρισμα – Backing
Μετά το στρογγύλεμα το βιβλίο μπαίνει στην σφυριστική πρέσα για το σφύρισμα. Με αυτό δημιουργούνται τα λούκια όπου θα ακουμπήσουν οι πινακίδες του βιβλίου.

Πέρασμα – Casing (ή απλώς pasting)
Έτσι ονομάζεται το στάδιο όπου το βιβλίο ντύνεται με το προετοιμασμένο δέρμα ή, στην περίπτωση απλούστερης βιβλιοδεσίας, όταν κολλάμε το κάλυμμα στο σώμα του βιβλίου.

Lili Hall - gold tooling.Χρύσωμα – (Gold) Tooling / Gilding
“Tooling” είναι η διακόσμηση ενός βιβλίου με τη χρήση εργαλείων που έχουν θερμανθεί προκειμένου να αφήσουν το αποτύπωμα τους στην επιφάνεια του. “Gold tooling” είναι όταν η διαδικασία αυτή περιλαμβάνει αυθεντικό χρυσό. “Gilding” είναι όταν χρυσώνουμε τις ακμές του βιβλίου ή μεγάλες επιφάνειες πάνω στο κάλυμμα.
Εικόνα: Η Lili Hall χρυσώνει μια ράχη.

How to pimp your nipping press! – Ντοπάροντας το πρεσάκι!


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I’ve been looking for a solid metal press for a while now. Big standing presses are massive beasts and I had neither the budget nor the spare space for one. My lying press does the job but it is often occupied by other bookbinding tasks. I’ve been using a small wooden press I made 8 years ago as a nipping press but she’s past her glory and has been asking -through various squeaking sounds- for a semi-retirement for some time now.

Dimitri's Bookbinding corner - Modified and restored nipping press I found this used old press at a fair price and decided to make an addition to the bindery. It is somewhat larger, space-wise, than your average nipping press but boy – talk about beefy for its size! There’s a “1880” engraved on it (along with the number 7 on the handle. Anyone able to enlighten me on that – perhaps a model/size indicator by the maker?), which shows this fellow carries some history on his back. Furthermore the previous owner had made a modification to enlarge the pressing area by attaching 2 wide metal plates.

My problem with it was its opening span, which was less than 8cm (3.1 inches) – simply too small for pressing several books simultaneously. Owning several presses is currently not an option and having to press books in turns is impractical. I had the idea of upgrading the press by adding my own modification; 2 industrial-grade steel cylinders that increase press height.

Now the press is tailor made for my needs; it can accommodate 5-6 regular sized books, exert tremendous force and still be -by general standards- a “small” press.

Dimitri's Bookbinding corner - Increasing press heightThis upgrade should be possible with most nipping presses and can save you a lot of money and space if you need a stronger press or one that fits more books. All you need is a visit to a local machinist!

I took the press for a sandblast and painting before putting it together, turned out great.
Till next time!