A.K.A. "Is this thing on?". Yes, one of those posts I'd never read myself past the first line if it had the poor fortune to show up in my freinds list. Ahhem....
So, yes! I *have* been away for a bit of a while. Gathering fodder for the novel, naturally, which means there's no need to clutter up any of my blogs with *any* of it. Apologies to all whom I've fallen out of LJ touch with while life went on and happened, but there you have it. I have survived to tell the tale, and that's quite good enough for me.
I have, meanwhile, acquired a hobby wholly suitable for posting about in LJ, just so long as I don't tip my hand *too* clearly as to what I am *going* to do with it.
Two words: Miniature Bookbinding.
Yep. Rough times hit, and what do I do? Revert to teaching myself a 5000-year-old handicraft, of course! So there.
Long ago I promised a review of "X", but failed to deliver it in anything approaching a timely fashion. (First off: I'm *not* a critic; second: how *any* critic *can* effectively write of anthologies is infinitely far beyond the limited scope of my comprehension, proving with ultimate finality that critics *are* superior to the writers whose works they unerringly judge.) For this unpardonable delay, I *would* apologise, but radio men *never* apologise. So there.
I think I can say nothing either kinder nor more true of "X" at this point than that I would *love* to rebind just one single copy as it *deserves* to be bound. Of course the cover art must stay, but also leather needs must be involved. I'm not quite there yet, so, o course, that project might take several years to get around to, but there you have it. That's my timeline and I'm sticking to it.
Bookbinding isn't a fast process. It *is* ridiculously cheap, at least in terms of raw materials. Equipment is less cheap, but many tools can be made for nothing or next to nothing from things you really do having lying 'round your house. But labour? Oy vey. Bookbinding is *extremely* labour intensive. Very exacting, and very time consuming. (Also very calming and fulfilling.) My first successful miniature definitely cost far lest than 50 cents worth of materials and *maybe* five or ten bucks in equipment. But if I were paid to bind books what I'm paid to ship 'em, THIS would be a $160 book:
Yes, that is an Oxberry ruler marked in inches, and yes, the book's a just bit on the small side. The finished covers measure 39mm by 41mm. It comprises a single hand-sewn signature of eight white leaves hardbound inside black paper-wrapped boards, with overlaid cutout red paper title on front cover and hand-inked title on overlaid red paper on spine with matching red endpapers. Yep, folks -- the simplest harcover binding I could work up, start to finish, before moving on.( Collapse )
Would go on but can honestly think of no more profoundly wasteful or frustrating way of sharing and preserving information than posting to livejournal. :^| Seriously -- in the time it's taken me to figure out how to caption the above pictures without having my captions repeatedly shift around or flat-out disappear, I could have made a book. And in the time it's taken me to whine about it, I could have written something both substatial and worth reading. This probably all makes me look like a horrible person, but who cares. At least I can bind books. Nyaah. ;p
Next time I've got time to burn timing my keystrokes to an overheating laptop or ill-designed operating system: the Van de Graaf Canon of Page Construction and THE GOLDEN RECTANGLE at 1cm across, soft-bound in a spine measuring 2mm deep. Tune in! It should be live online sometime in the next twenty years. The book itself is already long done. ;^) ;^)
Aww heck, here's a sneak preview of "Golden Rectangle" -- since I never know when I may post in here again:
Front cover, showing Golden Rectangle Construction.
Rear cover, showing Golden Rectangles Nested. Just remember "the square root of five divided by two is to one-half" and you won't go terribly wrong.
Yeah they're fuzzy but my stoopid blueberry doesn't have a macro. Stupid bad technology. Give me ink and paper *any* day. I'm serious.
And now, for shits and giggles only, pure and simple:
Yep. A quick and dirty last minute production. Plain brown wrappers all the way. Not miniature. Just a portfolio type binding for some papers to be hand-delivered from a freind to a freind. This monstrosity *intended* for destruction came into being just last night and frankly isn't meant to survive, but just to protect the contents in transit. Go figure...
Will work my way up to leather bindings this year. So help me. Am struggling on sunk cords in sawn signature edges at the moment, but might be working too small with the wrong tools.