Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Books start simply

Hard-copy markup and measuring paper
make up some of the final stages
of manuscript prep.
At last, we are on the home stretch in compiling the art for the Chinese bookbinding book; in fact, we are one image away from layout. As I create the final project—models of four of the oldest forms of books on paper following the scroll—plus a hardbound case to house them, I'm reminded of the relatively small number of materials required to make books, and the centuries that went into fine-tuning their forms.

More than anything, the creation of books takes time and care. Hopefully, my how-to manual and ode to the roots of bookbinding will give readers a chance to slow down, appreciate, and take history into their hands. 

You can read more about bookbinding tools in the next post, and see many more at this site created by photographer (and Portland tanguero) Dale Bennett, who focuses on artisans and their equipment. I am honored to be included.

Silk cloth from the legendary Aiko's of Chicago will cover the case.