Book sewn on cords – done!
Today I attacked my first unfinished project – a book sewn on cords from a workshop with Patty Grass at the 2007 Focus on Book Arts conference. This one has long plagued me – eight and a half years of unfinished-ness.
The book’s time had come – I opened up the bag of materials and found the following:
The thing that’s interesting about this binding is that we sewed it without using a sewing frame, as is traditionally done with books sewn on cords. Instead, we impregnated the cords with PVA to stiffen them up. Since the cords stuck up, it was as if they were being held in place by a sewing frame. We could proceed with our sewing unencumbered by equipment.
I had a vague recollection about what needed to be done, but I checked my work journal to see if I had made any notes. I found nothing specific to this book. I just had to go for it.
Each cover consisted of two boards and the cords were to be sandwiched between them. I started by covering the interior and exterior boards.
I had to mold the paper to the channels that had been carved into the board – that’s where the ends of the cords would be attached.
I love the cover paper we used for this book. It was made in India and has a wonderful embossed texture. It’s a tough paper to work with in that you have to make sure not to flatten the texture when adhering the paper to a board. No heavy-handed bone folder work on this paper!
The combination of PVA and the cover paper produced a lovely green glue while I worked.
I was concerned about how the cover paper would conform to the shape of the carved channels, but it worked like a champ.
I trimmed the ends of the cords so that they fit in the channels. I then unraveled the cord strands so that I could fan them out for gluing.
Glue was applied and cords were smushed into place on the interior boards.
Lastly, the exterior boards were attached. I pressed the covers one at a time to help with adhesion – the boards were a bit stubborn and did not like sticking together.
After pressing, the book was done – woot!
No more guilt for you – I officially cross you off my list!