Wednesday 14 October 2020

Preparing to bind the chapbook

By request, my husband (artist James Hayes) made me a beautiful (all-powerful, almighty, awesome) awl for my birthday this year. He even made a holder for it to protect the sharp point -

and to protect me from the sharp point! I used to have an awl but it went AWOL some years ago, and last year when I did a lot of bookbinding I resolved to get another because I was fed up using pushpins! With the founding of Precariat Press in the spring of this year, I knew I'd be doing more bookbinding, so getting a new awl was mandatory. So when this gorgeous tool was made specially for me, I swooned!

Once I had decided on the concept, design, cover image & printing, the poems to be included and the layout (all of which I discussed here, here and here) the final step was to collate and bind. Collating all the pages together into booklets also required a lot of folding with my trusty bone folder.

I had a second mock-up book (from which I made corrections) and I measured out where the 3 binding holes would be placed and, after punching these holes used the individual pages as templates for the final books. I had decided early on that I would be doing a traditional 3-hole chapbook bind.

Once binding holes had been punched in all the chapbooks (it is an edition of 50), I was ready to start binding. I had picked up 6-strand cotton thread in a colour to match the cover some weeks ago. In next week's blog I will discuss the journey of the thread to bind the chapbooks.

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