Monday, December 15

December 15-16: Book Repair

Well, it happened. I opened my journal and it split right in two! The covers held it together, but the signatures divided themselves and the pages split apart.  So I pulled off the cover and exposed the spine.... (hmmm, that's sounding a bit uncomfortably familiar!)
... and I decided it was time to perform a little surgery of my own.
I am not a professional book binder, in a traditional sense.  I hand bind books, doing some Japanese book binding techniques and other basics like coptic, and kettle binding but I'm no restoration expert, or professional binder.
So this is my make shift attempt at repair!  My home made press, squishing my book, with magazines stuck in hanging out the side on the right to level the squishing and bring the broken seams together.  

I've laid a sheet of "super", or binders cloth, over the spine and glued it down onto the spine to hold it all together - hopefully, securing all the sections.  The extra edges will get glued to the covers and will be covered by the end papers.  

Hopefully, it will all come together, stay together, and still open and close well.  I won't be posting pages for a couple of days though, as the book dries. (recuperates?!)

Other, better, book repair sources for directions:

This also will give me the opportunity to finally use some of the beautiful handmade Japanese papers I bought years ago in Toronto.  I've used a few in some hard back books I've made, but as I've said - I don't really make traditional books, and these are just exquisite papers and will be perfect as end papers for my journal!  
The hard part will be choosing...


  1. I'm gobsmacked at the size and thickness of your journal. What I would do to be able to sit quietly paging through it. I started a huge altered quote book a while back but it is just too daunting....but perhaps I should give it another try.

  2. A whole lot of spine healing going on at your place, Karin ! Such love and care in the process too ! That has to be good !

    Ooh those paper look like eye-candy !!! I say just reach in and grab something to use...paper that beautiful is sure to guide you !

    Happy healing the old and creating the new...

  3. Its lovely to see the outside of your book, when usually we're seeing the microcosm of individual pages...

    Your home binding effort, completed with love and intention will no doubt create something very beautiful.

    Please show us the end result when you're done!! :)

  4. It IS a big book, isn't it?! I might have been overwhelmed or daunted by it too Robyn, if I truly thought, "I'm going to fill this book", but all I did was start. One page at a time added up to over 100 pages now, and with the gluing of 2 together for every one I do, I'm realizing that 'gee, this book can totally get filled and finished', as long as it holds together. It won't actually close by then! I'll keep it standing on edge probably, displaying itself fanned out, peacock style :) So I encourage you to go for it with your book, too! Just approach each page as "today I am making a piece of art".

    You're right Kim, I could just trust and dive in - those papers are all treasures and would do honor to my treasure!

    I will definitely show you all the end results Svasti!

  5. Karin,
    I'm sorry to hear about your book- bummer! However, I find that sometimes broken things become stronger in the end, or transform into something else...

    Hoping for the best,

    p.s. I used to have a homemade book press just like yours, but I lost it when my van burned up. It was so long ago I'm not sure how to make a new one. Any guidance would be appreciated.

  6. Hi Sharmon,
    You can find instructions in books and online, but I'll tell you - I found this one on eBay for under $30 and it was the best spent money ever! It was home made by the seller, and after researching I felt it was money and time better spent on my part!
    Good luck,

  7. Oh wow! Love the papers you're planning on adding to the mix. Your work is so beautiful...can't wait to see how the book binds together again (it's such an incredible book, too)!

  8. ummmm. spine surgery seems to be following you around these days darlin'.
    At least YOU are the surgeon this time...may the patient heal well and soon!

  9. Yes, the hard part will be choosing. What lovely papers, and I'm sure you will make wonderful things from them.

    I think the bookbinding idea looks great. Hope it works.

  10. Yeah, it's a really nice thing to be on this side of a spine repair - as "surgeon" rather than "patient". Bet my patient is more cooperative!

    Choices choices! How lucky to have choices :)

  11. Its remarkable how your ingenuity and resourcefulness is motivated by love. You desire to bring things together and you create a way to do it. You are a magician, a visionary and a devoted inspiration.

  12. No accidents.

    Made me remember a quote I haven't thought of in ages...

    At first, art imitates life.
    Then life will imitate art.
    Then life will find its very existence from the arts.

    – Fyodor Dostoevsky

  13. Wow! Your journal is every sense of the word!


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