Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The making of "A Tango with Ataturk"

I tried to document the production of my latest book step by step, but because the glue dries so fast I had to skip a few at the end.

Although I haven't started marketing the book, I did write up a blurb:

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk brought many things to Turkey as he pulled it out of the Ottoman Age and into the modern world: an alphabet, a secular government, freedom from capricious and oppressive religious rule, and a new-found sense of patriotism in the land where Europe and Asia meet.

He also brought tango.

A Tango with Ataturk, based on a story about a 1926 reception that Ataturk hosted as his nascent country's new leader, imagines what happens from the perspective of a female tango dancer that night, and how everything can feel so right and wrong at the same time.

The book was printed using wood and metal type as well as pressure printing; the pages passed through the Vandercook four times over several months.

For the binding, I started with a nice piece of bookboard. How I love to cut bookboard (lie).

I chopped it into front and back covers.

To make the inset tray for the book, I pasted strips of bookboard around the edges of the back cover.

A piece of card will reinforce the bookcloth at the spine.

All the pieces are assembled on the cloth, and corners marked with a pencil.

I had to make sure the cloth would roll over the foredge to cover the inner edge of the tray.

Ready for glue!

Using the triangle helps ensure straightness. Once the cloth has paste on it, it will buckle and warp and give you that little bookbinding adrenaline rush.

It doesn't hurt to bonefold the heck out if it at every opportunity.

Fold along the spine and bonefold some more for nice crisp edges.

Now it's time to cut corners.

Fold the cloth over all edges, and—you got it—bonefold away. Then place liner cloth and do the same.

Lay in book, repeat ten times, then celebrate (preferably with tango).