Illuminated Manuscripts: Hands on project 6 – medieval bookbinding

Coptic dos-a-dos; link stitch binding; limp vellum with wooden spine; model St Cuthbert; 18th century half binding with false raised bands

Coptic dos-a-dos; link stitch binding; limp vellum with wooden spine; model St Cuthbert; 18th century half binding with false raised bands

Picture above are some of the models I have made in workshops, and I thought I’d use them here.

For this week’s project I will do two bindings: a Byzantine binding with bi-axial sewing, something I’ve never done. For this I will use blank paper. Our project manuscript will be bound in a Coptic manner.

Byzantine binding:

Byzantine binding: Exposed linked sewing and endbands with board remnants. University of Canbridge Special Collections

According to Szirmai there are several methods of attaching the textblock to the boards, and I will use the most common method, which is to use the sewing thread to hinge the boards to the first quire (which is the same as in Coptic.). The sewing will be recessed. I will attach one fly leaf as a hooked leaf, to be pasted down on the board. I will attach the two halves with a link stitch. A thin linen cloth will be used as spine lining.

La imagen de arriba son algunos de los modelos que he hecho en talleres, y pensé que los usaría aquí.
Para el proyecto de esta semana haré dos encuadernaciones: una encuadernación bizantina con costura biaxial, algo que nunca he hecho. Para esto usaré papel en blanco. Nuestro manuscrito del proyecto estará vinculado de manera copta.

Encuardenacion bizantina:

Según Szirmai, hay varios métodos para unir el bloque de texto a los tableros, y utilizaré el método más común, que es usar el hilo de coser para articular los tableros al primer quire (que es lo mismo que en Coptic). La costura se empotrará. Adjuntaré una hoja de mosca como una hoja enganchada, para pegarla en el tablero. Adjuntaré las dos mitades con una puntada de enlace. Se utilizará un paño de lino fino como revestimiento del lado.

L’image ci-dessus est quelques-uns des modèles que j’ai réalisés dans des ateliers, et j’ai pensé les utiliser ici.

Pour le projet de cette semaine, je ferai deux reliures: une reliure byzantine avec couture bi-axiale, ce que je n’ai jamais fait. Pour cela, j’utiliserai du papier vierge. Le manuscrit de notre projet sera lié de manière copte.

Reliure byzantine:

Selon Szirmai, il existe plusieurs méthodes pour attacher le bloc de texte aux plats et j’utiliserai la méthode la plus courante, qui consiste à utiliser le fil à coudre pour articuler les plats au premier besoin (qui est le même qu’en copte). La couture sera en retrait. Je vais attacher une feuille de garde  comme une feuille crochue, à coller  à  l’interieur du plat. Je vais attacher les deux moitiés avec un point de lien. Une fine toile de lin sera utilisée comme doublure du dos.

1. Getting the boards ready:

After letting dry overnight, I used lino cutting tools to define the grooves. After I used an awl to make the sewing holes in the board I made the grooves in which the sewing thread would lie.

Sewing the text block to the board.

I used herringbone sewing for this as it is a linked stitch; it will also fit in the cavity created in the spine of the gatherings. I have never done this sort of sewing before, this is one of the reason why I chose it. As with coptic books, the board is attached to the first gathering or quire. However when you attach the subsequent quire, unlike the coptic, you must still return to the board. It is only with the third gathering or quire that you start the herringbone pattern. This is done because you go down two quires to wrap the thread, thus making it a bit more solid. At each end is the change over station and you do a kettle stitch as per usual. If you are not a bookbinder you won’t know what that means, but once I realised this it all became clear in my head.

Después de dejar secar durante la noche, utilicé herramientas de corte de linóleo para definir los surcos. Después de usar un punzón para hacer los agujeros de costura en el tablero, hice las ranuras en las que se colocaría el hilo de coser.

Coser el bloque de texto al tablero.

Utilicé la costura en espiga para esto, ya que es una puntada unida; También cabe en la cavidad creada en el lomo de los cuadernos. Nunca antes había hecho este tipo de costura, esta es una de las razones por las que lo elegí. Al igual que con los libros cópticos, el tablero se adjunta a lel primero cuaderno.  Sin embargo, cuando adjuntas la secuencia posterior, a diferencia del cóptico, aún debes volver al tablero. Es solo con el tercero cuaderno o quire que comienza el patrón en espiga. Esto se hace porque baja dos necesidades para envolver el hilo, lo que lo hace un poco más sólido. En cada extremo está el cambio de estación y se hace una cadena como de costumbre. Si no eres un encuadernador, no sabrás lo que eso significa, pero una vez que me di cuenta de esto, todo se aclaró en mi cabeza.

Après avoir laissé sécher toute la nuit, j’ai utilisé des outils de coupe lino pour définir les rainures. Après avoir utilisé un poinçon pour faire les trous de couture dans le plat, j’ai fait les rainures dans lesquelles le fil à coudre se trouverait.  

