Hand Bookbinding, Book Repair, and Book Jewelry

Tag: tengwar

How I Made My Elvish Finishing Tools

So in my last post I briefly mentioned that I made a bunch of tools so my titling for the Silmarillion could look like this:


Titling--Tengwar (Feanorean) characters, in the Classical mode

I made nine tools in total (and will almost certainly be making the six or so more that I need to be able to tool the entire alphabet). Finishing tools are used in bookbinding to impress designs into leather. The general method when tooling on a fine binding is to make a light impression with a cold tool, then to heat the tool to a sizzle and go over the impression again, and then to dampen the leather and tool it with a warm tool. If done well, you end  up with crisp, smooth impressions that are darker than the surrounding leather. This is called blind tooling. They can be left blind, gilded with gold or palladium, or tooled with smoke or carbon to make a very black impression. Read the rest of this entry »

The (Tarnished) Silmarillion

I recently finished my first fine binding, a refined, modern, full-leather binding that often features decorations informed by the contents of the book. What we learn at the North Bennet Street School is a variation of the French style of fine binding, although it’s been informed by the English style. Because we had free reign to choose the book for this project, and I am a huge geek, I bound a copy of The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Here is the finished product (as always, click for full-sized images):

My binding of the Silmarillion, showing both boards

My Silmarillion, completed.

Read the rest of this entry »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.