I believe that handmade can and should be synonymous with excellence. For me, 'handmade' isn't an excuse for a wonky stitch or an uneven edge. Rather, 'handmade' represents craftsmanship; attention to detail, respect for materials, pride in a job well done, commitment to sustaining a heritage craft and genuine forging of relationships with customers, stockists and suppliers.
And unlike mass-produced, machine-made books, handmade represents quality. To that end, each of my books is hand-sewn with archival materials in archival binding styles, meaning they will never fall apart, no matter how often you use them. Everything is bound by hand using time-honoured bookbinding techniques and tools. New materials, contemporary colours and innovative yet archival binding styles provide freshness and excitement.
The slower, human pace of handmade allows me to pay attention to detail, it has instilled in me an intimate knowledge of materials, and over the years has given me the opportunity to focus on perfecting my techniques.
I bind most of my books with paper that is folded and torn to size the traditional way - by hand. The resulting 'deckle' edges lend an authentic hand bound look and feel to the books.
Mohawk Superfine Smooth. Guest Books, Journals and Mini Journals are bound with this world standard premium uncoated paper which being acid-free and archival, and exceptionally smooth, is ideal for writing. Produced from FSC certified 100% virgin fibre, it is guaranteed to be responsibility harvested from well-managed forests, and is manufactured by windpower with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Mohawk Heavy. Memory Books are bound with Mohawk 216gsm paper, with spacers in the spine to allow for inclusions such as photographs. Accordion Sketchbooks also contain Mohawk heavy pages.
Watercolour & Artist's Papers. Watercolour Sketchbooks have 300gsm cold pressed fine grain watercolour paper which is an acid free, FSC-certified paper made in England. Further papers for artists are available on request, such as lighter weight watercolour paper, 150gsm cartridge paper, or paper for pastels and charcoal.
Recycled cotton rag paper. New for summer 2018, this eco-friendly paper is handmade with 100% cotton rag recycled from textile industry waste. Japanese Sketchbooks are bound with 210gsm medium-rough , Wabi-Sabi Sketchbooks contain 210gsm smooth. Both have pronounced deckle edges and are gelatine sized for ink, watercolour, drawing and printmaking. Khadi paper features natural variations in page size, surface and colour and embodies the wabi-sabi aesthetic; embracing natural imperfections.
Linen is one of the most environmentally sustainable textiles available. Strong, durable and beautifully tactile, its fibres are produced from the flax plant. I use waxed linen thread in a variety of colours to sew the books, and woven linen ribbons as a closure option for a natural, softer look and feel. I will be introducing linen as a covering material for hardback books later this year. By its very nature, linen is vegan.
Cork is an environmentally sustainable, renewable plant-based material produced from the bark of Quercus Suber L., the Cork Oak tree. Cork is an excellent vegan alternative to genuine leather and an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic leather. It is dyed with natural materials and is backed with textile which is 65% cotton, 35% polyester. Cork shares similar properties to leather including softness, strength and durability. It is delightfully tactile, warm to the touch, smooth yet with some natural variations to surface. It is water-resistant, hypoallergenic and available in a variety of colours, all produced from natural dyes.
Protected by law, cork forests are sustainably harvested with rest periods that allow the trees to naturally regenerate their bark. The maintenance of Cork Oak forests is encouraged by the World Wildlife Fund, as these Montados prevent soil erosion and desertification and support a host of other plants and wildlife including endangered species such as the Iberian lynx and Iberian Imperial Eagle. Using cork textile promotes the growth of these forests, which are mainly found in Portugal and other Mediterranean countries.
I use fine quality leather from a British tannery with an excellent reputation. The leathers are extremely tactile, smooth and warm to the touch and subtly glossy. Some slight markings and discolouration will likely feature in the leather I use to make your books; these are natural variations in structure and surface. I do cut pieces to minimise any visible marks as much as possible and the quality and beauty of your book remains first class.
Goatskin is organic, tanned only with natural materials then hand polished and finished to reveal the beauty of its natural, fine grain. Veins and subtle variations in colour and shade are often visible on the inner surface, a testament to the authenticity of this natural material.
Calfskin offers the opportunity for extra large size books and are finished for extra protection. Because no grain correction by machine-embossing is made, the skins retain their natural beauty and are superior to grain-corrected leathers. Slightly less glossy than goatskin, with a distinctive napped inner surface.
Use this Size Guide to check the dimensions of the books you're considering purchasing (dimensions are external and refer to the closed book unless otherwise indicated). If you'd like some guidance with selecting the correct size, feel free to contact Susan the bookbinder: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)7748 759371
|A4 Large Portrait||12 inches or 305 mm||8.5 inches or 215 mm||1.5 inches or 38 mm|
|A4 Large Landscape||8.5 inches or 215 mm||12 inches or 305 mm||1.5 inches or 38 mm|
|A5 Medium Landscape||6 inches or 155 mm||8.5 inches or 215 mm||1.5 inches or 38 mm|
|A5 Medium Portrait||8.5 inches or 215 mm||6 inches or 155 mm||1.5 inches or 35 mm|
|A6 Small Landscape||4.5 inches or 114 mm||6 inches or 155 mm||1 inch or 25 mm|
|A6 Small Portrait||6 inches or 155 mm||4.5 inches or 114 mm||1 inch or 25 mm|
|One Size||3 inches or 76 mm||2.25 inches or 60 mm||20 mm or 0.75 inches|
|A4 Large||297 mm or 11.5 inches approx.||205 mm or 8 inches approx.||64 pages|
|A5 Medium||210 mm or 8.25 inches approx.||145 mm or 5.75 inches approx.||56 pages|
|A6 Small||150 mm or 6 inches approx.||100 mm or 4 inches approx.||48 pages|
|A7 Pocket||106 mm or 4.25 inches approx.||72 mm or 2.75 inches approx.||40 pages|