Wednesday, 4 May 2011

How and industrious day goes round here

This very peculiar picture is todays work. I don't have to spend ages making it look good because it's not a listing (ha!), and best if I don't really because it keeps that air of mystery. Or somesuch. I will explain though.....

Instead of my usual plod plod of making one book at a time, I decided at 7.30am to do several and get them to whatever stage I could by teatime. We therefore have six here, four of which have covers and linings, some with extra special little things like rivets for suede thonging that's so delicious it makes your teeth itch. I found it at the warehouse yesterday and simply had to buy it.

I've cut and folded many hundreds of pages into signatures, bonded leather and fabric to board for the covers, stuck end papers down and got everything in a nice state. Next I shall make covers for the last two, then pierce all the holes I need for sewing all of them together. Should take me about four or five hours to do that. The coptic stitching will take at least a few more hours per book if I'm lucky and don't have any mortally tangled threads or disasters.

I reckon I'll have them all finished by the end of the week if I put in enough hours. This usually entails me setting up at about 7.30am and working til early evening. Ten hours per day seems to be my happy limit. If I'm unlucky enough not to have a tea slave in the house I'll stop occasionally to grab a drink, but that's it. Apples and the odd cereal bar sustain me until the mister gets home and we have dinner. Sadly it'll generally be freezer surprise if I've been very busy, or sometimes we have a change and make it cupboard surprise. What is life without variety?

This was my Willy Wonka guided tour of the Umbel Book Factory. I must now dash around and try to make this house look a little less like rampaging haberdashers have been marauding. It's positively ghastly in here. I'd take a photo to aid my description, but I'm way too ashamed.


  1. i am intrigued and can't wait to see them completed.
    What's your fava and least fav part of putting a book togethr??
    {Dab and a dash.}

  2. My least favourite bit is always the measuring. It's really finicky and you have to be accurate or else the result will be messy.

    There's an awful lot of fiddly stuff to be done, depending on exactly how I'm making the covers, and the uncertainty often worries me. There's a good chance that hours worth of work can go down the pan if I make a silly mistake. I experience this fairly frequently, but if you don't try you don't grow, eh?

    Today's been a bit scary, working with leather. Mistakes are expensive when you have such lovely materials to use! So many people have asked if I'll do some in leather though that I wanted to give it a go. So far they're looking nice and I'm very excited to see how they turn out.

    My favourite part is when I finish the binding and hold the completed book for the first time. I swear I fall in love with each and every one! Pretty soon I'm going to have enough to fill a whole bookshelf and I can't wait to see that. If they don't sell I'll have rooms full of them before long, which would be nice, but not if I'm too poor to be able to carry on.....


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.