Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Man Booker 2017, the first week.

For me at least, the start of the Man Booker month is slow. I do not wish to imply that I am sitting around drinking cups of interesting coffee. No, I am reading, formulating design rationales, then reworking them.. One of the aspects of the Man Booker is that one usually sits at the same table as ones author, they are alive. Trust me, it is not often, as a book binder that one works with living authors and the like. So when they ask 'What inspired your design?' it is best not to be fumbling around in the dark for the next thing to say. The sections have been trimmed, sewing positions marked and the end papers made. Let sewing begin.

This book is complicated. The dialogue is in dead conversation. By this I mean that the characters in the book are dead. The dialogue is layered, contradictory and paced. I have the beginnings of the design bouncing around my sketch book, brain and backs of Red Lion Menus.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Man Booker 2017.

It is that time of year... Man Booker 2017. Regular posts will appear from time to time.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Being there.

A lovely evening.

After getting to the Guildhall only a few minutes late I and the other bookbinders set out the books on plinths. After a little chat about where they should go everyone was happy.

What was really nice was being able to see the other books. To think that they had been made in a few weeks is very humbling.

Just in time, the reception hall began to fill with the good, the great and the authors.

Steve Toltz and A Fraction of the Whole. It was very nice to meet him. he said some pleasant things about the binding.....

One of the top things about the evening was, for the first time, the binders were seated at the authors table. The tension, the food and the chat.

The bindings will be on show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the near future, please check out my other Blog for details when they are made available to me.

This will be last entry till next time. Bye...........

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Big Night.

Well, tonight is the big night.

The D J has been checked out and it still fits, shoes polished and hair will be combed. All of this for one evening in the Guildhall.
The evening will start at 7pm with a reception. Dinner at 8pm, with the announcement being televised on the BBC Ten O'Clock News at 10.25pm. We are then kicked out at 11.30pm.

My small part of this is the presentation binding of 'A Fraction of the Whole' by Steve Toltz.

I have enjoyed this binding, the text made it easy for me. The image of brother, both with ideals, both with gifts, both flawed.
As you can see from the image, there is not even the barest hint of gold leaf, the tooling is limited to black line work and the lettering, well it is hardly traditional.

Front board.

Back board.


Back board detail.

Lettering detail.

End band and edge decoration.

Front end paper and doublure.

Back end paper and doublure.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

At last, A Fraction of the Whole is finished.

Yesterday I finished the binding. When the weather improves I will take some pictures.
Only the box needs to be made so I am okay for time. This will be the fourth Man Booker/Booker binding I have done, the pressure is still the same, the time is always tight but I do so enjoy the challenge. The binding, along with the other five will be on show in the Victoria and Albert museum (London UK) as soon as I have details I will post them.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Nearly finished.

The out side of A Fraction of the Whole is finished.

The final black line work is finished, the title is in place and the composition looks as if it may work. I am never sure if the final binding works until I have finished the doubler work which will take place in the next two days.

At the bench on a Sunday. However, I am not alone, three studio members working on their books makes for a lively, if some what tempered day.
It is some times very difficult to switch from my work to that of a student if they have a question or have a problem. At least my brain is kept active.

Summer has ended, the clouds are low and the rain washes the poor summer down the drain.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


Now is the waiting game, layers of varnish over the letters. 3 hours between coats and am on the fourth coat now.

Tomorrow should find me doing the black line work and starting work on the doublers (the inside of the boards) Only another three or so days work to go and the book should be finished, then the box. I should be ok, getting the whole thing ready has to be ready for the award bash on the 14th of this month ....... ten days time !