With permission from Lois McMaster Bujold via GoodReads:
June 6: you said to Lois:
Dear Ms Bujold,
I’m an amateur bookbinder and a fan of your Vorkosigan books. While Easton Press was nice enough to craft some of them in leather, they certainly did not do all of them and I have been rebinding NESFA copies of the books they did not do. However, I have hit a snag.
I would very much like to bind “Winterfair Gifts” on it’s own (in white leather with silver gilding) but as far as I can tell, it was never released in English as a stand alone. So I’m writing to ask your permission to print it out myself and bind it- not for resale but just for personal use.
If you will allow, I could make two and send one to you also.
Thanks very much
Lois said to you:
Single copy for your own use, sure, go ahead. Qualifies as fanac in my view.
Why, yes, I would like to have one for myself, sure, although (having just downsized my house and bookshelves) not critical.
If you can see your way clear to fixing any typos before printing, even better…
June 27 2014
I’m trying a new 100% cotton paper in a heavier weight than I’ve used before (32 lb Southworth Business in white). I don’t know if that will make the edges easier to gild, more difficult or not different.
I needed to print out two copies and my stupid printer kept folding over pages on the corners… which also messes up the printing on that page. However, I finally managed to get two fair copies to bind. I did try to fix all the typos… but I probably introduced different ones and there’s at least one place where I wish I had caught the formatting before I printed but it’s small enough that I don’t know if I will try and fix it- my program insists on printing the entire document and that gets awfully expensive in ink and paper.
I had a lot of other pictures of the signatures before they were folded and of the recycling while it was still a mess all over the floor but my camera decided to be freaky and I lost them.
Next thing is to punch the signatures and see if I can remember how to stitch a book!
I’m waiting on the bole to finish drying before I put sizing on and lay on the silver for the first foredge so I thought it would be a good time for a brief update and notes to myself.
Waxed linen cord is actually available at Walmart…
A note here: I need to remember that I should NOT put on the end papers before I plow, always plough from the spine to the foredge and do put scrap paper in in place of the end paper as it is going to get shredded. Without the scrap paper, it will be the first and last pages of my signatures that get shredded and I don’t want that.
The bole (which worked very very well) is a few drops of titanium white Gouache paint mixed with a little PVA and water until it is the consistency of milk
Next is to lay out the tools. The glair I’m using for the edge is PVA beaten in water until it is also a milk like consistancy. Since silver will tarnish, I’m sealing it with Speedball Mona Lisa sealer for gilding.
Silver is a lot more forgiving than gold- it’s thicker so it’s less apt to get messed up by an errant breath of wind (say, from the cat charging past at full speed).
Sliver applied- waiting for it to fully dry before applying the sealer.
Ok, now that the gilding is done on the edges, the spine needs to be slightly rounded and the shoulders created. I should have rolled the signatures a bit before chocking it up in the press- the foredge did not get that concave effect.
I sewed the bookmark to the headband before I applied it…. and the kitten tried to run off with my roll of headband!
Brown paper over the mull and headband- this can even be a piece of grocery bag as long as it’s acid free.
Preping the leather for the cases. Doe skin is lovely but too stretchy and I won’t be using it again.
Ok, here I had pictures of casing the books… and my camera and computer in conjunction lost them. I do feel that I’ve documented that pretty well before however and it’s a simple task.
Glair for the cover decoration. A note- glair is glair but there are several different ways to make it. I use two different kinds because I find that the beaten and strained egg white I use for the cover gilding is not strong enough for the edges and the PVA glair I use on the edges is too effective for the cover. (In other words, the whole leaf sticks and is the very devil to get off if you even can… and then the whole thing comes off leaving none of the leaf in your designs.)
Egg white beaten until it is foamy and then I have to let it sit overnight and strain it through a coffee filter in the morning.
I finished these yesterday… and the second copy had to be rebound because the cover got so botched in the finishing that it couldn’t be fixed.
As I said, I had to rebind this copy (in blue because I was out of white) and the gilding still did not come out as planned! I hope Ms Bujold likes it anyway.
Finished at last! There are some things I would have liked to do better- chalk it up to a learning experience, I guess.