Ch. 15: Economy of effort and material

As soon as you know that you are making a hundred of anything, you look at it in a different way – that question you ask at any point is not simply ‘could I do this again (or indeed would I want to)?’ but rather ‘could I do this again a hundred times? would I want to?’

That is the question that informed each stage of producing my five initial proofs of The McAvinchey Codex. I had already opted for batch production of signatures (ten at a time) and of sewn books (five at a time) so the next question was how best to tackle the cover. I had already decided to use Jacqueline Poutasse’s method of using a broad strip of paper to make a hinge to join the spine and boards,

20170827_123156#1

first set of covers

20170901_110628#1

batch of spines

so the next question was what I should make the strip from, and then how should I proceed?

I have memories of old books on my father’s shelves that had lost their spines to reveal a strip of printed matter beneath and it suddenly struck me what that was about – the bookbinder had clearly been making the most of materials that came to hand. I had numerous buckshee copies of signatures that had been printed off as the ink began to fail, to say nothing of an entire book printed as a single 288 page booklet, so that was the first source of supply that struck me.

Guillotining each page into several strips decided the question of how to proceed next – if I was mass-producing strips, I might as well mass-produce the spines by sticking them to the strips, then adding the covers, either as I needed them or in batches also. It was while doing this, I think, that I hit upon an alternative source of supply – now that my printing operation was underway, I had begun to accumulate a quantity of stout wrapping that each ream of paper came in. This was heavier duty than the scrap printed pages and of a waxy quality on the inside, perhaps to stop it sticking to the paper. Despite some misgivings about whether that waxiness would affect its adhesion, I made a couple of trial efforts, and when they proved satisfactory, decided to make the remaining spines from recovered wrappings.

20170831_115426#1

discarded paper wrapping

20170831_115442#1

marked out for hinge-strips (with maximum economy – 24 per sheet by the look of it)

20170831_125432#1

and made into spines

20170831_115448#1

batch production

[click here for full List of Contents]

One thought on “Ch. 15: Economy of effort and material

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.