Bookbinding Detective Work

Bookbinding Detective Work

This video got me excited about bookbinding.

Soul's Kitchen is an excerpt from a longer documentary on Paulus Berensohn. He's a craftsman who teaches bookbinding.

Or rather, he did.

Now he's retired, so I've been forced to teach myself his bookbinding methods through some internet sleuthing.

  Image of Paulus Berensohn's Journals via

Image of Paulus Berensohn's Journals via

How Does Paulus Bind His Journals?

This is a photo of Paulus's journals taken from the Spring From the Hand website. I studied this photo for a long time. I learned that he was using coptic stitch, which led me to a helpful video tutorial. But I couldn't figure out how he was adding the paste paper to the spines of his signatures.

I Googled everything I could think of: "adding paper to signature spine," "decorative spines," etc. Couldn't find anything that helped.

And yes, I know I could create a folio of decorative paper at the end of each signature, but I wanted all the pages to be white, darn it.

The Mystery of Accordion Spacers

Finally I found a pin that gave me an actual term: accordion spacer. Oooh. I'd thought the inserts were purely decorative. I hadn't realized they served as spacers. But when I found that out, I decided I must have them in my next book. I was planning to add a lot of collage and ephemera anyway, so spacers seemed like a good idea.

I felt empowered by my new terminology. But then I Googled "accordion spacer tutorial." And "accordion spacer how-to." And just "accordion spacers." And I found nothing helpful.


Guess it's back to more internet sleuthing. If you know anything about accordion spacers, help a person out, would you?