Coudre le bloc de texte au plat

J’ai utilisé la couture à chevrons pour cela car c’est un point lié; il s’insérera également dans la cavité créée dans lle dos des cahiers. Je n’ai jamais fait ce genre de couture auparavant, c’est une des raisons pour lesquelles je l’ai choisi. Comme pour les livres coptes, le plat est attaché au premier cahier. Cependant, lorsque vous attachez le quire suivant, contrairement au copte, vous devez toujours retourner au plat. Ce n’est qu’au troisième cahier que vous démarrez le motif à chevrons. Cela se fait parce que vous descendez deux cahiers pour envelopper le fil, le rendant ainsi un peu plus solide. À chaque extrémité se trouve la station de changement et vous faites une chainette. Si vous n’êtes pas relieur, vous ne saurez pas ce que cela signifie, mais une fois que j’ai réalisé cela, tout est devenu clair dans ma tête.

News: after reading Richard Horton’s amazing Booksewings by Hand, I have realised that the sewing was actually looping packed recessed link stitch! Herringbone is similar but not the same.

Noticias: ¡después de leer las increíbles Booksewings by Hand de Richard Horton, me di cuenta de que la costura en realidad era una puntada de enlace empotrada en bucle! La espiga es similar pero no igual.
Nouvelles: après avoir lu  Booksewings by Hand de Richard Horton, je me suis rendu compte que la couture bouclait en fait un point encastré! Le chevron est similaire mais pas le même.

Byzantine sewing:

I used 2 different colours of paper so that I could see how the two halves were joined together. Each half is sewn to the board and then joined with link stiches in the middle.

The sewing begins with the first quire being attached to the board. At the third quire the link stitch starts. Because of the V cut, the stitching is recessed.

Once this sewing is done spine lining of mull and linen is put on spine;this is to reinforce the spine. This will be a flat spine.

mull on spine

The difference between coptic and byzantine sewing is when to do the link stitch. It appears that in the Byzantine, the link is done 3 quires down, whereas in the Coptic it is done under the immediate previous quire. Here are the two finished bindings:

L: Coptic with headband R: Byzantine with headband and lining

 

Here is a sequence for the Coptic sewing:

Endbands -tranchefiles – capitelo(?)*

Collection of Byzantine endbands – University of Cambridge Special Collections

This is my favourite stage of bookbinding.There are such a variety and yes they are time consuming, but oh so satisfying to make. Despite the time constraints I did the endbands on the heads of both the Byzantine and the Coptic.

Here is a sequence for the Byzantine headband. I have never done this before, so it is not that good looking. I looked at various books including :Headbands and how to work them by Greenfield and Hille, and really good basic videos by Robert and Sherif.  These will give you some good basics.

I made a half cover for the Byzantine. Normally with the Coptic I would have covered the boards first before sewing, but I am pretending they are wooden boards and I wouldn’t cover them.

Here is the sequence for adding leather to the Byzantine block:

The endleaves are sometimes called the pastedown. Technically the endleaves are the leaves at either end of the book, usually loose. The pastedown is the sheet that is pasted onto the board. It may have been under the leather cover, but more usually is it over the leather cover.

 

Both books now finished:

That’s it!

This was by far the most enjoyable part of the course. Even though I am a bookbinder, I had never done a Byzantine binding nor its headband. NEither am I very good at Cptic headbands. So this was  good challenge for me.

Here is a short movie about how I learned to make a model St Cuthbert Gospel book in 2017.

Thanks for reviewing for the course Decipering Illuminated Manuscripts.

Here is an image of a Romanesque binding:

We can see the herringbone sewing on double supports that are laced into the wooden boards, as well as the double endbands.

 

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Illuminated Manuscripts: Hands on project 5 – illuminations and ornaments

Based on this week’s lectures, in our project we will follow a plan, similar
to what medieval copyists might have used. I intend to do the following:

1.Write the text
I will choose a script and write the text leaving spaces for initials and
highlighted letters for different paragraphs

2. Outline initials and miniatures
Now I will add the initials. Then outline in ink any decorated initials I wish
to use, plus outline illustrations and miniatures

3. Add any gold
I can’t find my sheets of gold so I will use a pen and pretend. The gold needs
to be placed before the colour

4. Colour
Within the text I will use different colours. To highlight paragraphs I will
use the red and blue inks. Within the initials or the miniatures I will
probably layer the colours

I can’t promise that I will follow this plan to the letter. I will also add
either a dedicatorio, an author image and perhaps some floating illustrations.

Basado en las conferencias de esta semana, en nuestro proyecto seguiremos un plan, similar a lo que los copistas medievales podrían haber usado. Tengo la intención de hacer lo siguiente:

1.Escribe el texto: Elegiré un guión y escribiré el texto dejando espacios para las iniciales y letras resaltadas para diferentes párrafos

2. Esquema de iniciales y miniaturas: Ahora agregaré las iniciales. Luego delinee con tinta las iniciales decoradas que deseo usar, además de contornear ilustraciones y miniaturas

3. Agregue cualquier oro: No puedo encontrar mis láminas de oro, así que usaré un bolígrafo y fingiré. El oro debe colocarse antes del color.

4. Color: Dentro del texto usaré diferentes colores. Para resaltar los párrafos, usaré las tintas roja y azul. Dentro de las iniciales o las miniaturas probablemente pondré los colores en capas.

