Staple Stone Veneer Binding

2018-07-24
Full sheet of stone veneer
On the Europe bookbinding trip that I took with American Academy of Bookbinding in 2011, we got to meet Sün Evrard, a Hungarian bookbinder who is based in France. We were lucky to be able to see her staple binding made with different materials. I was particularly drawn to the stone veneer, as with most people. Since then I have always wanted to learn how to use stone veneer in Sün's way. Coleen Curry learnt how to do this binding at Sün's class a few years ago and has been teaching other students this binding structure.
Tooling the spine with a brass rod
Some people when the see the stone veneer they can't believe it's actually real stone. It's a technology where they laser cut the stone to about 0.3mm and then as it is being cut there's a backing that is sprayed on that stabilises the stone. The result is a sheet of stone that is 0.3mm thin but looks and acts sort of like paper. It's so thin that it can wrap around a 2mm diameter rod. The stone veneer takes tooling well, the stone also cuts very well, which is one of the reasons why I was very curious about it. I was thinking about all the different things I could do with cutting the stone, I have yet to experiment with that. That's another thing to add on my to do to list.
Dummy made out of scrap paper
The staple binding is a binding that Sün developed based on studying historical bindings. We did a pamphlet stitch onto endpapers and the end papers are attached to the stone with staples. It's a secondary sewing where the textblock is not glued, is protected by the endpapers and is not exposed to the covers. This structure that we did in class is for a single section. From the dummy you can see that there are some wooden rods which adds up to be the thickness of the text blocks. The rods are stuck to the endpapers, and the endpapers are folded back in and the staples go in the fold to attach the cover to the textblock.
Book ready for the staples to be attached
We all managed to make our books within the class time. I still have to finish off mine as I kept the stone open so that I can cut into it for my design work. I really enjoyed the class and am now thinking of ways to use the stone veneer for different purposes but also to use in books. I'm very grateful to have gotten this opportunity to go to Sydney to take this class, I've always wanted to take it but then it didn't make sense to go all the way to Telluride for this. I really enjoyed my time in Sydney, the weather was so nice when I was there and I got to do what I love which is to make books!
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