Shakespeare in the Garden

     “Shakespeare in the Garden” at Red Lion in Barnes

During the first weekend of September there was a performance of one of Shakespeare's plays in a local pub garden. The public house (Pub) in England has always changed over time. These days, people are not going to pubs as much as they used to. During this century many pubs have closed with even popular pubs struggling to survive in this difficult climate. The Red Lion is a popular family orientated (and dogs friendly) pub in Barnes, however the owners of the Red Lion try to plan more events throughout the year to keep the pub in the eye of the public. “Shakespeare in the Garden” is one of the pub events and is now in its 4th year. It has organised by a big brewery and this year play was “The Comedy of Errors”.
The play has performed by 6 professional actors plus Tom, a member of the audience, who took part in the play on the spur of the moment. (The play ran for three nights, each night this part had performed by different local Barnes person).
I am not keen on live performances, however I found this play fairly interesting, the actors were so energetic and fun. There are 15 characters in this play. The 6 actors were busy changing their costumes and voices for the different characters. They performed magnificently and 84 years old Tom’s support was so sweet. In fact, I assume that Tom is a former actor or something related, because his voice carried so well and his acting was so good.
The atmosphere was good. The audience seemed very comfortable in the pub garden. They were able to drink and eat as usual. The Red Lion also prepared a special menu (curry and cuscus) for the play. All of the pub staff were wearing the promotional T-shirts and they supplied well printed catalogue (it is not the B&W photocopy). It is only small local event but it have done very professionally and we all satisfied.
After this event, I felt that the summer is completely over.

(会場の)雰囲気はとても良く、観客はパブの中庭で居心地が良さそうでした。中庭での飲食は自由でしたし、レッド・ライオンはこのお芝居の為に特別なメニュー(カレーとクスクス)も用意していました。スタッフは全員宣伝用のTシャツを着てサービスにあたり、立派に印刷された(白黒のコピーなどではない)カタログも提供されました。本当に地元の小さな催ものですが 全てなかなかの出来栄えで皆満足していました。

Perform “The Comedy of Errors” 

The promotional T-shirts 

6 actors and actresses  

  The catalogue


Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex (The Forster Codices)

  Codex Forster II²

 My Japanese friend visited England this summer. During her stay in London we went to several places and we could have enjoyable time. One day, we went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The V&A is not far from my place, however I usually only go to this museum for special exhibitions or things of a bookbinding nature, so I did not pay much attention for the permanent exhibition. On the day, I arranged to meet the acquaintance, who is a book and paper conservator in the V&A. She recommended to see the Leonardo da Vinci Codex in the Medieval & Renaissance room. Initially, we could not find the display cabinet, walking passed itWe then backtracked and found Da Vinci’s notebook. The note book is tiny and it is housed in a surprisingly ordinary display cabinet with digital explanation stand. Both my friend and I found this book to be of great interest.
The V&A has five of Leonardo’s notebooks, bound together in three volumes. These books called “The Forster Codices”.
We saw the “Codex Forster II²” (about 1495-97) that was compiled over a number of years while Leonardo worked for Duke Ludovico Sforza in Milan. It contains notes and diagrams on the theory of weights, stresses and balances.

If you would like to know more about the “The Forster Codices” please see the following site.

V&Aは5つのレオナルドのノートをまとめて3冊にしたものを所蔵しており、それらは「フォスター・コデックス」と呼ばれています。展示されていたものは「コデックス フォスター II²」(1495-97年ごろ)でレオナルドがミラノのルドヴィーコ・スフォルツァにつかえていた多くの年月の資料が編集されたものです。重量、圧力、均衡に関する理論と図式が収集されています。

The Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex is designated on this floor plan as red dot. (V&A Room 64)

Codex Forster II²


Designer Bookbinders International Competition Award Ceremony

     “Heroic Work” in the Blackwell Hall of the Bodleian’s new Weston Library, Oxford

On the 17th of July, the award winners of the Designer Bookbinders International Competition ( DBIC ) was announced at the Weston Library in Oxford. The Weston Library is the New Bodleian Library that the building newly renovated and it has opened in public March 2015. Both the award ceremony and exhibition held in the beautiful modern entrance hall to this Library. The DBIC 2017 is the third international competition organised by DB and the Bodleian Library. The theme of the competition is “Myths, Heroes and Legends” and the exhibition title is “Heroic Works”.
There are 28 awards which included the “Sir Paul Getty Bodleian Prizes”, “DB Distinguished Awards” and “Oxford University Students’ Choice”. All the prizewinning bindings can be seen on the DB website as below.

