Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bookbinding for Beginners - 14

by Florence O. Bean - Assistant in Manual Arts - Boston Public Schools


This is to be a more elaborate production than the blotter described in Problem III (D). Compare C, Plate XIV. First determine the size of the foundation, which may vary from small-blotter to desk-blotter size. Consider proportions very carefully. A small blotter admits greater variance between length and width than one of larger size. Make dimensioned drawings of foundation, front covering of vellum or cover paper, and back 'covering of marbled paper.

When the foundation has been cut and the front covering pasted on, plan the corners which are to consist of separate pieces. Determine their size by setting off a triangle at one corner with a rule or pencil, moving the rule or pencil to vary the size of the triangle until one of satisfactory size is decided upon.

Layout on paper a triangle of the chosen size. The thickness of the foundation, plus the thickness of the one or more sheets of blotting paper which are to be placed under the corners, must be taken into consideration. Before adding the laps which are to extend onto the back for half an inch or more experiment with patterns cut from paper (see Plate XVI).

The corners may be made of linen, vellum, cover paper, or skiver (a prepared leather which has been split by machinery). Cut them out by the pattern. To give a finish to the edge which is to be free, turn it over about ¼ of an inch. If leather is used, a portion of the under side along the edges should be additionally skived off, before turning over, to make the laps very thin. Cover paper, if used, may be re-enforced by pasting a piece of muslin onto the back.

These corners present an opportunity for applied design. The most satisfactory decoration for leather is "tooling." On the other materials suggested, a design may be applied by stenciling or block printing The designs should be simple and appropriate, (see Plates XVII), and the color scheme carefully planned. Unless a special study has been made of color harmonies, a combination of analogous colors or complementary colors is a wiser choice than a more complicated combination.

Practice on paper until a pattern is secured, and apply it to the corners by the method decided upon. When pasting on the decorated corners, the sheets of blotting paper should be placed on the foundation so that there will be room for their use. Paste the laps to the back of the foundation, being very careful to place the corners in exact position. Leave the sheets of blotting paper under the corners until after the whole has been pressed; otherwise the weight would crush the corners.

When putting in new sheets of blotting paper, they can be more easily slipped under the corners if a small triangle has been cut from each corner of the blotting paper. A sheet of lining paper about 3/8 of an inch shorter and narrower than the foundation should be pasted to the back. Dry all under weight.

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