FAQ Book Binding

Do you sell your books? Where can I get one?
    Yes, we do. Check out our shop for made books or request a custom order.

I want to know more about your materials / process.
Click Me <-- Article about exactly that. Also, to see work in progress pictures of our commissioned orders check out Ann Enchanted's Facebook.

 How long does it take you to put a book together?
    The time varies a lot from book to book. On average, 2-3 days. The basic bookbinding can easily be done in an afternoon but we do a lot of extra things that are time consuming.
     A custom order is a bit tricky because it isn't about what I would do, it's about getting into the mind of my buyer. So, after me and my commissioner have agreed on details I have a day or so of sketching out the piece for their OK. And then when I go to actually make it there's the trouble of matching my initial sketch. All in all a custom order will take about four days.

Do you mind if I share your books on Tumblr? / Pininterest / Etc  
   Go right ahead. Just be sure to link back to us somehow, and we'd love to know that you've shared us somewhere.

Is the original work on the book or do you get a manufacturer to put the print on it for you?

    Everything we put on a book is the original version, drawn out by hand.

What method of binding do you use?
    Long-stitching and then case binding, primarily. For cords we use a long-stitch mutation of our own devising.

Would you ever repeat a cover design?
   I like the fact that every book is its own creature and the person who takes it home has something no one else does. That said, upon request I do repeat books while making certain changes in the process: the scaling of the art on the cover, the frilly scroll work on the spine of the book, the tones in the background, etc. Something will change, but the idea stays the same.

How did you make the cloth form to the book?
    The Cloth is painted canvas. The priming and painting makes it stiffer to work with, meaning it keeps shapes better. Then I lay it across the spine and start shaping it over the book. Best tool I've found to get it to rest in there is my own two thumbs. Then I glue it so it'll stay where I tell it to.

How do you get a design pressed into the cover like that?

    I score it with a bone folder and alot of hand pressure.

Do you always paint your books?
    Yes, technically all books are painted. The nude canvas is painted before binding. The real tough thing is ink work or additional painting once the book is already bound.

Arn't you scared, after all the work of bookbinding, to screw it up when you paint?
    It was pretty scary the first couple times, but I think my choice of mediums helped a little. It creates a kind of bridge to put canvas on the book covers because canvas invites me to paint it. Plus, all that fear of ruining it just makes me concentrate extra hard. 

Wouldn't it have been easier to just paint directly on the book cover rather than on a separate canvas that you had to attach to the cover?
    Painting it on canvas prior to binding is better for me. To stretch out the canvas before me and paint it as one solid, flat piece. If I were to paint the canvas once it were on the book I would be working around the shape of that book, and the painting wouldn't have the same fluidity.

What type of paint / medium do you use?
    Heavy body acrylic paint. But I'm a mixed media fan so watercolor, graphite, pens and markers, also tend to find themselves in there as well. Ink designs are done with a dip style calligraphy pen and a pot ink. 

Have you ever ruined a bound book?
    My first one was a disaster, but I decided to keep it and have since used it to sketch out construction concepts for all my following books. I call it the Book of Books (so terribly not clever, I know) and it's sort of a humbling reminder of my progress.
     As far as ruining one while painting it... not really. I mean, there are a ton of little mistakes of course. Paint went one way and ruined the layering I had been building, the quill drops a giant ink blot while i'm trying to draw etc.. but I just always turn it into part of the work.

Did you learn somewhere? Or are you self taught?
    A bit of column a, a bit of column b. I've always been art-inclined and have taken as many classes of the like as I could. The bookbinding in particular is a combination of family knowledge, book learning / internet research, and good ol' creative process of elimination.

How hard is binding a book by hand?
    Book binding is a series of many simple and easy steps, strung together to make something more complicated. Each individual step is relatively easy to learn. When you want that book to be something else, like tooled leather, a painting, or you start adding things such as flap over covers... then it's as hard as you want to make it.

I thought grimoires were bad or evil, or is that just what xenophobic nutcases like the witch hunters thought? Isn't it an "Evil book that summons evil creatures.".
    The technical definition of grimoire describes it as a manual, or textbook, of magical instructions. It has root in the word 'grammar' which is the 'study of' or 'body of rules' in language. Sometimes use of the word grimoire can indicate that the book itself possess intrinsic magical qualities, likely because it was made by someone who imbued it with those traits.
    To be honest there is quite a substantial amount of old grimoires that are chock full of pure, undiluted crazy. There are just as many that read like quaint cookbooks of magic, and then others like read like science journals, explaining everything in clinical facts. Personally I just love the word grimoire. Its got the good and the bad connotations and it rolls of the tongue nicely, I think.

Do you know where I can learn to bookbind?
    Sure. These are my favorite links.
    Longstitch Case Binding - Link & Link
    Coptic Binding Video - Link
    (First of) Series of Videos in pretty much real-time - Link

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