Sunday, 9 June 2013

Photo album/scrap book with compensation guards

The next project Rob Shepherd’s Hand-Made Books (Search Press, Tunbridge Wells, 1996) was to create a photo album with compensation guards.

I had tried this out with a cover design of an open stage curtain at first, forgetting about the compensation guards. I hated it. Not only did it look awful, but it was pretty much the same as my other binding projects, the only difference being that the sewing was on the shorter side to make a landscape orientated book.

So I ripped it apart. There is nothing more satisfying than ripping apart a book – especially an ugly book that you hate. I managed to conserve the pages and grey board enough to use them again.

If you were to look in a big Victorian book or photo album, you will normally find narrow strips of paper close to the spine inserted in between the pages. If you’ve kept a scrap book you will know how frustrating it is that the pages get really bulky and wide. This is where the compensation guards come in - they compensate for the thick items you will add to the pages.

Using some of the old pages, I cut strips of paper about 4cm wide, making sure the grain of the paper still ran parallel to the spine.

Creating a crisp edge with a bone folder, I used my bodkin to make holes for sewing. I inserted a compensation guard in between every page, creating nine 8-page sections with four compensation guards in each.

I will use this book to keep my theatre tickets in.

Next project: Single-leaf binding – ‘perfect’ binding.

Next project: Single-leaf binding – ‘perfect’ binding.

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