Christmas Holiday in Lincoln

Lincoln Cathedral [South side]

During the Christmas Holiday, I went to Lincoln in Lincolnshire.
The city of Lincoln is a charming place, located in North East of England.
Lincoln is a famous for its Cathedral and the Library has holds one of the Magna Carta.
In the back yard of the Cathedral, there is a statue of Alfred Tennyson who was born in Lincolnshire.
Lincoln High Street is almost same as other cities that have shopping centre with the usual chain stores and coffee shops.
However, there are a lot of nice individual shops around the Cathedral and the Castle area. "The Straight" and “Steep Hill” form the very steep and winding road from the top of the high street to Castle Square. On one side of castle square is the Cathederal on the other Lincoln castle.
The antiquarian bookshop “Harlequin Gallery” is the one of the nice shop on Steep Hill. It is half timbered and is about 450 years old. Nearby there is a chocolate shop and "Imperial Teas", both of which I enjoy shopping in.


A statue of Alfred Tennyson

Information Centre on Castel Square

Lincoln Castel

Light up Lincoln Cathedral [Front]

Harlequin Gallery


The Quaritch visit

The entrance of Bernard Quaritch Ltd.

I am teaching bookbinding for a small friendly group every Tuesday afternoon in Chelsea. The class named “South West London Bookbinding Class”.
At the beginning of this year, one of the students talked about her visit to Quaritch.
Barnard Quaritch Ltd. is a long-established shop for rare books and manuscripts in central London. Everybody in the class has been interested in the shop since then.
This month, we managed to visit the shop and we had a wonderful time there.
The shop is beautifully decorated for Christmas and the staff were very friendly and kind. Our tour started with nice coffee and biscuits, after this warm welcome and casual talk, we entered the next room and there were some books that had been carefully selected to show us.
We all sat down by the round table and the one of the specialist staff explained these books individually. Most fortunately, we were able to handle these beautiful books.
It started with a medieval manuscript book and following historical order and up to 1930’s bindings. We were able to see various styles (and countries) of bindings made with quality materials. The beauty is not only binding, the book itself have beautiful manuscripts and printings. My favourite book was French design binding (perhaps made in1920’s) that is bound with red morocco and shark skin and leather doublers with gold tooling. It was so beautiful.
We ended this tour at the conservation room in the shop. It is clean and tidy snug room.
The conservator showed us current restoration work and some hand dyed papers for matching to the faded paper of old books restoration work.

More information about the Quaritch, please see the website as below.



The signboard in front of the shop

Quaritch specialist staff and our group by the round table

Talking about the books

Looking at the books


The Man Booker Prize – part 2

The display of shortlisted books design bindings

The night of 13th of October, the Man Booker Prize 2015 announced at the Guildhall in the city of London. I was invited the Award Ceremony for the guest as the designer bookbinder of “A Spool of Blue Thread” that one of the shortlisted books.
6 book binders arrived at 5:30pm in the empty Reception room and we displayed the bindings in the exhibition area. Around 6:30pm the shortlisted authors, publishers, celebrities and press came and the room suddenly become lively.
I could talk with author during the reception and fortunately she likes my binding very much.
At 7:30pm, we all moved in to the dining room. There were some welcome speeches and the recorded presentations by each author on the wide screen, after that each presentation the author was given their special design binding for the shortlisted prize by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
I was on the author’s table for the dinner with the majority of people on this table being publishers. Luckily, the person who sat next to me came from Random House (please see the February 2013 blog) and we discovered a mutual interests during the evening.
The winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James. I felt a modest disappointment on our table, however Ms. Anne Tyler cared about other peoples cooperation and she was so elegant on that night.

“A Spool of Blue Thread” is a full leather “Bradel” binding with Irish blue linen thread and hand dyed leather onlays. I did not count exactly however there are more than 200 pieces of leather onalys. The design for the binding is based on a conversation in chapter 10, about the colour of paint used to paint the porch swing and title of the book. “Blue” is studded through whole story. The binding represents house in the Baltimore which related this family story.
The endpapers are likened to an architects blue print.

The Man Booker Design bindings are exhibited at the Foyles Book Store in Charring Cross Road, London two weeks from the announcement day.

1013日の晩、2015年のブッカー賞がロンドンのシティにあるギルドホールにて発表されました。私は最終選考の作品のひとつである”A Spool of Blue Thread”の特別装丁本の製本家としてこの授賞式に招待されました。6名の製本家達は午後5時半に会場に到着し、まだ人気のない展示場所にそれぞれの本を設置します。6時半ごろから作家、出版関係者、有名人そして報道陣が到着すると、室内は一気に活気がでてきました。このレセプションの最中に作家とお話することができ、幸いなことに彼女には私の製本をとても気にいっていただけました。7時半には、全員晩餐会の部屋へ移動。そこでは主催者側のスピーチがあり、その後録画された各候補者の作品紹介がスクリーンに映し出されます。その紹介の後に、最終候補者へはその賞品となる特別装丁本がコーンウォール公爵夫人によって授与されました。晩餐会で私は作家のテーブルに座り、同席者は殆ど出版関係の人達でした。運のよいことに隣の席に座った人はRandom Houseから来られた方で、晩餐会の最中は共通の話題をかわすことができました。(20132月のブログをご参照ください)
本年のマン・ブッカー賞の受賞作品は、 Marlon James 氏の“A Brief History of Seven Killings”でした。我々のテーブルでのかすかな失望は感じましたがAnne Tylerさんご自身は周りの協力者を気遣われておりとてもエレガントでした。

A Spool of Blue Thread」は総革のブラデル製本で、アイルランド製の青の麻糸と手染めの革のオンレイで作られています。正確には数えていませんが、オンレイの革は200個以上あります。デザインの案は第10章にある、家のベランダの吊り椅子のペンキ塗りに関する会話と本の題名からきています。この物語全体に「ブルー」という言葉がちりばめられており、制作した本は、この家族の物語の舞台となるボルチモアの家を表しています。


The exhibition area at the reception room in Guildhall

The Design Binding of “A Spool of Blue Thread”

The endpapers of the Design Binding of “A Spool of Blue Thread”

The leathers for onlays

The leathers for onlays

The bound book before onlays