Girdle Book workshop

Photos from the 2014 Gridle Book Workshop with Renate Mesmer at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC

Medieval girdle book models made by Renate Mesmer

Paring alum tawed leather hinge using the Schar-fix. Leather is held firmly against right forefinger.

Paring leather hinge step two. The right hand pulls the leather down.

Using wheat starch paste glue up the smooth side edge of leather.

Place first signature onto smooth side of leather hinge.

Text block was sewn before class on double linen cords using a sewing frame. The first two and last two signatures were left off with enough thread to sew them on after hinge was attached.

The second signature has a Japanese paper hinge attached with wheat starch paste to the back of the second signature. This is a conservation technique that will hide the gap that is caused by the pull of the first signature.

The shaping of the leather hinge is drawn in green at the bottom. The gradual feathered edge will be pasted to the board.

The two signatures with the hinges correctly attached ready to be sewn onto text block.

Text block is squared and placed under weight. Spine is NOT rounded. Wheat starch paste is brushed on avoiding the cords.

Spine is rounded and placed in press using boards to shape shoulder. Tighten press!

Warm gelatin is brushed on avoiding the cords. After gelatin drys line spine between cords using linen cloth and paste.

Day 2 - back bead endband. Mark signatures you will sew into with strips of paper (start with the first and then every four). Spine of book faces away from you in press. Use a blunt needle. Go into first kettle and out at spine. Make a loop and attach cord.

To form bead hold thread in left hand, point right finger, wrap thread behind finger and over right thumb.

Loop goes around cord. Thread continues to wrap to the right which forms back bead.

To end - form the last back bead, bring thread to the front, then go left with needle and through cord. Glue tail at spine.

Line top and bottom of spine with cloth.

How to fit the inside edge of boards - very important! Mark shape of shoulder on board.

Mark boards front, back, inside, outside, top, bottom. Mark all centers of boards. Spend day shaping boards. Shape of spine continues onto top hinge area of board.

Mark for holes for cords. First hole is 7 or 9mm in from edge. Drill at 45 degree angle.

Second hole is 2cm from edge and is drilled straight. Cut out area of board for cords to sit flat on board.

Cut out area for clasp front and back.

Thread book onto boards and press. Don't forget a spacer cut to the size of the text block inside front and back.

After pressing overnight - enjoy!

Leather - Make a paper template for leather. 3cm turn-ins and separate bottom edge piece 6cm.

Gelatin on inside edge of cords.

Gelatin on inside of cords.

Book in press. Make sure baords are in correct position. They want to travel back. Push them forward!

Peg cords. Start in middle. Support boards. Hammer gently! Or make pegs smaller.

Let small amount of gelatin on peg dry before sawing off pegs.

Pegs and gelatin.

Bottom edge leather.

Note that the cut is to the second signature and away fron the text block.

Make angled cut using scissors.

Form leather over book.

Note the inside edge comes around to spine.

Paste up leather area the size of book and paste up boards.

Paste up spine.

Paste up leather again.

Place book on leather.

Roll book on leather.

Make cuts in leather for endcap. Come into second signature and away from board.

Leather wraps around and neatly covers end of endband.

Two inside corners are formed into tongue.

Step one - pull leather up.

Step two - cut out extra leather.

Open and cut out extra leather.

Leather on book and long tail.

Tie up book in press.


Turk's Head Knot

Turk's Head Knot