Recently I spent a morning at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with the assistant curator of photographs, Christian Peterson, looking at portfolios and books that have original photographs bound in as I need to figure out a way of incorporating about twenty photogravures into my book. Christian pulled the books out of storage for me, including many by Lee Friedlander. One was especially interesting as it managed to combine both a quarter bound book, original silver prints and a case.
I’ve now started to output the digital files as film positives and to make test plates for the photogravures.
Rather than print the images on both sides of a double page spread as I originally thought I would, I’ve decided to print each image individually and to bind them into the book separately. The main advantage to this is that it will free me from having to decide the image order early on in the process, allowing me to rearrange and introduce new images, if necessary, right up to the last minute. Also, if I have a problem with one print being too dark, too light, off centre, smudged etc., I won’t have to reprint the other side too.
This method of binding is used successfully in some of 21st Edition’s books, where they bind platinum and photogravure prints in with offset printed pages.
Last night we made a book using 8 signatures with instructor Jana Pullman and collected the paper we’d made the week before with Jeff Rathermel. We were pressed for time as Jana tried to condense what would normally have been a six hour workshop into three hours, but we came out on the right side of 9 pm. There are one or two minor things wrong with my book, but the important thing was learning how to sew multiple signatures together.