Friday, October 06, 2017

Wooden Board Binding 13th-15th century, at PBI 2017

The thrid workshop that I had at PBI this year, was making a wooden board binding based on those made between the 13th to 15th centuries in Europe. The instructor was Renate Mesmer who is Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. The workshop spanned four full days but as Renate warned us on the first day, four days is not enough time to make this book. And indeed, nobody finished it. At the end of the four days, the participants had books at various stages of completion, but none were done entirely or complete with clasps. We did produce a stunning white library shelf, though, in my opinion.



We bound the sections with a herringbone sewing on double raised cords. And headbands. We did a fancy headband with many cores. Not sure I could duplicate it today.



I have this complex headband finished on just the head of my book. Although I also did a quicker bead-on-the-front headband in matching colours, at the tail of the book.

Working on the boards alone, took quite a long time. It's hard, working with hardwood. This photo shows the book after the boards are laced on and you can see most of the work done on the boards (shaping the spine edge, the indents at head and tail and fore edge, as well as the holes for lacing, pegging, etc) the spine lining, headbands, etc.



We did a full covering with alum tawed calf. The covering and tying up were the last steps that I completed.



Ideally we would have made and attached two fore edge clasps and then finished the interior paste downs. I did start a bit on one of the clasps but the four days just were not long enough! Nonetheless, thank you Renate, for such a challenging class!



I have more photographs from this workshop on my Facebook page if you would like to see them.

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