Friday, November 30, 2012

Athenas make ace bookbinders

Last month I had the pleasure of hosting a gathering of Scripps alumnae to celebrate the founder of the college's birthday. Before establishing a fabulous (no bias here) women's college in Claremont, California, Ms. Ellen Browning Scripps traveled far and wide from her Midwest roots and filed stories on places from Cuba to Algeria for the newspaper back home. We made travel journals in her honor.

It was a spendid day of bookbinding, even though I once did say, "We'll get to step two if it kills me"—but that's because everyone was chatting so much I worried we'd never finish. Never fear, more than a dozen of us went home with our own travel tomes, destined for words, mementos, and sketches from the road. Ms. Scripps would approve.

These pictures from the day tell the whole story, taken by the incomparable Katie Van Heest.

Knives, bones, and hands get to work.

Custom books made to measure.

Trimming takes patience.
Our Incipit Nova Via books incorporate an envelope insert for ephemera.

From here it's sew easy.

More students; some even brought their own bone folders.

Let's break for tea.

The text block tied up; also, a few tools of the trade.

Cover time arrives.

Scripps women sweat the details...
... and revel in the process.

A "nova via" indeed. Click here for more on the cover motto.