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Archive for September 2009

The title seems to mean "The The Walkure Class." A bit odd, that.

Did a two-day bookbinding class. Day one was making book cloth from an old T-shirt (purchased during Wagner's Ring opera.)Walkure_front.jpg and a bit of old cloth. Main impression: use a lot of glue. Day Two was making the cover with the book cloth, getting the text block into the cover - all without making too many mistakes. Okay, one: the text block had to be re-sewn because both knots came unraveled.

However, this was the first class I've taken for bookbinding and I learned quite a bit: folding, measuring, and cutting techniques. Also, I learned a new way to thread a needle and make an almost inconspicuous knot. A book press would be nice to have if I get into making books on a regular and competent basis. The important word being competent. As would a sink for cleaning brushes and hands.

The book - as can be seen at right - was eight sheets of paper of less than B6 for a total of 28 pages and two endpapers. Perfect binding was utilized and it was a successful operation, probably because of the excellent teacher(s). (One on the first day and two on the second day.) Both showed us students how to do things with great clarity.

Sensei.jpgOne teacher (at left, the main teacher) sells binding supplies, paper, presses, and books, actually. She also accepts commissions and spends a lot of her time doing wedding albums, baby books, and whatnot. She works everyday on something.

What you see here is the workshop area, obviously. With a big  book press just visible sitting on the floor on the right side.

I'm hoping I don't forget what I learned and hope to attend other classes in the future. The first teacher has an incredible link/long stitch book that took her many weeks to make. She'd be perfect to teach how to make it.


This second shot is of the back of the other teacher (at left) and a student (the guy) with a book press in better view.

The Interview - (Not a word-for-word translation, but the gist is right. I think.)

When and where did you learn bookbinding?

I first started about eight years ago with a private teacher in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (A section of Tokyo famous for used bookstores) I spent two years with him. After that I would sometimes show him my work.

When did you start your store?

Four years ago in another smaller location. I've been at this location for two years.

Is there a university or college in Japan that teaches bookbinding?

Not that I know of. There is one teacher at a school who teaches a course in Italian bookbinding, but that's only one teacher and one class.


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In two weeks I will be taking a two-day bookbinding course from someone who makes money doing three things: teaching bookbinding, selling bookbinding supplies, and selling books she has bound. It is this last skill that intrigues me the most and I will be grilling her about how she does the business of binding books.

The class will start on day one, as classes are traditionally begun. I believe we will be up to our elbows in marbling endpapers. Something I have little interest in and no aptitude for. Should be fun. Then we will fold and sew. The second day, I believe, is spent designing and making covers and putting the book together. It is the designing and making covers bit that most intrigues me. I want to improve all aspects of the bookbinding process and it is this section that is the most challenging for me.

I will, hopefully, have much more information to pass along. Or a long rambling complaint.

Also, tonight I will add another notebook to my Cereal Series only this time it will be using an ice cream cover: Ice Cream Notes.

On the audio portion of our show tonight we feature: "Fire in the Heart" by Internal Flights from PodsafeAudio.com. Please enjoy.


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