No puedo prometer que seguiré este plan al pie de la letra. También agregaré un dedicatorio, una imagen de autor y quizás algunas ilustraciones flotantes

Suite aux leçons de cette semaine, dans notre projet nous suivrons un plan, similaire à ce que les copistes médiévaux:

  1. Ecrire le texte:

Je vais choisir un script et écrire le texte en laissant des espaces pour les initiales et les lettres en surbrillance pour différents paragraphes

  1. Décrire les initiales et les miniatures:

Je vais maintenant ajouter les initiales. Décrire ensuite à l’encre toutes les initiales décorées que je souhaite utiliser, ainsi que les illustrations et les miniatures

  1. Ajoutez de l’or:

Je ne trouve pas mes feuilles d’or, je vais donc utiliser un stylo et faire semblant. L’or doit être placé avant la couleur

  1. Couleur:

Dans le texte, j’utiliserai différentes couleurs. Pour mettre en évidence les paragraphes, j’utiliserai les encres rouge et bleue. Dans les initiales ou les miniatures, je vais probablement superposer les couleurs

Je ne peux pas promettre que je suivrai ce plan à la lettre. J’ajouterai également soit une dédicace, une image d’auteur et peut-être quelques illustrations flottantes.

Poem 1:

  • Carpet page: geometric patterns, full page
  • author portrait – no time to draw, so cut one and stuck one on page
  • title page – this is non-contemporary, but I couldn’t help myself
  • 2 column page in carolingian script. Dropped capital
  • catchword

 

Poem 2:

  • Gothic script
  • 1 column
  • Champ initial: letter surperimposed on background
  • Initial hierarchy: blue and red colours for letters that begin each sentence
  • Uncut sheet, so I had to open the whole sheet and write on the verso. The flesh side was rougher and absorbed the ink, to the lettering was not crisp. Also the ink showed through the paper.

 

Poem 3:

  • Humanist script with decorated initial
  • decorated margins top, exterior and bottom
  • 1 column
  • Illustration on last verso of previous quire
  • mistake: because of lifting head between planes, from page to text, i read the word (oeufs) but forgot to write it down (left it out); so I just added it underneath

 

Next week we bind. And yes there is a little movie...

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Illuminated Manuscripts: Hands on project 4 – writing

So this week we practise our writing skills. I used the peg method from the video with the Dutch copyist,a s well as a brush.

 

I have books and I have done some calligraphy in the past but this was a long time ago. These are my two most useful books:

They provide a very comprehensive guideline to how to make the scripts and how to get started with designing a page and miniatures. I got them way before there were classes on the Internet. I must say that watching a video is invaluable.

I have chosen to work on 4 scripts: uncial, carolingian, gothic and humanistic. I thought I’d watch some videos on YouTube to get the hang of it, and I realised at once that everyone does it slightly differently.

Uncial Script:

uncial

Beginning of the Gospel of Matthew from the Lindisfarne Gospels, England, c. 700, Cotton MS Nero D IV, f.18v British Library

Appears between 4th and 8th Centuries. A hybrid script with majuscules and minuscules. Was written with a broad edge tool. Provides economy of strokes and more speed. The writing angle of the type is 20 degrees. Very round.

Uncial calligraphy with Janet Takahashi

 

Carolingian Script:

carolingian

, , , , , Research Blog

The minuscule alphabet forms the basis for later development and starts at the end of the 8th century.  Generally speaking the writing angle means the nib is held at 30-35degrees. This is a light weight type. It can have a slight tilt in its angle. Here are a few videos on how to write:

1. How to write Caroline.
2. Carolingianform.

So in my practice, I have made the letters in two different ways. I have written the ductus numbers in different places.

IMG_1287

 

Gothic Script:

gothic

Detail from WLC/LM/4, f. 8v University of Nottingham

a 12th to 16th century script (which lasted longer in Germanic countries). A very heavy weight type with little contrast between oblique and flat strokes as the writing angle changed drastically from the previous carolingian script. The writing angle is 45 degrees. It has a largge number of ductus, around 5 on average, making it a tedious script to write.

IMG_1302

Humanist Script:

humanist from

The Renaissance Reform of the Book and Britain The English Quattrocento David Rundle University of Kent

This book hand script is also called lettera antiqua. The morphology of this script is long, fine lines in an upright angle. The writing angle is held between 30 to 40 degrees. The addition of serifs and small finishing strokes merged the previous scripts Latin capital and the Carolingian letter together. It has a clean presentation and an absence of ornamentation.

IMG_1303IMG_1304

This week’s text has been the first paragraph of “La grenouille et le boeuf” from La Fontaine’s Contes Choisies. Next week I will use more poems from La Fontaine’s Fables.:

1. La cigale et la fourmi
2. le lievre et la tortue
3. Le cerf se voyant dans l’eau
4. Les deux mulets
5. le loup et l’agneau

I really enjoyed this series of videos.

cheers

 

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Illuminated Manuscripts: Hands on project 3

Oh boy, this has been a long week. I’d rather be walking the dog on this bright autumn afternoon, but the assignment needs to be finished for the week. It has taken me longer than the other weeks. I think I’ve got tech neck from bending over the workbench. Whine, whine, winge, winge. I do like this course though, and have repeatedly watch various aspects of this week’s lectures of the mise-en-page. No translations this week.

