Monday, September 19, 2011

Accordion Books Part 1

This past week, I have been dedicated to mastering the Accordion book form. The accordion book is one of the first book structures taught in bookbinding class. The premise of the book is relatively simple--you fold some pages, cover your front and back cover, and then you glue the text block (the folded sheets) in place and you are done. While that might sound simple in theory, it is deceptively difficult to execute with precision.

The first problem (and one that I will illustrate later) is pyramiding your pages. The perfect accordion book has pages that lie exactly on top of each other. You have to fold with precision in order to make this happen. Most times, one page will jut out past the other pages which will spoil the look of the book.

I had a special order from a customer that wanted me to make her an accordion book and to use vintage fabric for the book cloth. In order to get the mechanics right, I made some prototypes because I didn't want to ruin or waste her fabric.

Here is a book where I used a fabric from a baby shower as a book cloth. While I love the fabric, there were a few problems that I had to work out. The customer wants ties on the front and back of the book. This option allows you to open the accordion book like a regular book (if you keep the back tied together). In the sample below, the ties are too short and I forgot to cut the grosgrain ribbon at an angle (thereby allowing it to fray).

Below is the second problem that I had. The photo shows the inside covers of the book and the ribbon is leaving a large indentation in the cover. What I also realized is the ribbon wasn't too short--it simple didn't need to be placed so far into the covers.

Having noticed my mistakes, I decided to try and make another prototype before tackling my commissioned book. This time, I used a separate piece of fabric from the same lot. Also, I wanted to try a different closure. This closure would have the ribbon exit the back (spine) of the book and would come forward to tie on the front (fore edge).

This solved several issues that I had with the first prototype and would help me with a book that I would make for my Iron Craft project this week. I also solved the problem with the indentation of the ribbon as shown below.

While this is a bad picture because of the lighting, you can barely see in the middle crease where the ribbon is fixed to the book. This time, I cut a more shallow groove for the ribbon and then I filled in the indentation with a piece of scrap paper. I then used a waste sheet as filler so the the turn-ins wouldn't be as prominent.

Tomorrow, I will share with you my commissioned project.

No comments: