As a request from my friend Sam Gray I have tried to take some more, and perhaps better, pictures of my hand-sewn books. I have found it surprisingly difficult to take good pictures of the books, much perhaps due to the contrast from the paper. Comments are welcome, in English, German and Swedish, and perhaps other languages as well…
Technique: Coptic stitch binding, one long thread, one needle
Cover board: Two layers of cardboard from old archival boxes, glued together. (I have a huge pile of never used boxes. From one box I get the four cardboard pieces for one book.)
Number of signatures: 6
Signature paper: Clairefontaine Pollen Ivory, 120 gm/m2, 12 sheets.
Cloth: Canapetta 1421
Paper inside cover: Remondini rombi, from Grafiche Tassotti, Italy.
Glue: Coccoina, Italian made glue from potato-starch
Thread: Irish linen, waxed with an old candle
Comment: I think that the size of this codex is optimal for this technique, (A6). Of course you can add signatures up to eight without problems.
Flaws: I accidentally turned a couple of signatures upside down so there is a slight misalignment if you look carefully. When i fastened one end of the thread I happened to sew through the thread itself and it was jammed beyond rescue, it can easily be seen on the pictures.
Comments are welcome! Kommentarer även på svenska välkomnas!
Thanks to: Djura Bok & Pappersverkstad, http://www.djurabok.se/internetbutik/ for providing me with materials and basic tools.
Epilogue: I have now made a second codex, with eight signatures 128 pages, without major flaws but the paper inside the back cover isn’t exactly positioned. When I get the right light I will try to take better pictures this time.
As a blogger at WordPress.com you get a lot of information “behind the scenes”. I can see statistics regarding from where my readers are coming, what they are reading and how they have found my blog. One thing is clear. I just have to mention a fountain pen, and it attracts readers, more than my other writings. I assume that many of my readers are looking for their first fountain pen, but don’t know where to start. I’m not a pen-expert but I have found my path in the jungle and that is what I would like to share with you in this post. Different pen-users may have different preferences, but I personally stand behind these recommendations, which I also try to motivate and discuss.
As I’ve said before, you can never go wrong with a Sailor Professional Gear Slim, (aka Sailor Sapporo), with H-M, (medium), nib! It is a medium-sized pen of good quality, with a smooth gold nib, that can take ink in Sailor cartridges, or with the supplied converter, just any fountain pen ink from a bottle. Later you may find that you want a bigger pen. Fine, but still you’ll find that the Sailor PG Slim fits perfectly in your shirt-pocket and is easy to bring with you both at work or when you are travelling. As a novice you may find it a bit pricey, but remember, it is going to serve you for many years, perhaps even for the rest of your life.
Sailor Kiwa-guro, black is a prefect ink for general use. It is pretty fast-drying, non-smearing, light- and water-resistant and will work just fine on any kind of paper without feathering or bleed-through. You may later want inks in other colors. Fine, but this is a very good ink to start with for general use. (If you can read between the lines you’ll understand that not all inks are fast-drying, non-smearing, light- and water-resistant, non-feathering and non-bleeding.) It is regarded as a high-maintenance ink, which only means that you should not leave the pen with ink for a long time as the ink in the pen may dry and cause clogging. (But that is a general rule for any pen and ink.) It is also good practice to rinse the pen with plain water between fillings from time to time.
Now that you have a good pen and good ink, and are thus able to write on just any kind of paper, even cheap office-paper or Moleskine. But if you haven’t used good quality writing paper in your entire life I have a couple of hints: For note-taking and general scribbling, Rhodia is a very good choice. For my personal journal-writing I use Quo Vadis “Habana”. When it comes to writing letters and personal notes I rely on Clairefontaine “Pollen”, paper, envelopes and folded cards. I am especially fond of the ivory color.
Thank you for your attention. Comments and questions are welcome.