Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bookbinding - Trying my Hand...

Digital art is amazing... The things you can do with brush strokes, color schemes, and composition in programs like Photoshop, Artrage, Corel, & even 3D programs is incredible.
but there's just something extremely rewarding about putting time and effort into a work and then being able to tangibly hold it in your hands...
It's probably the reason I've ended up becoming a full time swordsmith instead of graphic designer or illustrator as I originally intended.

So any craft or medium I can get my hands on and end up with a finished product is always something that I'm magnetically drawn to.
The second I started dabbling with the idea of (basic) book binding, I had no choice but to give it a go:

The above results are a couple days work of my spare time. One (the third of the three pics) a simple brown paper leather bound sketchbook for sword designs. While the first is a more elaborate traditionally bound booklet documenting the process of forging the "Cawood sword" for the customer who commissioned the sword.
I'm a trail and error kind of learner... So I tend to actually not do much research before giving it a go. Go for it, fail really bad, and then do the research... :)
A couple fantastic quick resources I found on the web are:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nate/284184160/
http://www.ferdinando.org.uk/images/bookbinder.jpg
http://www.diyplanner.com/node/433

Selected shots from the Cawood book:

Above, the black leather bound cover of the Cawood book with goldleaf writing.


Just in my (quite petty) attempts at bookbinding, I'm finding it to be one of the most fun and rewarding crafts I've ever played around with. So I'm most definitely planning on my next sketchbook being one that I made with my own hands.

TolkienLibrary.com recently did an incredible series featuring some of the most beautifully bound editions of Tolkiens work ever made:
www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/-Book_art_book_binding_lord_of_the_rings

www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/-Book_art_book_binding_lord_of_the_rings_2

www.tolkienlibrary.com/-Book_art_book_binding_The_Hobbit

www.tolkienlibrary.com/-Book_art_book_binding_The_Silmarillion

So why not give it a try yourself?If a scatter brained artist like me can do it I am sure you can.
I am by no means an expert at this, but would be happy to give specifics on any details I learned in my two little attempts so far! Feel free and comment bellow.

Turn off the TV, click the play button on some good tunes, get inspired, and get bookbinding!