Friday, February 18, 2011

The Time Traveler's Wife - My First Fine Binding

Fine Binding - A full leather book where each step from forwarding to finishing is executed perfectly and expertly. Sewing, rounding, backing, edge decoration, board attachment, leather paring, leather covering, onlay, gold tooling, etc. Everything must be perfect.

Keep in mind -- this is my first fine binding. So perfectly and expertly will surely come with practice and time.

I was not ready to perform such concentrated tasks on a random book. The book needed to be special, motivating. The only book I thought was worthy of this process was my favorite, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I took a shot and emailed the author, expecting no response. She did. I asked if she had any unbound copies left. She did. She forward my message to the right people and a couple of weeks later with tears in my eyes (I know, sounds cheezy) I opened the unbound copy of my favorite book.

Over a month later I have completed my fine binding. There were several obstacles to face in the very beginning because the sections had already been blown out for factory gluing and binding. I got around this by sewing extremely carefully and instead of attaching the boards with german tapes, I attached them with airplane cotton. Worked wonderfully. This being the first of many challenges which I won't go into, I have finally gotten through them all and the work is officially complete.

Of course now I have to make a glorious box to house this piece. Thank you Audrey Niffenegger for being my hero and making a dream come true. It was an honor to fine bind your book. Thank you again over and over.

"To world enough and time"

Doublures and Fly leaves. French split goat skin leather.

Detail of Cover