Going to Wings

Going to Wings

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I feel that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.

Design

Geometric illusion for custom book cover.

Methods

To achieve this design, we rely on an old and seldom practiced technique in the worlds of both traditional & contemporary bookbinding: cuir-ciselé. Working with veg-tanned sheepskin, we’d carve the design on the front cover, then dye it Forest Green. The client also requested a decorated border to be stamped on both the front and back covers.

One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is. While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out.  The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.

 

Finished

The result was a book that was both elegant and tasteful, with a boldness that strikes character in any shelf it sits on. As a large-format book, approx 8.5″ x 11″, it sits well in the hand and feels lovely. This book was commissioned as a gift for the author’s personal library. We were honored to work with the raw manuscript that the author worked on herself. She’d already sent the manuscript to her publisher, however, this book was created as her own special edition.

If you’d like to make something like this book, we’d be happy to help.

Designing a one-of-a-kind edition, restoring a family heirloom, re-binding a personal favorite, or printing a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make the book you’d like.

CUSTOMER

Worsham

WHAT WE DID

Full leather binding | Perfect-bound Conversion | Gold stamping

Bible Recovery

Custom Leather Book

Bible Recovery

About the Project

Recovering a special heirloom is one of my favorite duties as a bookbinder. In some ways, I feel a certain responsibility to help bring life back to objects like this, if at all possible. This project was no exception.

Desiring to restore a book that meant the world to him, the client reached out with a vision in mind and I was happy to help in any way possible. I was not the least bit surprised to learn that the client was advised by some other binders to just “get a new book” and that rebinding this would “not be worth it”. I’ve heard many binders say things like this in the past and it is a bit disheartening.

Books hold a special place in our hearts, the value of which cannot be determined by most measures of cost or labor. To me, it did not matter what the book was made out of or if I felt it was “worth it” because it was worth it to the client. He loves this book and I could immediately feel that love radiating throughout the text-block. I’ve worked on many bibles in the past and rarely have a seen one with notes on almost every page (~2,500 pages or so)!

Design

I X O Y E

Methods

This was a fairly straightforward process and meant to reflect the simple beauty of the book itself. Using copperhead-brown leather and 36pt typeface for the gold stamping, the finished product is both smooth and elegant.

While the original text-block was in shambles, the client was a bit worried if we could do the work without damaging the book in the process. I assured him that we can make this work possible without incident.

IMG_5175 IMG_5174 IMG_5172

The final product turned out wonderfully! The copperhead brown was a great choice to match the original brown and the structure of the book is a solid foundation for a long life ahead.

With thinner boards, each cover is a bit more flexible than my previous books. This was done to give a similar feeling to the original book and partnered well with the thin pages.

Interested?

Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

 

Contact

How to Relax

How to Relax

About the Project

This project was commissioned as a gift for a dear friend of the client. 

From the book’s description: How to Relax is part of The Mindfulness Essentials series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Pocket-sized, with original two color illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Relax shows how critical it is to regularly interrupt the hub-bub and routine of our lives to stop, relax mindfully, and recharge.

Thich Nhat Hanh says that when we relax, we become calm water, and we will reflect reality as it is. If we’re not calm, the image we reflect will be distorted. When the image is distorted by our minds, it’s not the reality, and it causes lots of suffering.” Relaxation is essential for accessing the tranquility and joy that lead to increased personal well-being. With sections on healing, relief from nonstop thinking, transforming unpleasant sounds, solitude, being peace, and more,How to Relax includes meditations you can do to help you achieve the benefits of relaxation no matter where you are.

Scientific studies indicate that meditation contributes tremendously to well-being, general health, and longevity. How to Relax is a unique gift for those who want a simple guide to achieving deep relaxation, controlling stress, and renewing mental freshness and clarity, appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition, whether seasoned practitioners or new to meditations.

Design

Methods

To begin this design, I started with color and materials first. The recipient’s favorite color is red, so I chose a fine Morocco from Russels Leather, considered to be some of the best leather available in the bookbinding world. 

With a little effort on Adobe Photoshop, I  quickly worked out a simple design that was both clear and effective. The Hammock is often associated with relaxation and I feel it worked well for the project at hand. 

