Commissioning Your Leatherbound Book
Help With the Online Commission Form
We’ve been limiting custom orders for some time now to give priority to our personal projects and search for book structures we love. We’re slowly feeling more comfortable to provide the service of custom work to our customers but again, with some certain things to keep in mind.
The books we’re currently making all share the same dimensions, regarding height and width – around 15 x 10.5 cm or 5.9 x 4.1 inches. The reason is that we’ve spent the most time perfecting this format and feel most comfortable to work with clients. Larger and more exotic formats are still in our field of experimentation and are going to be added in the future.
To make things more approachable for our clients, we created a thorough Custom Order Form to ease things towards our first conversation:
The base value for every custom order is 200 € (EUR) with each detail in the form contributing to the end price. This doesn’t mean that the cheapest book is 200 € but rather that pricing begins at this price.
After every detail is thoroughly discussed and the end price finalized – the payment can be processed through a PayPal invoice or through Etsy’s custom order function on our shop there.
In the form you’ll find different choices of volume from 200 to 550 pages. The selection is based on making a functional book. We can always make a book with 2000 pages, however it will prove to be quite uncomfortable for use.
Endpapers are the first and last pages on a book that serve a structural and decorative purpose at the same time. We most often use our sturdy handmade paper made in the bindery and offer a simple attachment or one with a leather joint for a different look and added durability.
Each of our books is sewn on some kind of support to ensure a long lasting structure. Traditionally these supports are either twine cords or cotton tapes. If you prefer a smoother spine on the book you’ll be most pleased with the tape or sunken cord choice, while if you prefer the age-old look with raised cords, that option would be most appropriate.
Cover boards protect the vulnerable book body from damage and provide the canvas for making the book truly beautiful. We work with a grey paper board or millboard. Some of our works are made finer with a single layer of millboard. To achieve a sturdier look and structure we also construct our cover boards with double layers. Both are an excellent choice and we leave it to the preference of the customer.
Headbands and Tailbands (Endbands) are the additional attachments to the head and tail of the book spine that provide protection and aesthetic value to the book and although sometimes left underappreciated – they strongly influence the overall look of the finished book. We use mostly cotton thread for our weaves.
They is a vast array of weaves and methods of creating endbands but for the form, we decided just to simplify the choice to Simple, Complex and Leather Braid. The method will be considered with the client and with the rest of the selected choices.
Simple endbands would be single or double core weaves with a maximum of two colors of thread.
Complex endband weaves would incorporate a more advanced combination multiple cores or color choices, sometimes adorned with glass beads.
The Leather Braid is an age-old method of weaving leather strips through a sewn-on core and through the leather on the spine – creating a sturdy and exotic adornment on the book.
We use leather of the upmost quality, made with bookbinding in mind. During the tanning process, only sumac and other natural materials are used, maintaining the natural character of each skin. In addition, no pigment finishes are added and no grain corrections are made.
We keep a stock of Brown, Crimson, Yellow and Blue skins. We accept orders with other colors as well, however that choice would require some additional preparation on our part, mainly ordering the leather and other additional materials that would match this particular color choice.
Decorating our books is one of the most enjoyable processes, as it is the practice of turning an ordinary object into a beautiful one. The form offers many choices and they will be discussed thoroughly with the client. We take pride in our minimal and our overly complex designs all the same.
Silver clasps are another age-old addition to a book. Each piece of silverwork is designed and made by my father, most often using sterling silver. The design will be compatible with the other choices of the client.
The choices for placement are for one or two on the fore edge (tall side of the book) and a total of three clasps on each edge.
Corners are another adornment that adds protection and decorative flavor to a binding. One choice is to make four corners for the outer corners of the covers, as they are most prone to damage. The other choice is for clients with a strong eye for symmetry, making a total of eight corners to adorn the two covers fully.
Again, the silver fittings correspond in design and complexity to the other choices of the client, such as tooling complexity, size and color.
Some of our books have additional central fittings on one or both covers, which if the client wishes – can be implemented into the order.
Precious Materials on Fittings
We have the skills and motivation to adorn any of the fittings with additional precious materials, such as different types of gold, as well as precious and semi–precious gemstones such as citrines, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds. Each detail will be thoroughly discussed with the client.
Matching Wood/Silver Dip Pen
My father designs and creates dip pens for writing and calligraphy from various exotic woods, such as mahogany, ebony, rosewood, bocote and others. Each one is fitted with silver fittings or inlays. We offer the choice to create a personalized pen to go with your commissioned book.
Starting the Conversation
The Commission form is a tool intended to help start the conversation regarding your custom order. Don’t worry, as it is not a purchase form and we’ll discuss any of your concerns before going through with the order . All of the choices you’ll find in the form are in this article but if you need any further assistance, please feel free to contact us!