Thank you so much for all of the interest in my latest book--a contemporary fine press edition of H.P. Lovecraft's The Colour out of Space, with an introduction by S.T. Joshi. The first ten copies have shipped and now we are at work finishing up the rest of the edition, which will ship by March 15th. You can see the book in person at the upcoming New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Lux Mentis Books booth. Here are a few more pictures from the edition--enjoy! View a complete gallery and ordering information HERE.
In 2011, I wrote a blog post on a binding that I developed for "building the round" into a textblock without having to shape the textblock using a hammer. Why do this, you ask? At the time, I wanted to use the concertina (an accordion fold structure that can serve as a backbone to a sewn book) for its many benefits: adding spacing in an album of photographs, allowing pages to lie flat when opening, and serving as an archival structure from which pages can easily be removed if the book needs rebinding. However, having used concertinas previously, I felt they had a natural tendency toward concavity. Rounding with a hammer is not possible with a concertina as the folds cannot respond to a backing hammer after they are folded, in the way that signatures without a concertina can. I like to take each project from scratch, re-considering the form of the book every time according to the needs of the project. As a result, I came up with the most straightforward structural solution and decided to "build the round in" using the folds of the concertina itself.
The only limitations to this structure are its need for extreme accuracy in folding of the concertina (if you want to get a nice shape). The round is engineered into the paper by changing the size of the folds. I showed a diagram of this method in my previous blog post from 2011. The measurements can and should be adjusted according to quantity and size of signatures. With my current book, I had to make accurate folds within 1/64 of an inch.
When considering a binding for my recent edition of The Colour out of Space, I was drawn to using this "shaped concertina" structure for several reasons. First, I wanted a fairly traditional binding profile (rounded spine). Second, I wanted the pages to lay as flat as possible, especially because the images spanned two-page spreads. I like the archival properties of the structure in which pages never touch an adhesive of any kind and so can be re-bound with ease if needed. Another benefit for this book came when I decided to use a printed sheet for the concertina. This allowed imagery to be carried through and integrated into the text in subtle ways, subverting the separation of text and image in many fine press books. Here are a few images of the binding in progress - enjoy! Click on images for a larger view. And for the completed book, please visit this page.
I am thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of a contemporary fine press edition of The Colour out of Space, by H.P. Lovecraft, with an introduction by S.T. Joshi and 14 color images by Amy Borezo. For more information on this edition and how to order, please visit the IMAGE GALLERY.
In production at Shelter Bookworks now -- Todd Webb: New York 1946, published by 21st Editions. This is one of my favorite bindings that I have designed. It includes a new technique for me of printing on leather and it successfully echoes the mid-century, modern photographs of Todd Webb.