This week we are working on the “mise-en-page” or the layout. My influences have been the following:

I thought that before I decided on what sort of mise-en-page I was to do, I needed a text upon which to base myself. I chose La Fontaine’s Contes Choisies from my childhood. La Fontaine re wrote verses from Aesop’s fables in french vernacular, often taken as morality tales for children, but presumably initially intended for adults.The verses are short and would likely fit into small columns as well as single column text boxes.

Some of my pages were not cut all the way through and I liked the idea of the dry point ruling because that would save me time.

I chose the secret canon mise-en-page for the uncut quire.  I thought that if I sued dry point line ruling it would be easy to see later.

 

The drypoint  ruling worked really well and I was reluctant to try the other methods.

The next quire I used had two separate sheets and I needed to replicate the St Remi recipe on all leaves. I thought I’d try two columns.

 

I used a lead pencil to make the lines because that’s the only pencil I had; if I had had the time I would have used watercolour.

I made a short trailer. If you click here you will see it.

cheers

erika

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Illuminated Manuscripts: Hands on project 2

Quire holes visible on spine – Coptic binding – see Pintrest

Difference between flesh and inside? MS 242 Fitzwilliam Library University of Cambrige

Hello

This week we are making quires. Even though I am a bookbinder there is still much to learn, and this course (Deciphering Illuminated Manuscripts) is making me pay attention. The vocab is slightly different to what I am used to, but then again so is the subject. I have Szirmai’s excellent book: The Archeology of medieval bookbinding, which concentrates on the bindings of the period we are studying. I would recommend it to any student of the medieval period.

Anyway onto the folding. As a bookbinder I use a bone folder and you will see me cut the folded edge in some quires, because that is what I would normally do to stop it puckering in the middle.

Esta semana estamos haciendo quires. Aunque soy un encuadernador, todavía hay mucho que aprender, y este curso (Descifrando manuscritos iluminados) me está haciendo prestar atención. El vocabulario es ligeramente diferente al que estoy acostumbrado, pero de nuevo también lo es el tema. Tengo el excelente libro de Szirmai: La arqueología de la encuadernación medieval, que se concentra en las encuardenaciones del período que estamos estudiando. Se lo recomendaría a cualquier estudiante de la época medieval. De todo manera en plegado. Como encuadernadora, uso una plegadora de hueso y me verán cortar el borde doblado en algunos cuadernos, porque eso es lo que normalmente haría para evitar que se arrugue en el medio

Cette semaine, nous faisons des “quires”. Même si je suis relieur, il y a encore beaucoup à apprendre, et ce cours (Déchiffrer les manuscrits enluminés) me fait prêter attention. Le vocabulaire est légèrement différent de ce à quoi je suis habitué, mais le sujet aussi. J’ai l’excellent livre de Szirmai: L’archéologie de la reliure médiévale, qui se concentre sur les reliures de la période que nous étudions. Je le recommanderais à tout étudiant de la période médiévale.Quoi qu’il en soit sur le pliage. En tant que relieur, j’utilise un plioir en os et vous me verrez couper le bord plié dans certains cahiers, car c’est ce que je ferais normalement pour l’empêcher de plisser au milieu.

Now that I have taken the pictures, I can see that they don’t tell the story.First I decided to place all the sheets the same way up. For me the flesh side was rougher. Then I proceeded to fold them using Gregory’s Law, that is flesh to flesh, hair to hair various combinations:

Ahora que he tomado las fotos, puedo ver que no cuentan la historia. Primero decidí colocar todas las hojas de la misma manera. Para mí, el lado de la carne era más duro. Luego procedí a doblarlos usando la Ley de Gregory, que es carne a carne, pelo a pelo  de varias combinaciones:

Maintenant que j’ai pris les photos, je peux voir qu’elles ne racontent pas l’histoire. J’ai d’abord décidé de placer toutes les feuilles de la même manière. Pour moi, le côté chair était plus rugueux. Ensuite, j’ai procédé à leur pliage en utilisant la loi de Grégoire, c’est-à-dire chair à chair, cheveux à cheveux en diverses combinaisons:

1

I folded in-quarto, that is twice. After the first fold I cut the spine, then folded it again to produce the quartenio. I cut it because otherwise the second fold would produce some puckering.

Doblé en el cuarto, eso es dos veces. Después del primer doblez, corté el plegado y luego la volví a doblar para producir el cuarteto. Lo corté porque, de lo contrario, el segundo pliegue produciría algunas arrugas

J’ai plié en-quarto, c’est deux fois. Après le premier pli, j’ai coupé la pliure, puis je l’ai repliée pour produire le quartenio. Je l’ai coupé car sinon le deuxième pli produirait un plissement

2. I folded the sheet in-quarto and cut the fold halfway, to reduce puckering. I can’t turn all the pages, so will have to do the imposition later

Doblé el papel en el cuarto y corté el pliegue hasta la mitad, para reducir las arrugas. No puedo pasar todas las páginas, así que tendré que hacer la imposición más tarde

J’ai plié la feuille in-quarto et coupé le pli à mi-chemin, pour réduire le plissement. Je ne peux pas tourner toutes les pages, je devrai donc faire l’imposition plus tard

3.

