Monday, August 28, 2006

'ello, 'ello... wot's all this then?

Still struggling under the weight of catalogue deadline, but I just thought I'd quickly share some booky stuff that I've been up to during my daytime working hours (as opposed to my night-time working hours, separated only by a slight car trip).

AFP book, standing

Ta daaa!

I know, it's a plain blue book standing on its tail. But no! It is more than that. It is a collaborative venture between the Australian Federal Police, Old Parliament House, the ANU Inkjet Research Facility and me (the bookbinder (or more formally, the BookStud)(but really, just me, 'cause there's no one else)). Yairs.

title page

Can you read that? This book was created in a mad flappy rush over the last week because it has to be put on display on Wednesday as part of a big exhibition at Old Parliament House, and then will tour Australia for ever and a day and then finish up as part of the OPH and AFP archives. le puff! Oh, and did I mention a very small budget? Sigh, as always.

So J of the Inkjet RF came to me and asked me if I'd bind this book. The people requesting it wanted 3 copies, digitally printed double sided, with hard covers, gold blocking, the lot. We did a quote, gave it to them, watched them freak, and then offered to give them a 45% discount. And then they told us the deadline, and watched us freak.

The thing is, with these sorts of projects, if you aren't just a little bit generous, they just don't get off the ground. Luckily for them I've just learned how to bind hardback books Teh Right Way, and am keen to practice. Luckily for them J is experimenting with printing double-sided sheets and is keen to practice. So we merged our empires and made a police book baby.

open pages with documents

The pages are printed on double-sided cotton inkjet paper, and we printed them 4-up, so I also had to be the consultant as to book imposition. It was a steep learning curve for J, but now he's got the hang of it, he's keen to do more.

There have been a few hiccups along the way, and the first copy is always the bodgy one (and will hopefully be the only one without a gold-blocked title), but we were so proud of ourselves when I brought the volume in to be admired. I managed (a miracle!) to find the right blue bookcloth in our meagre stash, and I used a good serviceable brown for the endpapers, and my little touch of charm is the black&white striped headbands.

headband goodness

Check out the perky headband goodness. It's the little details like that that no-one else will notice, but I'll know are there. And now you know too, so pass the word on. Don't look at the bodgy bits, because no one else will, apparently, as I was told by all and sundry. There are some bits of it I'm ashamed to let out in the big wide world, but I'll learn to live with that pain.

Sigh. Only two more books to make, and I'm hoping to learn how to use the gold blocking thingy at my bookbinding class to make them look even more special.

another page view

All the documents in the book relate to the police involvement in the opening of Old Parliament House. Most of them are carbon copies, and today we were talking about the irony of such humble copies being elevated to acid-free paper and public exhibition.

Apparently you'll be able to see this book as you walk into the OPH exhibition. It will have a hole drilled into its newborn back so that it can be chained to the podium like a medieval bible. All my care to keep it pristine and clean will be undone as the white gloves provided are smeared with sweat and icecream stickiness. But at least it will be seen, which is more than I can say for a lot of the books I make, doomed to a gallery archive and pulled out twice a century for survey shows.

One more headband shot, and it's time for bed:


Aww. So cute.


Boysenberry said...

Job well done, I'd say.

Bronwen said...

Well done... how do you do the headband?

Galaxy said...

It does look noice. Lovely headband, phwoar!

I like all this book-making talk.

Ampersand Duck said...

Actually, bronwen, headbands are really easy, because you can buy them in lengths and in all sorts of patterns and colours from bookbinding suppliers. you cut off a bit, and stick it to the book block before you start strengthening the spine.

I have a book which tells me how to weave and stitch your own headbands onto the book. I'm keen to try it, but for something that has more time and money allocated to it :)

Thanks, others! I'll do some more book talk once Deadline is reached.

seepi said...

- would it be easier to just print single sided pages?
I guess it looks more like a standard book with double sided.
good stuff.
- any Open Day piccies coming?

Val said...

So gorgeous! But a bit of a surprise to find out that those headbands can be simply...bought! I'm afraid to go to a bookbinding supply place. BTW, are Japanese screw punches available in Australia? Have you used one before? I practically break my hand trying to push/hammer my way through covers and signatures!

Ampersand Duck said...

Mmm, not sure, val. I may have seen one, but I'm not sure because I never know the names of things! What do they look like?

Seepi... no! I was so busy coping with the various dramas of this book last saturday that I forgot to take photos! Sorry. It was a very quiet Open Day, but we made a killing on the sausage sizzle, apparently.

naomi said...

Looks lovely. There I was saying to my students today that no NSW or national history of policing has yet been written ... at least now there's a national exhibition.

And if anyone wants a PhD/life's work kind of topic, that's the one.

BTW Duck, got a post card from our in-laws. They asked if I'd heard from Felicity [for non-family bloggers, Felicity is the fluffiest baddest cat that ever stalked the earth].

Rach said...

Gorgeous. Good luck with getting the rest done!

Mummy/Crit said...

Wow, it's lovely. I'll have to tell my stepfather about it. he's jsut writtten a book about the relationship between police and aborigines in the 1800s but I reckon he might get a kick out of looking at it.

Lucy Tartan said...

It's very beautiful Ms Duck. I'vew been meaning to ask - what is bookcloth, and how's it different from not-bookcloth?