Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Mar 26
2022/3/26 23:07:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Project 1 through to 5 concludes the bindings I executed in 2020. There was some pretty ill-advised stuff attempted, but all were basic uncomplicated case-binding projects utilising standard, low-value materials. Results were decent; at least I thought so.

In 2021 (which I'll post about at a later date) I moved on to a lot of other techniques & binding styles: split-board binding, drummed construction, binding single-section pamphlets, Lumbeck binding, Bradel (case) binding, and laced-on boards binding. I started using leather for the first time and the first copies of The Silmarillion make an appearance...
Mar 26
2022/3/26 23:15:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Excellent work, Khamûl! Do you take commissions?
Mar 27
2022/3/27 5:29:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Very impressed, wish I had the talent to do this.
Mar 27
2022/3/27 9:30:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

Excellent work, Khamûl! Do you take commissions?

At this point I think I'm probably still a no, for several reasons.

I'm still inexperienced in many respects; I make mistakes & that's always a bit problematic if you have a client and their book. Secondly, many people want repairs of heirlooms/treasured copies. Some of them, maybe modern books, should probably be left alone; and other copies, undoubtedly needing repaired, are full on conservation projects. There's a lot of skill in conservation, not least just having a range of materials to allow you to match to whatever you have in hand. Then, lastly, there is (for me) the obvious problem of rebinding something that was perfectly sound (a normal GA&U edition, for example) and not really adding any value to it; "upgrading" really demands leather binding (probably full leather), nice finishing, etc. I feel most of my work is very perfunctory rather than attractively finished at this point.

Having said all this, some of my most recent (2022) projects really do feel neat & tidy, well executed and present very attractively. If anyone is interested in anything, I'm quite open to giving/selling. And at some hazy later date if people have ideas of what they'd like to see I'm open to suggestions.

Trotter wrote:

Very impressed, wish I had the talent to do this.

Less skill than you think! Sure, you've got to sort of like handling paper, but it's mostly time & materials.
Apr 1
2022/4/1 18:53:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Project #6

First use of leather; it went rather well. Leather is an offcut of unknown type/source, but possibly lambskin; would probably be described as Nappa. Learned early that sourcing quality material is quite important e.g. marbled or marble imitation is just not worth the bother; designs can be fine, but there is no reliability of the base paper, grain & wet stability are unpredictable. That also goes for leather, up to a point. The tooled leather label was added a bit later when I acquired my first letters; these were tooled using lead type. Not ideal, but a cheap(er) alternative for the beginner.

Still pretty happy with the overall look & feel of this project.

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Apr 1
2022/4/1 19:17:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks for sharing, this is fantastic!
Jun 8
2022/6/8 16:47:55 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Project #7

Small undated copy of The Ancient Mariner I had kicking around; decided it was perfect for a small project (only three sections). This has a breakaway spine, not a very commonly encountered construction; but quite easy & practical. The rebind is also what's called drummed construction. This is where only the edges of the covering material(s) are glued down, rather than gluing out all of the cloth/paper. It gives the covers a cushiony feel & is also very quick to execute.

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Jun 8
2022/6/8 21:23:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Khamûl these are wonderful. Beautiful books now. If I was working I'd ask about a commission for a thin volume of art by Ruth Noel. It was in an old plastic portfolio, the back piece finally split. It really needs your kind of craftsmanship. I could live with your mistakes.
Jun 19
2022/6/19 15:54:00 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Project #8

Basically a stapled booklet "bound" into hardcovers. Still a case-binding though. With this style of binding the booklet is removable from the case without damage to the original folded card/paper too.

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Jun 20
2022/6/20 6:50:29 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That looks fantastic.
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