Little black book
Sometimes minimalism wins over. This hardback book is intended as a platform for ideas, sketches, portraits, masterplans and daily notions. Covered with black linen-cotton bookcloth with a lovely organic texture, the book also has handsewn black & ivory headbands and approx. 75 pages of archival off-white Canson Mi-Teintes inside. For those who are not familiar with Canson paper, Mi-Teintes works beautifully with pens, pencils, ink, acrylics and watercolour… with everything, in fact. Because of its versatility it is the only paper I use in my own sketchbooks and visual journals; Other papers tend to get on my nerves, because I use lots of mixed media in my flat artwork. One could also say my line of sketchbooks is born out of that frustration.
This book is also currently for sale in my shop.
Bible repair in progress
Here’s some customer work for a change. This massive family Bible from the 1800’s had a loose front cover, some pages coming loose and a classic duct-taped back. I began working on it last week, removing the first sections and reinforcing some of the torn ones. As a happy surprise, all that duct tape came off nicely; In fact I believe it has actually also protected the sections from further damage, and because only the spine of the book was taped there was no damage to the leather. The cover boards are worn but in many ways very neat. I’m first extending the old cords a bit so that I can sew the sections back, and then continue to assemble the cover.
For those interested, the approximate price for the standard repair of a large Bible is usually around 500€ and up. Books with many pages and sections (such as Bibles) tend to cause lots of work, but if the sewing is healthy and there are no damaged pages the binder has it a bit easier. The repairs for the covers still take a fine amount of leather as well as time and expertise. For this reason extensive repair is rarely recommended for relatively new and common Bibles. However, because Bibles are often the books that are much valued by their owners (holding emotional rather than monetary value), they are among the most common projects on the binder’s bench.
Not a long time ago I went to the annual bookbinders’ summer meeting in Kuopio, where we visited the lyceum library and also got to browse some books from the collection of the Orthodox Church Museum RIISA. Other weekend activities included drinking whisky, eating lots, seeing the Kätköistä Löytyneet II miniature book exhibition, going to a classic car and swap meet, and arguing whether the somewhat ugly endpapers in one of the Orthodox manuscripts were marbled, painted or printed with blocks. In short, good times. Thanks everyone for the company!
The picture above, of me holding a book-finding, was taken by a fellow binder Tiina who thoroughly documented the event whereas I didn’t have a camera at all.