I cut the sheet in half and then folded each sheet and put them together.

Corté la hoja por la mitad y luego doblé cada hoja y las puse juntas.

J’ai coupé la feuille en deux, puis j’ai plié chaque feuille et je les ai assemblées.

4.

Here you can see that I have an extra page with a fold. I made an irregular quire by adding one page, not two.

Aquí puedes ver que tengo una página adicional con un pliegue. Hice un trabajo irregular agregando una página, no dos.

Ici, vous pouvez voir que j’ai une page supplémentaire avec un pli. J’ai fait un quire irrégulier en ajoutant une page, pas deux

5.

I made different tackets for the quires. Tackets are used to keep the pages together until the scribe is ready to use the quire

Hice diferentes ‘tackets’ para los quires. Los ‘tackets’ se usan para mantener las páginas juntas hasta que el escriba esté listo para usar el requisito

J’ai fait différentes taquettes pour les quires. Les taquettes sont utilisés pour garder les pages ensemble jusqu’à ce que le scribe soit prêt à utiliser le quire

If you click here you will see a video on You tube.

Thanks

 

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Illuminated Manuscripts: Hands on project 1

I decided to extend myself; why not as we are stuck at home, and I have some spare moments. (This is where one laughs out loud at the ridiculousness of that statement)

Nonetheless I am undertaking the Coursera unit entitled

Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe.

This is not my area of expertise or research, but the Medieval Ages have always fascinated me. The great thing about this course, free if you wish, is that I am learning such a lot about our very early history. Anyway, I will use this blog space over the coming weeks to document our hands on project, which is to recreate a medieval manuscript with materials available to us as regular people, not bookbinders.

For my fellow students I offer some translations:

En español   en français

Esta no es mi área de especialización o investigación, pero la Edad Media siempre me ha fascinado. Lo mejor de este curso, gratuito si lo desea, es que estoy aprendiendo mucho sobre nuestra historia temprana. De todos modos, utilizaré este espacio de blog en las próximas semanas para documentar nuestro proyecto práctico, que es recrear un manuscrito medieval con materiales disponibles para nosotros como personas normales, no como encuadernadores.

Ce n’est pas mon domaine d’expertise ou de recherche, mais les âges médiévaux m’ont toujours fasciné. En suivant ce cours, gratuit si vous le souhaitez,  j’apprends beaucoup de choses sur notre histoire ancienne. Quoi qu’il en soit, j’utiliserai cet espace de blog au cours des prochaines semaines pour documenter notre projet concret, qui est de recréer un manuscrit médiéval avec des materiaux à notre disposition en tant que gens ordinaires, et non en tant que relieurs.1559 RB RB FITZ 148 Colinarium2

Recycled parchment used as pastedown – Pergamino reciclado usado como laminado- Parchemin recyclé utilisé comme contre-collé
This week’s project consists in making imitation parchment. I will be using a strange sort of grease proof paper usually used in printing. It has the consistency of parchment, being smoother on one side than the other, flexible and has that polished finish on it. According to our instructions I will dye one side darker than the other in order to create a “flesh”side, distinct from the inner side (usually paler)
I will attempt to recreate certain aspects of parchment: veins, holes, wonky edges, sewn repairs

El proyecto de esta semana consiste en hacer pergamino de imitación. Usaré un tipo extraño de papel a prueba de grasa que generalmente se usa en la impresión. Tiene la consistencia del pergamino, es más suave en un lado que en el otro, flexible y tiene ese acabado pulido. De acuerdo con nuestras instrucciones, teñiré un lado más oscuro que el otro para crear un lado de “carne”, distinto del lado interno (generalmente más pálido) Intentaré recrear ciertos aspectos del pergamino: vetas, agujeros, bordes torcidos, reparaciones cosidas.

Le projet de cette semaine consiste à réaliser des parchemins d’imitation. J’utiliserai un papier etrange résistant à la graisse habituellement utilisé dans l’imprimerie. Il a la consistance du parchemin, est plus lisse d’un côté que de l’autre, flexible et a une finition polie. Selon nos instructions, je vais teindre un côté plus foncé que l’autre afin de créer un côté “chair”, distinct du côté intérieur (généralement plus pâle) J’essaierai de recréer certains aspects du parchemin: veines, trous, chants biseautés, réparations cousues.

Step 1: Get it all ready

  1. Get paper ready. I cut paper to size. I like small books, so I will have 8 sheets that when folded will be a book that can be handled quite easily, and placed in a bag. Because it has a coating, I sanded one side so that the dye will take
  2. Get the dye ready: I made strong tea and let it sit for a few hours. Get paint brush.
  3. Make a play area: I have a marble stone surface, a plastic mat and a plastic container lid. I tend to be messy
  4. Get the pressing boards and absorbant material ready. I don’t want to crinkle the paper. Palimpsests would have been dipped in a wet element (milk) and worked. But they would be required to be flattened. otherwise they would be unusable.

