Bookbinding and the Care of Books: A Handbook for Amateurs, Bookbinders and Librarians

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Kessinger Publishing, 2008 - Crafts & Hobbies - 340 pages
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THE ARTISTIC CRAFTS SERIES OF TECHNICAL HANDBOOKS EDITED BY W. R. LETHABY BOOKBINDING BOOKBINDING, AND THE CARE OF BOOKS A TEXT-BOOK FOR BOOKBINDERS AND LIBRARIANS BY DOUGLAS COCKERELL WITH DRAWINGS BY NOEL ROOKE AND OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS. Considered by many bookbinders and librarians to be the clearest and most valuable exposition of hand bookbinding in English, this volume concisely covers virtually every aspect of the craft - from folding and collating pages, trimming and gilding edges, to preparing covers, designing and inlaying on leather, and creating clasps and ties. PREFACE IN issuing this volume of a Series of Editor's Handbooks on the Artistic Crafts, it Preface will be well to state what are our general aims. In the first place, we wish to provide trustworthy text-books of workshop practice, from the points of view of experts who have critically examined the methods current in the shops, and putting aside vain survivals, are prepared to say what is good workmanship, and to set up a standard of quality in the crafts which are more especially associated with design. Secondly, in doing this, we h o e to treat design itself as an essential part of good workmanship. During the last century most of the arts, save painting vii Editor and sculpture of an academic kind, were Preface little considered, and there was a tendency ti look on design as a mere matter of appearance. Such ornamentation as there was was usually obtained by following in a mechanical way a drawing provided by an artist who often knew little of the technical processes involved in production. With the critical attention given to the crafts by Ruskin and Morris, it came to be seen that it was impossible to detachdesign from craft in this way, and that, in the widest sense, true design is an inseparable element of good quality, involving as it does the selection of good and suitable material, contrivance for special purpose, expert workmanship, proper finish and so on, far more than mere ornament, and indeed, that ornamentation itself was rather an exuberance of fine workmanship than a matter of merely abstract lines. Workmanship when separated by too wide a gulf from fresh thought-that is, from designing inevitably decays, and, on the ... other hand, Vlll ornamentation, divorced from workman-Editorial ship, is necessarily unreal, and quickly Preface falls into affectation. Proper ornamentation may be defined as a language addressed to the eye it is pleasant thought expressed in the speech of the tool. In the third place, we would have this series put artistic craftsmanship before people as furnishing reasonable occupations for those who would gain a livelihood. Although within the bounds of academic art, the competition, of its kind, is so acute that only a very few per cent. can fairly hope to succeed as painters and sculptors yet, as artistic craftsmen, there is every probability that nearly every one who would pass through a sufficient period of apprenticeship to workman.. ship and design would reach a measure of success. In the blending of handwork and thought in such arts as we propose to deal with, happy careers may be found as far removed from the dreary routine of hack labour, as from the terrible un ix Editors certainty of academic art. It is desirable Preface in every way that men of good education should be brought back into the productive crafts there are more than enough of us inthe city, and it is probable that more consideration will be given in this century than in the last to Design and Workmanship.

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