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Showing posts from February, 2017

Why I Love the K-118 Binding Structure

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The K-118 binding structure is a hand bookbinding technique that I started experimenting with about a year ago. It promises reliable, easily opened books without 'Backing' the mechanical folding of sections of pages onto themselves at the spine. It uses oversized parchment spine liners that are glued, worked into the spine and subsequently interlaced with beveled cover boards.


I find that at this point in the process (as shown) the book is very stable, the last picture above is an early example of this binding style I attempted, put aside, then promptly forgot about only to rediscover it last weekend - a year later. This is due in part to the fact that all of the structural components of the book are already in place. To say it a different way, the covering material is not counted on to be structural, though I have found that particularly thick leathers (4 oz+) will undoubtedly impede the opening slightly.

Is it an exaggeration to love the K-118 style? For me, I don't beli…

Leather and Bookbinding

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I am often struck by the depth of knowledge and skills one must attain to be any good at binding books. That's not to say that one can not make a fine book without these things but the nuance of the art seems to come form being able to make well informed decisions. I find it almost thrilling (that is after the panic) to come to a roadblock in a process or job and be forced down a detour to another skill or process that must be concurred before continuing.

Three years ago around this time I was in my final semester of my masters, my thesis consisted of a book for which I spared no expense. It was the first time in the eight years since I had started to learn the craft that I had touched a fine bookbinding leather. It was one of those moments that doesn't gain its psychological weight until it ripens with age and when it does its almost obvious.

I had an English style leather pairing knife for a couple years, purchased in 2010 because of its inexpensive price and numerous menti…