Edge gilding

I’ve been a bit absent. Every time I thought about posting something, I was too busy sewing (clothes). Of course, I could show you those results, but then I’d have to make pictures of me in sewn clothing..

I’ve also fallen behind in bookbinding class, but I’ve finally done all of my edges. I chose a golden, graphite and one other thing with beeswax I don’t know the name of in English. Roughly translated it would be an ivory edge. But that sounds weird, doesn’t it?


Don’t they look pretty?

The ivory one is actually done on all three edges of the book. I messed up while sewing and got a bloodstain on the bottom edge. So if I chopped that one off, I had to do all three sides.

There is actually a very small bloodstain on the bottom of the graphite one, but it’s hardly noticeable because the book has lots of pictures in it, that change the colour of the edge anyway. Don’t ask me why I keep on sticking needles in my fingers while sewing.

Now it’s time for headbands! Or maybe pizza and ice cream..

Paste paper-ing!

I’m binding a copy of 1984 by George Orwell in class this semester (among two other books, but they haven’t had any exciting developments, not that this is too exciting). And I couldn’t find any matching endpapers. The marbles were too marble-y. Blank papers were too boring. I just wanted something special and matching.

It had to fit with the images in the book (that are gorgeous):

I mixed up three basic colours to work with. Green, red, brownish grey and some paste:

The process went in different stages.


It ended up being quite brown and darkish. But the red is still quite prominent with a few green tints around.

The paper is now drying on a crate in my kitchen.

Binding of: English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century 1600-1660 by Douglas Bush (pt. 4)

After letting my book dry for a day, it was time for a little photoshoot in daylight.


Keep in mind that the book isn’t finished yet. I still need to do a lot. Also, the blotches you see on my book are not my fault! It’s just that my calf had some spots. Which is totally ok.


The only thing that I’m not sure about are my headbands and how the leather is attached there. IMG_3729

You can see what I attempted to make here, I’m just not sure if I succeeded. For some reason they were a lot easier to make last year!


My turn-ins are also not my best work. My leather stretched to much that I ended up with a lot more on one side..


At least there is one thing I can still be proud of, my headbands! Aren’t they pretty?


Any advice, tips, critique; it’s all welcome!

Binding of: English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century 1600-1660 by Douglas Bush (pt. 3? I skipped a few steps)

Today I finally covered my book with a nice piece of dyed calf. It took me around four hours in class and even at the end, I still wasn’t finished. So I took it home in its girdle (or that’s the only word in English I know for it).


There were some cords that had gotten a bit askew, so I redid the entire thing (which I was supposed to do anyways). Now, I can only wait.


Waiting, and constantly checking my caps because they are being a pain in the ass.


If any of my readers have any tips for me to make this easier, I would be very happy to hear them!



Removing labels

Last Friday I spent my afternoon removing old labels in the more modern precious books at the silver museum.

This was one of them:


As you can see, the label did take away a big part of the leather. But considering the rest of the spine isn’t in a great condition itself, it’s not that bad..

I think this book was about skilled workers, with pictures. I can’t help finding this one a little bit funny:


At the end of the day, I had a big pile of books done and ready for the next steps.


First day volunteer work (!)

Today I had my very first day doing some (light and introductory) volunteer work at library of the Silver museum in Antwerp!

They started me on cleaning two small booklets. One was a, not super interesting, manual from 1901. It was  quite dirty and I found lots of thumbprints in it. The other one was a little more exciting:


(Sorry for the crappy phone picture, forgot to take my camera)

This things is more than 200 years old! And I got to touch it in very intimate places with little sponges. I have a small feeling I might enjoy my little unpaid job..

Binding of: English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century 1600-1660 by Douglas Bush (pt. 2: Headbands)

These puppies took me nine freaking hours. But I think I’m reasonably happy about the results.


I did make some mistakes. The thread got twisted a couple of times on the lower sides and some fuzzies appeared on the back.


I love how you can clearly see the beads of the primary headband right under the beads of the secundary headband!


As you can see, I chose a brownish red, blue and a very light pink. A lot of my classmates chose colours that were very close to each other, but that just seemed like a little bit too frustrating to tell apart.


Still can’t believe this thing is finally finished! At some point I was ready to give up.


Now on to attaching the boards and then to cover it with my nice piece of calfskin, but that’s for another week.

If any of you guys see any room for improvement, please let me know!