Friday, 12 December 2008

You can't always get what you want

Book Exchange

One artist book I've been working on -- well, off and on -- for more than a year is about to see the light of day: this morning's project was to do the final gluing-up. All that is left now is to finish off the closure.

Like most projects, it's gone through a number of incarnations, mostly material-related, since I came up with the initial concept. Originally, I had no idea what I wanted to use for a cover, and so the idea simply simmered awhile.

Then in July, while wandering through the (mostly) tacky stuff in the Round-up Centre at the Stampede, I found the Tandy Leather booth, where they were selling all sorts of lovely thin leathers and the light bulb fired.

Several purchases later, I had the right piece of leather, and I started experimenting with it. I used to do a lot of leatherwork when I was young -- my mother had made a number of purses over the years, and I took to lacing leather as quickly as I had taken to knitting -- so in some ways, the work has been equal portions of new and re-discovery.

One big scrap from my experiments I used as a wrap-around cover for the little accordion book I made for the local CBBAG gift exchange (photo above).

The other project I've been working on lately has been much more mundane (recasing a hardcover book) but equally challenging, as this is the first time I've tried doing one.

I repaired some of the book's "issues" by ensuring that the outer pages starting to come loose from the original sewing were secured, taking the back inside cover off the boards and gluing the information handwritten on it onto a empty page at the end of the block. New endpapers to match the bookcloth were tipped in as well.

Even the spine fabric was removed, the spine cleaned up and relined, and the old fabric (with the title) remounted on paper so I could paste it on the new case.

Building the new case was fun, but hard work, so imagine how disappointed I was, when I went to join the block and case, to find out I had mismeasured. sigh Not by much, mind you, but enough. What really ticks me off is that when I mess up a sock, I can pull it out and reknit it -- with paper, cloth, and glue, you can't recycle materials like that.

So it's déja vu all over again: new boards, another great whack of bookcloth, more measuring, more gelatine glue to cook. But at least I have a model to work from, and I know what I need to change.

As frustrated as I am with not having this done before company arrives late on Sunday, I'm not discouraged.

Maybe Mick and Keef were right after all....

But if you try sometimes, you just might find
You get what you need....

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