Friday, 12 October 2012

On concertina bindings

A couple of years ago, it occurred to me that the poor quality of many concertina bindings that turn up at book arts exhibitions was perhaps a result of the need for them to be constructed of material that is both flexible (for hinging) and inflexible (for structural support) at the same time. I wondered if making the panels and hinges of different materials might be a way around this problem? After a bit of experimentation, I made three concertina bindings - Cartographica, Little Bit Long Way and Tinted Undercoat Required - using covered box board for the leaves and gros grain ribbon for the hinges. I had a chance this week to talk with local binders and book artists about some of the techniques I developed for producing what I believe are reasonably elegant works. I also spoke about some of the more traditional concertinas that have peppered my binding life, including one (above) made jointly with a recent four year old visitor to BEMBindery. It seemed to go well but, as is always the way with such talks, I came away feeling that there were things I forgot to say, things that could have been better expressed and a resolve to be a bit sharper next time.

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