Bookbinding

I’m rather fond of books. To me they are one of the most important things our species ever created. A device to store information, compact enough to travel with and never out of batteries. imageStephen Fry once called them “the building blocks of civilisation”.
For information gobblers like Sandra and me, some of our best friends are books…

One of the crafts that has always fascinated (beside printing and paper making) me is bookbinding. It’s just one of those techniques that’s on my list of things to learn in the future.

In the past I made some little notebooks and re-bound some books that fel apart. Sometimes it’s just simple impatience that gets me do drive a stack of paper trough the Singer. I also made some simple Coptic notebooks (see below). Small attempts, but never learned it properly.

I met a lot great people at the medieval re-enactment event at Hernen Castle. One of the groups attending was “The Paper Unicorn”. They are specialized in medieval bookbinding techniques and make beautiful work. From little but very ingenious folding pocket books to large bibles and girdle books.

image

One of the bookbinders at the castle. (Photo: The Paper Unicorn)

For more information about historical book binding see these PDF’s:

“Kneep en Binding” (Dutch Only)

“The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding”

“The Structure of a Byzantine Codice” 

And a simple Coptic binding method anyone can start with:

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