Paso 1: prepárarlo todo

  1.  Prepara el papel. Corté papel a medida. Me gustan los libros pequeños, por lo que tendré 8 hojas que, cuando estén dobladas, serán un libro que se puede manejar con bastante facilidad y colocar en una bolsa. Debido a que tiene un recubrimiento, lijé un lado para que el tinte tome 
  2. Prepara el tinte: preparé un té fuerte y lo dejé reposar durante unas horas. Consigue pincel. 
  3. Haga un área de juego: tengo una superficie de piedra de mármol, una estera de plástico y una tapa de recipiente de plástico. Tiendo a ser desordenado 
  4. Prepara las tablas de prensar y el material absorbente. No quiero arrugar el papel. Palimpsests se habrían sumergido en un elemento húmedo (leche) y trabajado. Pero se requeriría que fueran aplanados. de lo contrario serían inutilizables.

Étape 1: Tout Préparer

  1. Préparez le papier. J’ai coupé du papier à la taille voulue. J’aime les petits livres, donc j’aurai 8 feuilles qui, une fois pliées, seront un livre qui peut être manipulé assez facilement et placé dans un sac. Parce qu’il a un revêtement, j’ai poncé un côté pour que le colorant prenne
  2. Préparez le colorant: j’ai fait du thé fort et je l’ai laissé reposer pendant quelques heures. Obtenez un pinceau.
  3. Faire une aire pour jouer: j’ai une surface en pierre de marbre, une surface plastique et un couvercle de récipient en plastique. J’ai tendance à être désordonnee
  4. Préparez les planches de pressage et le matériau absorbant. Je ne veux pas froisser le papier. Les palimpsests auraient été trempés dans un élément humide (lait) et travaillés. Mais ils devraient être aplatis. sinon, ils seraient inutilisables.

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Step 2: Take a deep breath and proceed

Paso 2: respira hondo y procede
Étape 2: Respirez profondément et continuez

Step 3: Do it
Paso 3: hazlo
Etape 3: au travail

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Results – Resultats:

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Step 4: Make it look genuine
Paso 4: haz que parezca genuino
Étape 4: donnez un aspect authentique

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  1.  Make incision and sew it Faites une incision et une reparation cousue

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2. Make hole and sew it decoratively – Hacer un agujero y coserlo decorativamente – Faites un trou et cousez-le de façon décorative

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3. Shape edges of paper – Formar bordes de papelFormez les bords du papier – 

 

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4. Make hole and fill it – Hacer un agujero y llenarlo Faites un trou et le remplir

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5. Make hole and leave – Hacer un agujero – Faites un trou et le laisser

I made a short movie, which took longer to put together than the actual hands on, if you are interested in seeing abit of the process.

I hope it fulfills all the criteria and that you enjoyed watching the movie

Rubric for the “hands-on” project

1 point 2 points 3 points 4 points 5 points
Source No actual manuscripts have been used as example for inspiration 1 mss has been used as source and roughly replicated 2 mss… 3 mss… At least 4 different manuscripts have been used as source for inspiration
Transformation of the school cardboards into “parchment” Nothing has been done to “convert” the cardboards into “parchment” Some actions have been taken that at least allow to differentiate between the flesh side and the hair side of the parchment Some effort has been made to improve the resemblance, but very little (1). The materials used have been worked out to resemble the original ones, but there is some room for improvement (1). The materials are the original ones, or a true effort has been made to adequate other materials to resemble the originals (º).
Graphic documentation No image has been submitted There is only one image, and it is not of the final product. Only the image of the final product has been included. Some images have been included or short videos, but they do not allow to follow in detail the whole process. There is a complete video or a thorough collection of images, that allow to follow the process in detail.
Written documentation No written explanation has been submitted A written description has been included, too poor to give an idea of how the project has been really undertaken. A written description has been included, but it only allows to follow the general process, while the details are not specified. The technical vocabulary learned in the lectures has not been applied. A detailed explanation of the project has been included, in which every step has been described, but with no express reference to the lectures. The technical vocabulary learned in the lectures has been applied. A very detailed explanation of the project has been included, in which every step has been described. If shortcuts have been taken, it has been however specified how the procedures were supposed to be if these had not been necessary.

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When going paperless is the only alternative – finding digital libraries

Special Collections Reading Room

This is normally my happy place at the work in the Special Collection Reading Room (SCRR) on level 1. My lunchtimes and breaks are spent  in the pursuit of printers’ decorated initials, looking and examining old bindings. .I have the cushion ready for my special book, a light sheet to look for watermarks, my pencil and my camera.  Here, as would any other reader, I get to handle and view books printed anywhere between 1500 and 1735. What materials cover them? Do they have endbands? More importantly now, I am looking for decorated initials used by printers. They can look like this:

ABC by Master I.F.

