Leather bookbinding: Pictorial Webster’s…

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

Saw this at Prof. Jim Escalante’s Book Arts Class page, and had to share. It’s the (re)making of the old Pictorial Webster’s. I want one! Or make one. Great inspiration for the new leather-bound book I’m making now (prototypes for showing my students how to make their own leatherbound journal for this upcoming spring semester at UW!).

Actually, saying this is inspiring is an understatement. I want to be there in that printshop and just hold those 19th century engravings–the actual blocks– in my hands, and smell the leather covers….

Anyway, enjoy!

Pictorial Webster’s: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

And at YouTube

My first leather-bound book

thick, small leather-bound book with vintage fish illustrations in itFrom the Bookbinding II class at The Center for Book Arts in NYC, we learned how to make a leather-bound book. Here’s my first try, a fairly small (5 1/2in square), thick (1 3/4in) journal, covered in leather (binding) and aquatic-themed paper purchased from Bowne & Company Stationers, a print shop at the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan (learn more about Bowne at Bowne and Co’s Facebook page).

We learned how to work with leather–how to pare it down so it’s thin enough to fold, how to handle the material and moisten the “grain side” of the skin prior to adhering with rice paste…. And so much more! It was a fantastic class, with a fantastic instructor: Susan Mills

Anyway, it’s a great material to bind with, and I look forward to making more leather-bound books.

vintage illustrated fish decorates end papers of leather-bound book

leather spine of book