With such a small spine to work with, I decided that a verticle display would be best for the title and author panels. While it requires a few more steps to achieve, it is no less beautiful when executed correctly.

Finished

The result was a very nice, compact book that is both beautiful and easy to access. Able to be carried in a bag or purse, this book will prove to be a lovely companion during times that require a bit of meditation or thoughtfulness to get through. I’m very happy with how this turned out and the client was, too! In fact, the client decided to give the gift in my bindery when the project was completed. They both came together and I gave them a quick tour. It was truly lovely to be a part of, as I normally just deliver the finished product and start on my next project.

We are excited to begin working with you. Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

CUSTOMER

Relaxtion Book

WHAT WE DID

Full leather binding | Rebinding | Gold stamping

An Imperfect Light

An Imperfect Light

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I feel that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.

Design

Methods

To achieve this design, we rely on an old and seldom practiced technique in the worlds of both traditional & contemporary bookbinding: cuir-ciselé. Working with veg-tanned sheepskin, we’d carve the design on the front cover, then dye it Forest Green. The client also requested a decorated border to be stamped on both the front and back covers.

One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is. While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out.  The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.

 

Finished

The result was a book that was both elegant and tasteful, with a boldness that strikes character in any shelf it sits on. As a large-format book, approx 8.5″ x 11″, it sits well in the hand and feels lovely. This book was commissioned as a gift for the author’s personal library. We were honored to work with the raw manuscript that the author worked on herself. She’d already sent the manuscript to her publisher, however, this book was created as her own special edition.

We are excited to begin working with you. Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

CUSTOMER

Dotson Bible

WHAT WE DID

Full leather binding | Repair & Resew | Gold stamping

How to Relax

Custom Leather Book

How to Relax

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I have always felt that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.

Design

project-How to Relax-img

Methods

The client wanted to choose an image that represented peace and tranquility, without distracting too much from the book itself. We chose a Hammock since it is nearly universally seen as relaxing.

I worked up a simple design on Photoshop and had it cast into a custom stamp. With 21-st century technology, nearly any design is possible for leather stamping!

The intended recipient’s favorite color is Red, so we chose a fantastically dyed Morocco from Russel’s Fine Leather, the premier supplier from the UK.

At first, the client was worried that the book would be too small for leather-binding. Coming in at just under 120 pages, this little pocket-sized book almost didn’t make the cut. However, I assured them that we could do it. The smallest book I have ever bound was <60 pages!

Boston Harbor Bookbindery
www.bostonharborbooks.com
How to Relax; Custom red leather book, designed and executed for the client’s personal library as one fo their all-time favorite books.

The final product turned out wonderfully! The red leather gave the book a dashingly smooth look while the gold stamp on the front added class and style.

With thick cover-boards, each cover adds a solid and sturdy feel to the pages. This translates well into the reader’s hand and operates spectacularly.

Interested?

Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

 


Contact

A Wizard’s Journal

Custom Leather Book

A Wizard’s Journal

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I have always felt that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.

Design

project-Wizard Journal-logo

Methods

This type of design is best expressed through gold-tooling, by way of a custom cast stamp. Working with a local engraver, we had to create a few different stamps to get the right size.

The dangers of working with designs that are highly detailed are that sometimes those details don’t transfer well to the leather. With any kind of heated-foil application, the metal tool/stamp needs to achieve full-contact with the leather. Any breaks in the line will translate into an incomplete design.

Working a fine Morocco leather, this little journal feels great in the hand. Soft and supple, it is certain to inspire thoughts of creativity!

One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is.

While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out.  The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.

The final product turned out wonderfully and the client was very happy. As a gift for her son’s birthday, it proved to be a magical experience. Thankfully, the family shared the video of him receiving his gift and it filled my heart with joy; a poignant reminder of why I became a bookbinder in the first place.

Interested?

Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

 

Contact

An Imperfect Light

Custom Leather Book

An Imperfect Light

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I have always felt that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.

Design

project-Imperfect Light-piano1

Methods

To achieve this design, we rely on an old and seldom practiced technique in the worlds of both traditional & contemporary bookbinding: cuir-ciselé.

