When my friend Peter Galbert first told me he was writing and illustrating a book my mind went exactly where you would expect it to go. “You should get a few extra copies for me to do a nice binding”. This soon developed into a small edition of leather bindings for those devoted readers that wanted a special handbound, signed copy for their bookshelves. I am of course one of those people.
Many of us have seen Pete work, and the folks at Lost Art Press work, tirelessly to complete this mammoth project. I have yet to see an instructional book so completely illustrate the in’s and out’s of construction. And while Chairmaker’s Notebook is a manual for building chairs, I see it as nothing less than a work of art. And I feel very privileged to bind it as such.
I imagine that most readers of Chairmaker’s Notebook are woodworkers. And as such you must see how we construct our furniture differently today then we did in the past. So many people buy furniture made out of particleboard that has been neatly wrapped in foil veneer because they don’t know the difference, or they don’t care.
The story is the same when it comes to bookbinding. The construction of a book, what goes on inside the binding, and the quality of materials and craftsmanship, is vital to the longevity and experience of reading and owning it. We’ve all seen broken bindings and loose pages, often in our most treasured texts. As a professional bookbinder, I’ve learned to design and construct archival bindings that will stand up to the rigors of time. Not all books deserve this level of attention, but just like a quality crafted piece of furniture, the hand bound book will be handed down as an heirloom for generations. In my next blog post I will demonstrate the construction of the binding for Chairmaker’s Notebook and explain the choices that I’ve made. It’s a different craft from woodworking, but I’m sure you’ll soon recognize similarities in the decisions and efforts that are made for the sake of beauty and quality.
We now have finally reached the count down. The books are being printed and I will be receiving 45 unbound copies in the near future. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the printing schedule, I do not have a bound mock-up copy to show at this time. But I have made a prototype with a different book, Rudyard Kiplings’s Captains Courageous, that illustrates the style and similar design I will be using for Pete’s book. For now you can check out the photoshopped image below for a sneak peek at what the final binding will look like. I hope you enjoy it!
To pre-order the edition, click here.