the art of bookbinding


I got to attend the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for the first time on Friday! It was so lovely to see all of my booky friends, as well as to see the wonders everyone brought to sell– from the very small to the very large, from gorgeously tooled leather to embroidered cloth, and from fore edge to spine, everything was dazzling! If you can ever get to an antiquarian book fair, even if you don’t have the money to buy anything, I highly recommend it! It’s such a treat to see the wide variety of books that are out there, and to wonder at their beauty.

With thanks to @maggs-bros , Sokol Books, Quaritch, Jonathan A. Hill, @justincroft-blog and everyone else ♥

Slightly dodgy kettle stitch/coptic binding sketchbook making tutorial!

Nobody ever said that your sketchbook binding had to be neat. Well, they might have done, but not in my hearing. So here’s a slightly dodgy, but really not too difficult sketchbook making tutorial. In it, you’ll learn how to cobble together a sketchbook like the one above in pretty short time using a messy version of kettle stitch/coptic binding! 

Tutorial after the break! 

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The work of Marius Michel father & son, Parisian bookbinders

1 Denis Diderot. Le neveu de Rameau. Paris Auguste Blaizot, 1924 Source : BSUVA
2 José-Maria de Heredia. Les Trophées. Paris, Carteret pour René Descamps-Scrive, 1907 Source : ALDE
3 Honoré de Balzac. Physiologie du Mariage. 1830 ed. Source : Le bibliomane moderne
4 Erasmus of Rotterdam. Éloge de la Folie. Paris, Pour les Amis des Livres, 1906 Source : pba-auctions
5 Victor Hugo. Notre-Dame de Paris. Paris, A. Ferroud, 1889-90
Source : pba-auctions

Finished the blind tooling on the third small journal. The design is a bit more brave than the previous two. Today was very cloudy and didn’t have time to finish everything I had in mind. Tomorrow all this tooling is going to be full of silver. Looking forward to it with feelings of excitement and a bit of fear.


I am going on a little journey soon, so I made two books for the journey: one to write in (with more squared paper and only a few other paper) and the other for making art (with a lot of different papers) ….

 I did a lot of books the last months and there was no reason to make new ones, but I couldn´t resist to make new ones for the journey!. I love book binding! It´s so much fun to think about which book you want to have and then make it and hold it in your hand with the wonderful feeling  that you have made it by yourself!

~My cover for my Book Of Shadows/Grimoire 🖤 I’m planing on painting more on the front, like a beautiful design when it dries. All my pages for the book are finished tea dying and drying, finally! I let them dry outside to experience and dry up the earth, wind, sun, feel the grass, and the shade. When I chose my colours I went to the store with no plan, and picked colours that just felt me, they felt connected with me in someway. I’ll start with the stitching tomorrow if everything goes as planned and my painting is finished. I bought pastel pink string, and a rainbow ribbon that I’m planning on using. I’ll keep posted.~


After I took “Coptic Binding: Focus on Stitching” through the Minnesota Center for Book Arts a week or so ago, I figured I needed to practice before I forgot everything from the class. I started out by using two of my gel plate prints (stencils and acrylic paint) with a few coats of matte medium for the covers. And that there is a six-needle coptic binding. O.O There was quite a bit of swearing involved, but rather less blood than I was expecting, so! :)

(And that’s Mayhem, “helping”.)


Today I finished the larges book I’ve ever done. It’s 10.7 x 7.6 (27 x 20 cm) inches in size with 600 pages bound in light brown goat leather and blind tooled on all sides. The covers are twice as thick as usual. It weighs around 2 kilograms.

Work on this book was exhausting but it feels great to finish such a thing. After a short break I’ll get back to smaller projects again.


Second Small Treasure Journal

This journal is the second one of a collection of seven journals all tooled with precious metals.

The book is simply decorated with symmetrical gilded floral elements on the top and bottom of the front cover with flowers set in the corners and center. A couple of blind tooled flowers surround the central one and blind tooled spiral borders surround the whole design. The back as well as the inner covers are decorated with gold as well.

Again with much thinner recycled paper with which this rather thin book can hold 336 pages.