viernes, 30 de septiembre de 2016

The Biggest Book I Ever Made

Some months ago, I was contacted by Joe. He was looking for a big book. Well, not big, huge. Really huge and thick. He wanted something that had enough pages to last a few generations of his family. He told me his plan was to write in the book what he and his family were thankful for everyday.
I made an Ethiopian journal. I used a Fedrigoni paper of 90 g. Since the original sheet was 100 x 70 cm, we decided to make the journal about 33 x 25, so only a thin strip of about 20 cm was leftovers of the whole sheet (because I work in signatures, I cut each sheet at 33 x 50 cm). And now the number of pages... 500 sheets, 1000 pages counting both sides. That means I used more than 80 whole sheets of 100 x 70 cm. If you work with sheets that big, you will understand that is a lot. For a regular A6 journal I would use about 3 sheets. 
That also means the final book was heavy... quite heavy. Just the paper itself was already 3-4 kg. 
Anyway, once all the details were set with Joe, I put my hands to work. I sew the signatures. I had previously glued the endpaper on the first signature. Joe chose a chiyogami paper for the endpapers. He also asked for 5 bookmarks, that you can see on the left. Once sewn, the block was about 8.5 cm.

It was so thick that my trimming machine couldn't fit it. Fortunately, one of my teachers has an electric guillotine and it barely fit there. The top for that machine is 9 cm, so....
In any case, after trimming, I glued the covers. 

And then the leather. It was a huge piece of burgundy leather. 

I started applying the glue and I regreted it quite soon... the book was about 4 kg and very difficult to handle. I should have asked for help with my boyfriend to work properly, without risking damaging the leather... but I was fortunate enough that everything came out right!

I got into the habit of running tests before doing the actual gilding or stamping on the journal, just in case the customer changed idea on the position or the font used.

Joe approved... and so the gilding was made!! I actually had to ran tests before to make sure the book fit in the machine, because I wasn't even sure.
I glued the endpapers to the covers and it was finished! Those are the final pics.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I have been really busy for the last few months.... but I will try to post something every Friday.
Best wishes!

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