Buffaloed! Or, Further Adventures in Bookbinding.

Somehow, I’ve made it all the way through the second year of graduate school. This year, I treated thirteen objects, all flat paper, ranging from a black chalk drawing by Jacques-Louis David to a commercial lithograph. During it all, I realized that I really do like paper rather a lot. There’s something really magical about it.

However! There is no time for philosophical reflection, because as usual I have booked myself clear through the summer. Just as term ended, I was off to Toronto for a wedding, and then from there to Buffalo, where I have just completed the first week of a three week workshop on conservation binding with the legendary Gary Frost. After that, I’m off to Florence to work at the Villa La Pietra for two weeks, then to Belgium for a week, and then back to New York, where I will be working the rest of the summer at the Conservation Lab at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Gary’s workshop has so far had a fairly mellow pace, compared to graduate school, so I had time to play around this past week and make two miniature books to accompany the books on the syllabus. One has a teensy four-flap to nest in; I think I’ll make one for the other as well.

My very first miniature book!

My very first miniature book!

Making small books was a bit of a revelation. I’ve never made them before, and never realized how tricky the sewing would be. I also committed to trimming one of them and only realized half-way through that it was an incredibly bad idea because the book was so small that it was impossible to ensure that it stayed straight in the plough. So while my book has lovely smooth edges, it’s not quite square. (But it is adorable!)

I have to admit, Buffalo is rather nice in the summer, even if it is still a little chilly and spring-ish.

Tulips are still in bloom here!

Tulips are still in bloom here!

Today, I went with my flatmate, Jeanne, who is also in the workshop, and a couple of the Buffalo students for brunch and then to the Farm Shop for fresh eggs and yogurt. On our way back, we stopped at a flea market, where I indulged my love of tools. The flea markets in NYC are a bit pricey, so this was wonderful! I got a great pocket knife in need of a little TLC and a metal file so that I can continue shaping the half-finished bone folders I have left over from Jim Croft’s workshop last year. I also picked up an Erle Stanley Gardner paperback that I think I will experiment on with the double fan adhesive binding technique.

Flea market loot!

Flea market loot!

So much to do, so little time!



About Saira

Saira is a newly fledged book conservator currently working in Saint Paul, MN.
This entry was posted in book structures, bookbinding, workshops and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Buffaloed! Or, Further Adventures in Bookbinding.

  1. eatwithpleasure says:

    Sounds like an amazing summer, Saira! I forget, did you ever visit the miniature book museum in Baku? You really must go. The woman reminds me of Anna Mikhailovna in her fervor and has all sorts of crazy tidbits to share.


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