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2014 IWLF - Bookbinding Exhibition 16th - 19th October

Posted: 2014-08-29 10:45, Edited: 2014-08-29 09:45

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I will be exhibiting once again for the duration of the festival. This year I will be at the popular Kendalls Fine Art Gallery in Bath Road, Cowes. Come and see how the ' written word ' and the craft of bookbinding work in close partnership...

Here are some photographs of the exhibition.

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Stanley Smyth Flower - Illustrations (1893 - 1903)

Posted: 2014-08-26 10:33

A restoration project I have recently completed was a finely executed collection of ink and water coloured, hand illustrations dating from the late 19c and the early Edwardian period. The subject matter being in the main a study of national military uniforms of the era, interspersed with some larger dimensioned portraits and landscapes. The majority of the depictions had been inscribed upon ' carte de visite ' format sized cards, and cuts of Azure/Plain ' laid ' paper which had been paste mounted onto the substrate leaves of a large, multi-sectioned leather album. In general terms the structure of the album was in a sound, functional condition; although re-backing, a number of ' in-situ ' repairs and an overall refurbishment was required. There was presence of inherent acidity in the linen guarded mounts with evidence of minor foxing. Mirrored' set-off ' delineations had also transferred from the images to adjacent verso leaves. Thankfully the quality of the penmanship had not been unduly diminished as a result. To protect the illustrations from abrasion and further acid attack, archival ' Aglas ' Glassine interleaving sheets were ' tipped-in ' along the inner ' gutter margin ' of each mount using an inert CMC (Carboxymethyl Cellulose) adhesive. To follow is a selection of photographs of the project during and post treatment.


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The dry, friable condition of the album's leather covering. Colour loss due UV Sun fading.

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One of the larger full portaits.

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The degraded condition of the leather had lost its tensile strength causing the detachment of the upper board.

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A series of ' carte de visite ' format illustrations. Paste mounted and mostly arranged four to a recto leaf.

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Strengthening ' in-situ ' repairs undertaken on the front mount, linen guard.

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Setting the repairs.

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The existing leather spine is carefully removed as a complete panel in preparation for the re-backing process.

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Dry degraded leather and the weakness it causes to the binding structure.

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New matching grain goatskin leather is cut to the requisite size, pared as necessary for working and then applied to the spine in the re-backing process.

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Affirming the newly pasted re-backed leather to the spine linings.

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Loose illustrations were retained within a ' Mylar ' fold and kept with the restored album.

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The restored album housed within a custom made Drop Lid Box.

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