Binding the Crow Book – Part One

Posted: June 14, 2015 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , ,

This week I started binding the final draft of “The illustrated lyrics of Old Man Crow “ text-blockhere’s the text block printed, cropped & squared ready for drilling the location holes for stitching stitching-in-processJapanese side stitch in process stitchedtext block stitched and ready for the covers preparing-covers300 gsm cartridge (for those in the US this is equivalent to a 140 pound good quality acid free drawing paper) with relief sculpting of wing wrap, crow foot on back & preparation for front cover wing-edgewing edge ready to be glued in place wing-detailwing edge trimmed and ready to receive the leather crow-foot-back-covercrow foot in place along with the front cover relief layer all cut out scalpel-bladethe Old Man Crow  logo printed to size and pasted onto the cover to locate the relief layer No 11 scalpel blades are perfect for cutting precise detail but they lose their point quickly preparing-the-front-covercover ready for relief sculpting front cover relief detailfront cover relief sculpting relief-cut-and-pasted-downcovers ready to receive the leather leather-cut-to-sizeleather cut to size with not a millimeter to spare ready for pasting up with a mixture of wheat paste and acid free PVA wet-leather-moldedkeeping the leather moist with the sea sponge gives me time to push all the edges into place with fingertips, bone folders and the handy dentist tool, the covers need to dry now for a few days under weights before trimming out, lining and stitching the text block into place

  1. dinahmow says:

    What is the edition size? Or is it a unique work? Either way, my creaky fingers applaud you,Mo.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Thanks for the good words Di, this is the one off leather bound hand printed prototype to take to the local printer for the limited edition of 100 copies to be made with die cut faux black leather cardboard covers. Each of the hundred copies will be hand coloured, signed and numbered with a hand knotted talisman bookmark stitched into the spine. It’s all getting very real even though it’s still well over a year til the launch, there is plenty to do but enough time to keep the pace a bit leisurely. This is the best thing I have ever made in my whole life!

  2. There’s something about the precision of bookmaking that really appeals to me . . . it may not be completed but it’s astoundingly beautiful already.

  3. deanna7trees says:

    such fine, beautiful detailing. a real masterpiece.

  4. Carol says:

    I can just feel that beautiful, soft leather as you manipulate it into the cover. It looks wonderful, Mo!

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Carol, it’s really getting there! yesterday I was thinking about making the 100 talisman bookmarks out of red linen thread with little stitched red felt hearts to reflect The Stole of Bandaged Hearts which was made at the beginning of this book’s journey. If I make one bookmark a day, that would be 100 days, almost a third of a year… so I think I had better make two a day for the next few months while we are waiting to hear from Marrickville Council re the application for the independent artist’s grant which will help with the printing costs if we get it but also holds up going to the printer as they would need acknowledgement printed on the info page. The process of applying for the grant put it all into a workable framework so even if I don’t get any money getting the quotes, writing the statement and working out a budget all really helped to start getting this show on the road!

  5. It is thrilling to see the step-by-step process and you are amazing with a knife! I would have had little red blood spots all over the book block by that time…

  6. shemann says:

    how exciting! looking forward to seeing it finished.

  7. Judy Martin says:

    Thank you for the step by step into your process. I am floored by the beauty and lusciousness of the leather cover. wow.

  8. Eliene says:

    Love it all Mo..but my personal favourite element is the wing. Your attention to detail always amazes me.

  9. vdbolyard says:

    looking very good. i like the wing detail.

  10. handstories says:

    Oh, wow, Mo- such detailed work, I can’t imagine the hours…love the winged edge. just beautiful.

    • Mo Crow says:

      this book has taken all our lives to come together, it’s about the man’s lifetime of music, it’s about love, it’s about all the old friends who have passed on, it’s about our partnership that will last til death do us part… it’s a celebration!

  11. wow, now that’s a lot of work!!
    How many in the edition Mo?

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Louise, thanks for visiting & you know all about precise and intricate work, deep bow from here! this hand bound and printed book is the prototype for the limited edition of 100 hand coloured, signed and numbered books which will be printed here in Sydney by Pure Colours Digital Imaging with hand knotted talisman bookmarks stitched into the spine and 4 CDs in pockets in the back cover.

  12. margaret johnson says:

    Oh WOW, Mo. Fantastic to see your process via pics. Beautiful indeed. ox

    • Mo Crow says:

      Just bought the black Somerset paper for the endpapers this morning so they can be pasted in tomorrow morning & should be able to stitch the text block in by Wednesday, it’s looking amazing!

  13. deemallon says:

    so much skill. so much heart. I love reading your words that it ‘is the best thing you’ve ever made’. it certainly is the culmination of many, many years of practice at both of your crafts.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Thanks Dee! it’s all about the finishing touches now & we have have 14 and a bit months to get it “right”, there’s a few months space now waiting to hear if we get the independent artist’s grant before this prototype goes to the printer so while I hand colour each of the songs I will also be checking each of the printed pages with a magnifying glass for any little glitches & double checking the digital files to make sure they are saved at the right size with the text perfect and converted to greyscale.

  14. beth says:

    The precision and attention to detail… I’m a little stunned by the amount of work you have done for this project. The cover is magnificent.

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Beth, Old Man Crow is a little nervous about having the poster stuck on the wall right where he eats breakfast, there is still quite a lot of work to do on the recordings but we have time

  15. emilysuzanna says:

    It is just beautiful, Mo…thank you for sharing the process…hope the grant comes through…

  16. coloremartine says:

    Such fine work…………i already love it!

  17. karmadondruplhamo says:

    your love is so Strong. for the work, the process, the Life. A FINE example for all of us

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Grace))) just finished stitching the text block into the covers will wait for the morning light to take photos, doing the happy dance here!

  18. ravenandsparrow says:

    Holy moly Mo! This is fascinating and so inspiring…I keep scrolling up and down, looking at everything over and over. Your skills are prodigious.

  19. oh, Mo, I love this.. I would love to touch it.. that’s the hard part of the internet.
    Happy winter solstice there and summer here..

  20. Heather says:

    Absolutely amazing. I am in awe.

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