Working with veg-tanned sheepskin, we’d carve the design on the front cover, then dye it Forest Green. The client also requested a decorated border to be stamped on both the front and back covers.

One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is.

While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out.  The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.

The result was a book that was both elegant and tasteful, with a boldness that strikes character in any shelf it sits on. As a large-format book, approx 8.5″ x 11″, it sits well in the hand and feels lovely.

This book was commissioned as a gift for the author’s personal library. We were honored to work with the raw manuscript that the author worked on herself. She’d already sent the manuscript to her publisher for mass-production, however, this book was created as her own special edition.

Interested?

Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

 

Contact

Going to Wings

Green leather book with silk ribbon, custom made by Boston Harbor Bookbindery

Custom Leather Book

Going to Wings

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I have always felt that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.

Design

Geometric illusion for custom book cover.

Methods

To achieve this design, we rely on an old and seldom practiced technique in the worlds of both traditional & contemporary bookbinding: cuir-ciselé.

Working with veg-tanned sheepskin, we’d carve the design on the front cover, then dye it Forest Green. The client also requested a decorated border to be stamped on both the front and back covers.

One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is.

While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out.  The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.

The final product is a fantastic combination of modern and classical methods. With a water-based Forest Green dye, we captured the depth and life of the skin with multiple layers of application. Finishing it off with an Atom wax gave the book a glorious shine that was both subtle and brilliant.

Interested?

Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

 

Contact

Bible Recovery

Bible Recovery

About the Project

Recovering a special heirloom is one of my favorite duties as a bookbinder. In some ways, I feel a certain responsibility to help bring life back to objects like this, if at all possible. This project was no exception.

Desiring to restore a book that meant the world to him, the client reached out with a vision in mind and I was happy to help in any way possible. I was not the least bit surprised to learn that the client was advised by some other binders to just “get a new book” and that rebinding this would “not be worth it”. I’ve heard many binders say things like this in the past and it is a bit disheartening.

Books hold a special place in our hearts, the value of which cannot be determined by most measures of cost or labor. To me, it did not matter what the book was made out of or if I felt it was “worth it” because it was worth it to the client. He loves this book and I could immediately feel that love radiating throughout the text-block. I’ve worked on many bibles in the past and rarely have a seen one with notes on almost every page (~2,500 pages or so)!

Design

Methods

This was a fairly straightforward process and meant to reflect the simple beauty of the book itself. Using copperhead-brown leather and 36pt typeface for the gold stamping, the finished product is both smooth and elegant.

While the original text-block was in shambles, the client was a bit worried if we could do the work without damaging the book in the process. I assured him that we can make this work possible without incident.

Before

As is very common with much-loved books, this bible had seen it’s many fine days of reading and study. Seeing a book in this condition is not at all uncommon for a bookbinder to be asked to repair, and the needs of the book itself do not differ much from fundamental tasks. As you can see on the sine, much of the binding is still somewhat intact, though fraying near the head and tail of the book.

Process

As carefully as possible, each signature is separated from the text-block and the glue is removed. The quality of the paper has much to do with the method needed for glue removal, as the thinner the paper is the more fragile one needs to be to accomplish this task. Additionally, if any paper decides to run or begins to tear, then methyl-cellulose and Japanese tissue paper are needed. Thankfully, I was able to remove everything and resew it all without incident. After the boards are measured, then the case is made to fit the book perfectly, allowing for proper mechanical function of the text along with comfort in the reader’s hand. It is important to remember what the intentions of the customer is for the book after it is all finished. In this case: rigorous use and daily study. Thus, we went with materials and methods that could withstand the passions of the customer’s academic and theological pursuits. 

After

The result of our design turned out beautifully. Choosing a simple “Copperhead” brown Morocco, selected both for its quality and supple feel in one’s hand, gives it a timeless elegance that is guaranteed to stand the test of time. For the front decoration, 24k gold leaf was used to reflect the original gilding. I also opted not to guillotine the edges, desiring to keep a remnant of the original and its design. The marbled endleaves are handmade and colored for this project. After asking the client for their favorite colors, a set of papers are produced for the front and back.

We are excited to begin working with you. Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.

CUSTOMER

Dotson Bible

WHAT WE DID

Full leather binding | Repair & Resew | Gold stamping