the art of binding books.
Welcome to the Denis Gouey bookbinding studio.
How to bind a book?
If you are looking for useful how-to links, Practical Book Binding or Bookbinding for Amateurs are a good start, with useful tips for hobby and professional bookbinders alike. Useful for Grade School Teachers, Paper and cardboard constructions and for the aspiring bookbinding designer, An Essay on Color.
The Diderot pages will help you with the equipment necessary for the trade, specially if you wish to build your own presses, sewing frames, cutting plows etc.
The stain glass image underneath is after a woodblock by Jost Jobst Amman one of the most popular artist in Germany with a prolific output. It depicts a bookbinder at work, cutting the edges of a book on a plough, a press designed for the purpose. In the background is another binder sewing a book on a sewing frame and on the walls are displayed rolls, palettes and other tools used in bookbinding.
Clicking on the image will send you to the bookbinding gallery
I sincerely hope that you will find this bookbinding web site useful for the links leading to the many facets of the trade of bookbinding. Oh, yes, I forgot, people love to pin us on Pinterest as you can see here
Some exerpt from the works published on the Bookbinding Studio site:
‘’BOOKBINDING in early times was carried on, the most part (as were so many for other useful industries), in connection with the religious orders. The monasteries were the chief centers for fine work in the way of illumination, hand-printed books and bindings of various kinds. The first good bindings of which I can find record came…..’’
‘’BOOKBINDING is the fastening together of written or printed leaves in protecting covers. The Babylonians enclosed their clay tablets with an outer coating of clay containing a duplicate impression of the characters of the original tablet…..’’
’’Since the art of gilding leather was introduced into Europe from the east, about the year 1740, by the Venetians, nothing new in the external decoration of books has been achieved which gives such endless opportunities for beautiful and permanent decoration as does the transparent vellum, or “Vellucent,” method. Originally, leather-bound books depended for decoration mainly upon the blind ’’
’’Those past masters in Bookbinding – the Eves, Le Gascon, Padeloup Le Jeune and the various members of the numerous and talented family of Deromes, would, I fancy, start in amazement from their long, dreamless sleep, could they hear the paeans now chanted in praise of the handicraft’’
’’The preservation of books is a sacred duty, and allied to it is the reverent treatment of them. If a man is justified in giving his sweetheart or his wife costly gems and rich garnment, how much more in clothing his favourite book in a garb commensurate with his admiration.’’
’’Bookbinding is, undoubtedly, a delicate and a difficult art, and it is almost impossible to describe some of even its simplest processes. In many cases, the slightest deviation from the teaching will risk inevitable failure in the process described; but to make up, as far as may be, for the lack of personal showing “how to do it,” we shall sprinkle our text thickly with sketches of the various operations at different stage’’
’’By far the greatest progress during the past year in bookbinding has been made with regard to the India, or Bible paper as it was formerly called. Bibles, for many years, were printed on an opaque India paper usually manufactured and oftentimes printed abroad. With the production of the Encyclopedia Britannica, llth edition, on India paper, it may be said that a new era was established ’’
‘’The processes of papermaking and the various tools used in bookbinding are carefully portrayed. The picture of the typecaster with his furnace, bellows and mould is instructive, while in the case of the draughtsman the artist has had to confine himself to illustrating the dress and furniture of the day. This was his own profession, and perhaps he, too, worked with a pot of flowers on the table. In fact, it has been suggested that the draughtsman is a portrait of the artist himself.’’