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Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

At the Koffler Gallery.  Sara Angelucci's contribution to "We're in the Library" dedicated to the opening of the new Artscape building on Shaw St.  Sara had us make concertina books of increasingly dark prints made from tintypes of 10 unidentified schoolchildren.  The children "disappeared" as the prints darkened to obscurity.  The books were then  housed in clamshell boxes that also hold the original tintypes and the books and boxes displayed on a custom made library cart equipped with headphones on which are playing children's voices  reading stories.  This was a project that we got more and more attached to as it neared completion.  See the article in this week's NOW magazine.
Congratulations Sara.

Gothic Bookbinding and......

Gothic Book Furniture

see the website for details.

from Don, Kate, Reg, Laura and Lee.
(Kate did this Xmas binding just for you.  Well actually it was a movie prop but it fits here)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Finishing Book Arts 3 and My Contribution to the Book Arts Fair

Recently wrapped up my Bookbinding 3 class. Here's a couple of nice results by the students:

Paste Decorated Papers 

Half Binding in Goat

Also, the 29th Annual Book Arts Fair was last Saturday. A student from Bookbinding 3, Brian, came by and took a couple of photos:

Talk to the Hand TShirt 

A shot of me modelling the shirt, with Manu of Deer Press fame.

If you'd like to purchase a shirt of your own, send me an email:
PayPal accepted.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The 29th Annual OCAD Book Arts Fair

This Saturday, I will have a table at the 29th Annual Book Arts Fair featuring several new projects, and some new editions from the Pointyhead Press catalogue. The event takes place in the Great Hall at OCAD, and runs from 10-5.

For more information about the event including a list of the vendors this year, follow the link to the Facebook event here:

Here's a preview of some of what I'll be bringing this year:

Manum Alloquere! (Talk to the Hand)

Health and Safety Tips from Many Lands

The Tlön Omnibus

The Cask of Amontillado

The Wrapped Trees of Dovercourt Present Annabel Lee

Friday, November 22, 2013

Preparing Your Book for Self Publication

Blurb not doing it for you?

If you've decided to produce your own book, here are a few tips for you to think about before you print. There are things for you to decide, which have to do with how it should be printed and how you want to have it bound. Here is a checklist for anyone who is interested, to help you get the best possible results:

Preparing Your Book for Self Publication

Prep of text:
  • Single sheets or signatures?
  • Signatures open flatter, book handles more flexibly.
  • Margins- particularly the left one if printing in single sheets –minimum ¾”.

Here are a couple of places I recommend:
  • Print Zone,  191 Dundas St W., 416-204-9292.
  • Mid Town Reproductions,  384 Adelaide St W.,  downstairs, 416-591-9010.           

Selection of paper:
  • Weight- too thick and the book won’t open nicely. Too thin and you risk show-through.

GRAIN: parallel to the spine if possible.  The book's “flow” will be much more pleasant. Single sheets              especially. 

  • Single sheets are drilled and sewn.
  • Signatures, usually 12-16 pages, i.e 3 or 4 folds nested together, are sewn through the fold.           

Case Binding: 
  • Hard cover, wrapped in cloth, paper or leather or a combination.
  • Cloth or paper can be plain or printed.  Some cloths will go through an inkjet machine.
  • Paper binding – in plain or print, hard or soft cover.
  • Endpapers: white, coloured or printed. Found at art supply stores or The Paper Place.
  • Leather can be purchased at Perfect Leather Goods, 555 King St. W.
Get a sample before you buy in order to test stamping!

Stamping or debossing:
  • Suitable for paper, cloth or leather.
  • For wordmarks, logos, any type face.
  • Gold, silver, pigment colours or “blind” i.e. no colour                        
  • Die art –Vector file, black and white, no half tones, produces a “MAG” magnesium die,                       suitable for hot stamping. I use KDS Graphics, they're at 140 Midwest Avenue, 416-752-0540
  • When producing die art, keep in mind the weight of your lines. Little tiny feathery lines are difficult to stamp cleanly. Very broad lines are difficult to fill with foil. Keep lines medium weight.


ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR THE PRINTING, and BINDING! -eg. time to get the die made.
            Submit your material at least a week before you need it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

mystery mnemonic hand

Further to the pics of the 16th C Antiphonal that I published a few weeks ago this diagram was salvaged from the ruins of the binding. It is apparently a mnemonic device for use with the choral music that was in the Antiphonal.  If anyone knows how it worked I would love to know.  Until then I all I can do is "talk to The Hand".

Friday, September 13, 2013

stamping press for sale

 Time to let my great big stamping press back out into the world.   It saw service for many years in the passport office in Ottawa -your Grannie's passport was probably made with this beast back when they were setting up type by hand and passports were little hardbound books.  It was retired nearly 30 years ago and I was able to acquire it before the scrap heap claimed it. We have used it here for the last 20 odd years for  magnesium stamping dies  up to 11''x11''.  It has a working temperature control, and 3 chases including a 5" self-centring one for titling.  Hand operated with a very powerful lever and cam which lift the bed up to the upper platen.
Comes with a type chest containing 11 drawers of brass and lead type along with an assortment of dingbats.  Useful for hot stamping book covers and/or any other kind of pressing operation where a lot of pressure is needed.  Think of the atmosphere it will provide!                $500 or best offer

Friday, August 16, 2013

studio portraits by Manu

A surprise gift from our lovely friend Manu.  Portraits of all of us here at the studio including a very flattering one of me I have to say.  She's taken about 30 years off my mug. Thanks Manu.  Wunderbar at least.

Friday, August 2, 2013

a new batch of Pointyhead Travel Postcards now available

A new issue of this popular collection of 8 postcards is now available from Pointyhead.

  Impress your friends with a postcard from Mesopotamia, Greenland or even Tlon. Collect them all and watch for new additions to the collection in the near future.

last word on the Wartime Log and the ultimate in Moleskines

 A special copy of The Wartime Log for a friend.  This one features goatskin spine and fore edge strips with sides in a one of my paste papers that I thought had a slight flavour of barbed wire. Suitable for a memoir about life in Stalag Luft III.
 And the last word in fancy Moleskine style bindings - complete with cloth gusseted pocket.  The text block is a special thin but very opaque Japanese machine made paper very successful for use with a fountain pen. Yes, there still such stalwarts out in the world who know the satisfaction of keeping a hand written journal and the unique feel of a good pen.  I should know. I'm one of them.  These were for a customer with good taste.  Now I want one.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wartime Log Update, a Spitfire Log and Edventures in Fredricton

You may recall from a post here in June that I was working on a Wartime Log. Here's a photo of the new binding. We scanned the original cover art and printed cloth for the new cover. If you missed it and want to know more, here's the link: 

Since then a Pilot's Log has come in from the family of a former Spitfire pilot. It needs to be scanned, and a few copies made. Entries range from "Yippee!!!" to "Excellent Bombing" to the brief poignant recording of a friend's death. 

A week in Fredericton, NB teaching a bookbinding sampler. Projects ranged from a package of Japanese bindings, a Medieval style binding, a box and a Moleskine.

The photo below is from a one day workshop creating a Medieval style journal with a flexible leather cover.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Medieval Journal Workshop in Haliburton, July 6, 2013

Here are some of the results of the Medieval Journal class I taught for the Haliburton School of the Arts last weekend. Paper by Papeterie Saint Armand of Montreal. The book featured exposed, long and link stitch sewing and a closure which employed a purpose built button made from leather and vellum.