Showing posts from March, 2016

A Springback Album? No, apparently not.

A project I have been working on over the winter and coming into the spring is a set (pair?) of books, one a sketchbook and one an album. The pieces are part of a trade I set up with a good friend and master carpenter in exchange for a proper bench in which to bind books on. The idea at first to was have a twin set matching in style and decoration. The two were worked in almost parallel but the sketchbook was the first to be ready for covering material and besides a necessary modification of the spring, you can see it here. It caused no issues and functioned pretty close to what I expected.

The album is made from the same one hundred percent cotton paper as the sketchbook. Its construction features the use of loose guards sewn alternating with the full folios in a ratio of 3:2. The intention to create a spring back led me to sew the pages to four stations of double 1/2" linen tapes. Once the sewing was complete the levers were formed with card stock, paper and the sewing support…

For Anne

I made this small spring back travel journal on commission as a gift for an incredible photographer / visual artist. Her long time assistant approached me awhile back and asked several times for me to make this piece. Its pages are 24lb Mohawk Superfine and its covered in a beautiful piece of alum tawd goat. I was able to find a turn of the centenary map of Brooklyn and located both the home and studio of the artist's and worked the map in as the end papers of the book. No matter how far she goes she will have a piece of home with her.

The Harrington Bindery New Logo

I have been working on a logo because I really want something that can be stamped in or on finished books. This is a vector I created from a photograph of a spring back book I made in the late fall last year.

What Is This Blog?

I recently made a major switch in hosts for this blog because I was looking for a more seamless way including videos within it and I wanted to start an account that was exclusively THB (The Harrington Bindery) related things. It brought up some of the questions that still linger for me about my motivations.

The basis of this blog is rooted within my frustrations of learning the craft of bookbinding without having a master to teach me. I started to teach myself over a decade prior as a means of making containers for the photographs I had taken, the ones that gave me a voice and I had become so attached to. When I was just beginning a friend of my older brother's had recently graduated from Pratt and come back to our home town. In her education she learned about the craft of bookbinding. We met and over many successive weeks she taught me the methods she knew and gave me my first book on bookbinding:  The Craft of Bookbinding by Manly Banister. And while we spent many hou…

Linen Wrapped Parchment End Bands

Hand sewn linen thread endbands on single layer parchment cores. I now love parchment for this purpose because it is very hard wearing while remaining very flexible. 

Re-Using Newsprint

The thought of re-using newsprint wasn't something that came to me naturally. For me the cost was low enough, supply easy enough to come by and the city offers a very easy and reasonable recycling program. But, as I often do, I took a class. Tireless comparison of their and my own working practices usually offers a few key revelations. It was here that the idea of simply recycling all that newsprint got called into question 'just let it dry and use it again'. I don't dismiss an idea because I had never done it that way before nor do I embrace an idea because that's 'how its done'. However I gave it a shot, and the results were disastrous.  I use straight PVA, straight Methylcellulose, straight wheat paste and a variety of different strength mixes of the three. In the end some combination of moisture and pressure had reactivated the dry adhesive residues and caused the newsprint to be nearly permanently adhered into the book. After hours with a kni…

The K-118 Style

Recently I came across what is referred to as the K 118 binding style, named so for the bindery in which it is believed to have come from. Bound in approximately 1493 in the city of Nuremberg and from all I can tell seem to be the only historical examples that exist to have been photographed. Its structure intrigued me because it seems to allow for an incredible amount of flexibility in the spine allowing for the creation of books that opened flat, had no wasted space in the gutter and did not sacrifice quality construction to achieve these ends (as is the usual case these days). Its principle elements seem relatively simple to deal with. Sewing is on supports, but cords or tapes can be chosen. Rounding is pronounced or excessive by some standards. The combination of thread thickness, gathering size and amount of round should be so, as to eliminate swell once finished. Boards are rounded on the outside of the spine edge to extend the round on the spine and the sewing supports are at…

The Carpenters Springback

Trouble arose this morning. Attempts to loosen the levers, spring already attached, were met with ripping, tearing delamination sounds. The spring had been prepared, dried, attached and dried again before I had started so moisture wasn't an issue. I slowly worked one side then the other, switching back and forth. I crammed a bone folder down the spine trying to see if I could loosen a possible attachment point where on an earlier book adhesive had oozed between the clowthings during the attachment of the spine and had firmly adhered the spine of the book to the spring, also causing issues upon opening. This however was not the case here, I try to open up a little more same delamination sounds. At this point I decided; wherever it was that was breaking down was beyond the point of simple repair. I opened the book by the lever with gentle but firm pressure, It fought me at first which is normal for a spring back binding but, at the half way open point, instead of spring…