However for the last few weeks my new happy place is here:

 

Everything important is right at my finger tips: pen for letter writing, cup for the coffee or the tea, computer for visiting libraries, and pouf for my feet. Most of the time I am fishing. Fishing for the books I want to see online. To make full use of our online catalogue I use the advanced search option. Here I can use keywords to focus the search on particular languages, time periods. I also make sure to select (NOT) microform, electronic or online. This will filter out any materials in those medium. I use this kind of search at other libraries and it saves a lot of time. Once you get to the catalogue record, you can check with Trove if it is available in other Australian libraries.

A useful tool that most libraries offer is the ability to create lists. At the NLA however, we can keep ours and share them. At other libraries your lists may disappear once you have logged off. You can view one of my printers list here. You will find comments to self, and now to you.

The Internet Archive is also a great source of comfort to me. Here too you can favourite some great finds. What I find particularly interesting about this site is the way digitisation has occurred. You can tell that some items were digitised in the Dark Ages because of the quality of the image. When our photographers upload digitised books to be viewed they are now always uploaded as a book, so you are able to flip pages. In some instances on various internet sites, the book appears to be back to front. Presumably by missing blank pages, the pagination sequence is out. And while I can read the text, it makes me feel strange to see the spine in the wrong place.

As more books are made available online, this is the time to reach out to the classics or those hard to find books you always wanted to read.

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The ever lasting gift of bookbinding

It is the week end before Christmas and the town is eerily silent. A blanket of smoke sticks to the air, blocking out the sun, but it is hot nonetheless. There are 2 brave stall holders at the monthly outdoor market, with not a sausage visiting them. At the indoor farmer’s market, vendors have made an effort to come out and it is very nearly festive in the community hall.

Water from the sky would save us as there is none flowing in the creeks and rivers around us. There is a sense of despondency but people are people and put on a brave face.  Small kindnesses reminds us that we care, like bowls of water put out on the sidewalks for the dogs, or offers of food or rooms for those displaced by the fires.

It’s been like this for over three weeks. A constant acrid smell of burnt leaves, burnt eucalyptus. I escape to Canberra, the nearby capital, but lately it hasn’t been much better there as the winds shift and the smoke from the ever growing fire cells move with them towards the city.

I didn’t get the text to evacuate, just heard about it on Facebook of all places. These events have taken me by surprise. In the 30 odd years that I have lived in the region such intensity of disaster has never happened; I am unprepared as I never thought our town would be threatened. I haven’t packed. Would Watkins know what my precious things are? Where they are?

Now that I can think more calmly,what would I pack in my tiny car? photos? My bookbinding toolbox – toolboxes? What could I leave behind? All those gold tooling tools? I have hundreds of books – I think I would limit my self to 5: Bookbinding books below, plus Andrew Crawford’s Book of Boxes and a book on the history of printing.

I would also save two cook books: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the Bertholle and Child book which I have had for years and Pellaprat’s La cuisine familiale et pratique – oh dear I have already gone over my quota.

What about the novels? What about my comic books? What about my records? What about them?

Life matters, not stuff. We put up posts about saving water, saving animals, saving this and that, but when the times of bounty come back this will all be forgotten.

Pause.

I just had a pause in the writing; I was going to rabbit on about a whole load of negative things that we humans do, have done, keep doing. Then my mind wandered to what we can do and what we do best as humans: we keep going.

Let’s not have a blame game when all this fire craziness is over. Let’s take a long, good look at ourselves. And that means the governments as well; not just in Australia, but everywhere. Humans do get up out of the mud and the ashes and they rise again, but we need to do it better.

Each community cell needs to take stock and decide where their future lies. I can only speak for my little Braidwood cell: let’s become self sufficient. We can do the slow food. We can do the energy self sustainability. We can have affordable energy passive housing. How do I know we can? Because some of us already do it. Even though we belong to a larger super-shire that doesn’t seem to care about us, we can just forge on. If you are reading this post in some foreign country, in your part of the world you can forge on. None of us need all that single use plastic.We don’t need all those cosmetics either. Hey, don’t get me wrong I like face and hand cream but do I really believe that nano-beads are going to make me younger? Do you? Does anyone? I believe the nano beads are going to get swallowed by the fish that I won’t be able to eat.

It is grey here; Life is slow at the moment. In many ways I prefer this pace,because I don’t miss the intense tourist traffic. However I do miss the talk on the street, people greeting each other in the coffee shops and general village hustle and bustle. There are no children running about looking for the hidden books, not many people walking their dogs. This festive season will be lean and quiet.

I am making only one gift this Christmas: to the Braidwood children. I am going to use my skills to get them to write their stories and then make a little book (Yes this blog is about bookbinding afterall). Cath at the local library has donated the venue. This is something that they will keep forever and that they could use every day if they wished.  Just to show that anyone can make a book. Anyone’s story is as good as anyone else’s, and if you can make a small book, with a bit of training you can produce a bigger book.

I needed to have a rant. It could well be that the children will need to also have a rant and a rave, and they can do that by writing it all down.

Where ever you are stay safe and have a happy end of year.

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The Common place book

I had an enquiry the other day about someone’s commonplace book. What was that? According to Wikipedia:

a commonplace book is ” Commonplace books (or commonplaces) are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. …. Such books are essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces are used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts. Each one is unique to its creator’s particular interests but they almost always include passages found in other texts, sometimes accompanied by the compiler’s responses.  ”

When I read this I remembered that I grew up doing this in primary school. I wonder where they are now?

