In the end it all worked out for the best. My wrists healed, I had a few days to spare creating an entirely new binding to enter in the Nordic bookbinding exhibition (one that was much more wrist friendly design-wise), and I find I like the end result more and more as each day passes.
One of my starting points for designing a binding for Ontto harmaa by Olli-Pekka Tennilä(of which I bound another copy last year) was that I wanted to avoid using the colour grey. The name can be translated as “hollow grey”, and as I didn’t want the book design to illustrate what exact kind of shade of grey the book was talking about – it felt the definition should be left up in the air. But in the end I couldn’t find a more fitting colour linen for the covers (really, really loved the yellow leather I used the first time around, tho) and decided to go with the grey that simply looked the best out of all the options. I haven’t regretted the choice: the typewritten binary code looks perfect on it – just the right contrast, texture, variety.
The numbers 1 and 0 are a recurring element in Ontto harmaa, so the idea of using binary code in the design was the one that I built on right from the start. But since Ontto harmaa is a book full of warmth too, the use of a natural material with an organic feel on the covers balanced things off beautifully.
One of my favourite parts of the sewn boards binding structure is the point where I get to pick the colour and material for lining the spine and the visible board edges. I usually use either paper or linen, but this time I went with this fantastic pink goat skin and I love it.
Now the book is out of my hands. It will be touring the Nordic countries in 2018-2019 and it will be a while before I get to hold it again. It really is a lovely thing to hold. Light and somehow so very compact at the same time.
Finishing this project means the start of my bookbinding hiatus. For the most part of the summer my studio is four hours away and so are my supplies – I hope it will be enough to keep me focused on writing my poetry book. Despite being away from the studio, I will be posting some cut-up poetry pieces here (and tons of other stuff on Instagram) as well as some new posts with bookbinding tips and info about the next Instagram Office Hours session (sorry, thought I could squeeze one in before the end of May, but it’s going to take a while longer still!). So, don’t go anywhere even though my blog updates are more irregular than usual <3
I’m repeating myself a bit here – binding another copy of Ontto harmaa by Olli-Pekka Tennilä, again with no time to spare. I hadn’t intended to leave for Helsinki until June, but when the perfect summer home popped up, I couldn’t let it slip away. And so my month reserved for binding this book turned into two weeks of scrambling together every unfinished thing AND binding this book from scratch. I’m doing a variation of a more traditional looking fine binding than my first Ontto harmaa was (it was an adapted version of a sewn boards binding). I find my skills rusty and my nerves all over the place, but I try to focus on the thought that done is better than perfect. Mind you, I don’t advice you guys to do fine binding in a rush. It makes no sense, but here I am, with life skills 5/5.
Also going to do that thing with almost 800 2mm diameter leather onlays again. Madness is what I excel at.
Today is all about finishing – i.e. adding those dots and other finishing touches that are still missing. The title was put on yesterday already. Once the covers are done, tomorrow it’s time to glue down the leather joints, fill in the inside covers, and put on the binary code doublures. If I finish all this by Friday evening, I should be good. I’m coming back home in under two weeks which means I’ll even have time to take photos of the book before I need to send it on its way. Note to self: never again. Except I think I said that last time, too.
I’ve played with the idea of creating some softcover Coptic bindings this spring, and I wanted to put that idea into action before my summer bookbinding hiatus. And here it is! I made some softcover Coptics while still at school over a decade ago, but they had covers made out of either leather or paper. This here with gold linen covers is a mix between the sewn boards binding variation I do and the Coptic binding. The sewn boards bindings do have more rigid covers than this book, but I adapted some structural aspects of the binding to suit my purposes here.
I love the lightness that comes with soft covers. And using luxurious linen results in a softcover book that doesn’t look cheap at all. It looks simply lovely.
Yet another friendly reminder: This here is the last new book in the shop before September (there’ll be more blog posts before I go, though), and I’m going to gradually close down the shop for the summer by the end of May. Items about to expire will expire, and the couple new mixed media things (watch case necklaces and a small collage tin) will be offered for sale on Instagram only. So if you have a wedding coming up and you’re in need of a guest book or a gift, or if your bullet journal is nearing its final pages, or if you have a feeling you or someone you know might need a new notebook some time during the summer, or if you have an empty spot on your wall in need of art, now would be a great time to act. Thanks so much for all of your support!