Materials & Process

Craftsmanship
I believe that handmade should be synonymous with excellence and quality. It takes several hours for me to make each book; everything is done by hand using time-honoured bookbinding techniques and hand tools. This slower, human pace 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 techniques to provide the very best quality book. Unlike mass-produced, machine-made books found in stationery shops, held together only with glue, each of my books is hand-sewn with archival materials in archival binding styles, meaning your book will never fall apart, no matter how often you use it. 
 
Paper

Guest Books, Journals and Mini Journals are bound with Mohawk Superfine Smooth 118gsm paper. The white is a beautifully soft tone (not blue).  Mohawk Superfine is the world's standard for premium uncoated paper. It is produced from 100% virgin fibre, it is acid-free and archival, making it ideal for writing and artwork. It is FSC and Green e-certified, guaranteed to come from well-managed forests and responsibly harvested, manufactured with windpower with zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

Memory Books are bound with Mohawk 216gsm paper, with spacers in the spine to allow for your inclusions such as photographs.

Watercolour Sketchbooks have 300gsm cold pressed fine grain watercolour paper which is an acid free FSC certified paper made in England. Alternative papers for artists are available on request, such as lighter weight watercolour paper, 150gsm cartridge paper or paper for pastels and charcoal. 

Leather

I use fine quality leather from a British tannery with an excellent reputation. Goatskins are organic, tanned only with natural materials, then hand polished and finished to reveal the beauty of their natural gain. 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. The leathers are extremely tactile, smooth and warm to the touch, subtly glossy and they have that lovely leather smell. Please note that some slight markings and discolouration will likely feature in the leather I use to make your books, this is natural and normal however I do cut pieces to minimise any visible marks as much as possible.

Linen

Linen is a strong yet flexible fibre produced from the flax plant, it is one of the most sustainable fibres available. I use waxed linen thread in a variety of colours to sew my books, and have recently introduced unbleached woven linen ribbons as a closure option for a natural, softer look and feel.

Silk

During 2017 I'm starting to make a few books that are closed with silk ribbon for a truly romantic, luxurious and indulgent experience. This 100% silk double satin ribbon is woven to prevent fraying along it's length. 

Vegan, non-leather books
I am currently researching options for non-leather softcover books and hope to introduce a vegan range in 2018. Similarly, I have recently acquired a heavy duty guillotine which should enable me to reintroduce hardback books.
 
The Process 
I use the Longstitch with Linkstitch binding style to make most of my leather books. The style is perfect today for people who need a practical yet beautiful book. It features functional and decorative exposed stitching along the spine so you can see just how the book is made.
 
I start with large sheets of paper, fold and tear them to size with a natural bonefolder to create the distinctive deckle edge, the hallmark of a hand bound book. Then I collect a number of sheets into sections, fold, mark and pierce for sewing. Next I take the leather and cut it to size, carefully selecting a piece with an attractive raw edge if that is to be used. With a collection of tools for precise work, I mark up each sewing station and punch with a Japanese screw punch, creating a perfect circle just a few millimetres diameter. This is preferable to piercing which you often see on hand made books, which creates uneven, unattractive holes.  Then I sew each section through the leather cover with waxed linen thread in a continuous movement from the front to the back of the book. It takes practice to create the perfect thread tension which keeps the book securely bound without wrinkling the leather. Finally I sew or thread in the closure, either a leather thong or strap, a magnetic fob or a natural ribbon to keep the book closed when not in use. 
Size Guide
Memory Books, Guest Books, Condolence Books, Journals and Sketchbooks

All dimensions indicate external dimensions of the closed book. Memory Books have 128 pages of heavy paper & spacers for inclusions; Guest Books, Journals & Sketchbooks have Mohawk Superfine Smooth 118gsm paper, usually 192 pages unless otherwise indicated in the product listing. Pagination can be adjusted a little for bespoke books, speciality artists' papers on request.

 SIZE HEIGHT WIDTH DEPTH
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
Miniature Journals

96 pages of Mohawk Superfine 118gsm paper

 One Size 3 inches or 76 mm 2.25 inches or 60 mm 20 mm or 0.75 inches
Simple Wrap Journals

60 pages of 130 gsm paper

 One Size 6 inches or 148 mm approx.  4.5 inches or 108 mm approx. 20 mm or 0.75 inches
Paperback Notebooks

With Mohawk Superfine 118gsm paper

 A4 Large 297 mm or 11.5 inches approx. 205mm or 8.25 inches approx. 64 pages
A5 Medium 210 mm or 5.75 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
Accordion Books

8 pages of Mohawk heavy paper

A5 Medium Portrait TBC
A6 Small Landscape