They are neither diary nor journal. The two examples in this blog will have some of the author’s own musings and writings in them.

Thomas Clifford’s commonplace book (NLA MS1097 – item 42) houses all manner of information:

 

MS 1097 item 42 - 1

Cambridge panel with full gilt spine panels

MS 1097 item 42 - 4

MS 1097 item 42 - 3

endbands

MS 1097 item 42 - 6

laced in

It is actually a great way to remember things. Indeed, as a bookbinding teacher I now deliberately leave information out of any notes I give; I recommend to my students that they add in information as a way of retaining it.

Here are some of the things Clifford wrote in the book:

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Ambition like a torrent xxxx looks back…..

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suspicio – jealousy

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An index

On the endpapers I found this pot watermark

MS 1097 item 42 - 12

pillars or bollards

This is Nettie Palmer’s commonplace book of a much later period 1907-1936 (NLA MS 6531)

According to the catalogue, this is a notebook in which

 “she transcribed favourite pieces of poetry, extracts of prose writing, brief diary entries and personal reminisciences for the period 1907-1910, 1913-1914, 1918-1921 and 1936. Loose clippings, a drawing and manuscript notes inserted.”

I remember writing all sorts of notes. Maybe you could try as well.

cheers

 

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Watermarks and how to find them

When papyrus was used as a writing medium in about 600BC by the Egyptians, contemporary users knew that as product  it did not have a long life.

The Chinese are credited with the first major paper making industry in about 95 AD. However it was the Arabians, after their conquering of the Eastern states, who diffused this knowledge throughout Western Europe. It is also possible that merchants who travelled brought information and goods across borders, fostering innovation in many techniques, papermaking being just one of those.

According to Joel Munsell, an American printer and publisher, paper was used far earlier than suspected, perhaps as far back as the 600s by the Longobards (Lombards), a Germanic tribe living in the north of Italy. They used paper for documents of importance so that forgery was impossible. In the 700s Arabians were thought to have brought back paper technology from their raids in the East. In these periods cotton and straw were used in paper manufacture. In about 1000 Arabians were already writing on satin paper, using local cotton.

Munsell’s chronology is quite extensive and shows that cotton paper and rag paper where being used on the Continent well before printing began in the 1400s. While it is greatly accepted that Italian paper mills were the first to supply paper in large quantities to printers in other countries, there are claims that it is in fact the Spanish who first produced paper in large quantities, namely at Xativa.[1]

The Spaniards having learned the secrets of papermaking from the Moors, used their knowledge of watermills to improve the grinding techniques of linen rags to produce  fine white paper.

What is a watermark and why is it important?

pot watermark

pot watermark single handle with trefoil

If we accept that paper technology came from Arabia to Spain via the Moors who settled there, the  paper marks we see in early Spanish papers  are simple lines and hatchings that are reminiscent of the marks made by the parchment makers. These are made after the paper making process.

The first  watermarks appeared in Italy in around 1270. The crude marks make way for more inventive images created by an  elaborate system, the attachment of wires to the mould. These first watermarks were simple shapes, circles, lines, in various combination, and are made during the paper making process. Where the pulp touches the raised wires, some of it slides off, creating a thinner area.  When the paper is held up to the light, the image is visible.

Churchill RBq 910.8C563 snake

Enter a caption

Papermakers used symbols on their papers as an early form of branding and quality control. Symbols more often used were animals, fabulous monsters, weapons, eagles and birds, gothic capitals, marks associated with important families or cities; ie Columns (Colonna), ladder (Scala, Milan), serpent in wave form ( the Visconti family). Were they proof of purchase, that you really had bought paper from a particular mill, and not an inferior copy? Papermakers traded, either selling or passing on their moulds, and of course they were not averse to imitating moulds from famous papermakers and their peers.  Watermarks can give us a dating clue, however provenance on the strength of a watermark is no longer solely considered.

Later when Holland began supplying the majority of Northern European printers, the  Dutch Mark of Amsterdam which had been the acknowledged sign of quality, was “borrowed” by English paper makers. So it was that marks were bought and sold or “borrowed”, which makes it very hard to use the watermark reliably as a source of provenance. The Germans claimed that by 1800 they had 25 million watermarks

Mylij RB JES 5154 MOA

Mark of Amsterdam in paper used by Milij in Cologne 1589

Knowledge of heraldry is a big help in deciphering watermarks. Many marks are coat of arms or use heraldic symbolism. Watermark nomenclature is based on familiarity with its symbols. The NAtional  Library of Australia has a guide to finding heradic sources in its collection.

The Library holds some incunabula, books printed before and including 1500. To find this material you need to eliminated the  terms”microform” and “electronic” in the search box. They are more than likely to have watermarks. To facilitate your search, the following users list are also available:

Material can be ordered via the catalogue using your library card and  viewed with a light sheet in the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1.

So come on over and try it out!

 

 

[1] Munsell, J (1856) A chronology of paper and paper-making

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