Lessons learned in the bindery 2015

I think  need to go back to class:

There is only so much one can learn in isolation. I love looking through old issues of the Bonefolder or trawling Google images for pictures of bookbindings I get inspired; I get ideas and try new things, or reaffirm techniques.  I suppose I thrive on repetitive tasks; I learn by doing, and by doing often. Sew, sew, sew; pare,pare, pare; rounding and backing, rounding and backing. That is one technique I don’t often do. What with a full time job, teaching dance and bookcraft in the evenings there is not much mental space for my own work. I think I have only ever executed 3 or 4 laced in bindings. Therefore practise, practise, practise.

However, whenever the opportunity arises to attend workshops, off I go. In 2015 I officially learned how to do coptic binding, sewn board binding and laminated board binding. Practise, practise, practise.

Lesson 1: Follow the recipe several times before improvising. If you know how to do it the proper way, you can control any changes you make.

Lesson 2: Don’t be cheap. Don’t try to save paper. Use what you need, without being wasteful.

Lesson 3: Have a clean and tidy work space. Nothing is worse than using a dirty bit of mylar and having paste get stuck on your book.

Lesson 4: Practise until you can do it in your sleep.

Lesson 5: and I think the most valuable one, don’t rush. It’ll only be harder to get rid of the mistakes later.

I like my bindery space; I like to sit in it and doodle in my binding journal. I usually have several ideas on the go at once. I don’t know if that is a good idea. I wish I had more time to follow through on things, because even if I write ideas down, if I don’t come back to the job the next day, the flow is gone.

I am looking forward to going back to a regular class this year. I think I need not only the discipline, but the direction of a teacher.


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