I received one of the “DB Distinguished Awards” (award for the 25 best bindings in this competition) and these binders
were given the certificate, also a silver and perspex Doric Column.
Each prize winner was awarded the prize by the core sponsor Mr. Mark Getty who is the son of the late Sir. Paul Getty.
The award winners came from all over the world, for example ,Taiwan, Canada, USA and European countries.
After the award ceremony, we had the opportunity to talk with these binders. I found some familiar faces with the bookbinders from the USA. It was very enjoyable time as we could share our same interest with many other people from around the world.

I bound “The Serpent with Eight Heads” which is Japanese myth translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain, published by Japanese publisher Takejiro Hasegawa 1886. (*Please see this blog October 2016)
The binding technique is Japanese Tekagamijo. Each pages jointed with blue silk cloth. Frond and back boards covered with hand dyed leather circles ( more than 1,400 circles ), individually sewn and pasted onto Japanese paper.
Pages in English printed from original book are mixed with pages translated into Japanese.
The whole binding work contained the original book which is in the box with the design binding. The original book is good condition although the binding thread changed to the new silk thread that the silk thread colour coordinate with the design binding. Light blue coloure represents the got of sea, and the board decoration the serpent.

“Heroic Works” Exhibition touring dates 2017
Weston Library, Oxford - 18 July - 20 August
Library of Birmingham - 23 August - 28 September
St Bride Foundation, London - 2-14 October
North Bennet Street School, Boston, USA - 3 November - 22 December
The Exhibition at this venue will comprise the 28 Prizewinners and 8 USA binders ONLY.

 今月17日、デザイナー・ブックバインダーズ国際製本コンペティションの授賞式がオックスフォードのウェストン図書館で行われました。ウェストン図書館は新ボドリアン図書館が新たに改装された建物で20153月より一般公開されています。授賞式は作品の展示とともにこの図書館の美しく近代的なエントランスホールで開催されました。デザイナー・ブックバインダーズとボドリアン図書館主催によるDB国際製本コンペティションは今回で3回目です。コンペティションでのテーマは「神話、英雄、伝説」で、展覧会のタイトルは「Heroic Works」です。(直訳すると「英雄的作品」ですが「大胆な作品群」というような感じだと思います。)授賞作品は28点で「ポール・ゲッティ卿、ボドリアン賞」、「デザイナー・ブックバインダーズ秀逸賞」、オックスフォード大学の学生によって選ばれた「特別賞」があります。全ての授賞作品は上記のDBのウェブサイトでご覧いただけます。



Heroic Work」展の2017年巡回の日程は下記のとおりです。
ウェストン図書館 [オックスフォード]  7 18   8 20
バーミンガム図書館 [バーミンガム]    8 23 9 28
セント・ブライド基金 [ロンドン]     10   2 1014
ノース・ベネット専門学校 [ボストン]    113 1222

“Heroic Work” in the Blackwell Hall

  After the award ceremony

   “DB Distinguished Awards” display cabinet

“The Serpent with Eight Heads” Front and Back board of Design Binding 

“The Serpent with Eight Heads” the text of Design binding

  “The Serpent with Eight Heads” Original book, Design Binding & Box



Musubi toji Workshop

     Three Sample Books for “Musubi toji” workshop

I decided to change my “Yamato toji” workshop to “Musubi toji” workshop.
I mentioned about the name of “Musubi toji” in Aprils blog that this style of binding was widely known as the “Yamato toji”. However, according to a recent study by specialist binders, it is historically correct to call it the “Musubi toji “
Therefore I believe that it will be better to call this style of binding the “Musubi toji” in my studio. Concurrently, I change some materials and form for this workshop.
Recently, I introduced “Musubi toji” at the London Craft Week (please see Aprils blog 2017). During the LCW demonstration, I made a decorative type of sewing for the “Musubi toji” however, there are more variations in sewing for this bindings.
In the new workshop of Jade Bookbinding Studio, the participant will be able to make three books as follows:

Type A  It is making the decorative knot with thread in the front cover.
Type B  It simply ties up with thread in the back cover.
Type C  It is ties up with tape in the front cover

According the specialist Japanese binding book “Fumikurashoryo / 書庫渉猟” by Setsuo Kushige, there is an article with a diagram that shows how to make the knot for the “Musubi toji” binding in a 1764 book which is owned by the Imperial Bindery.
The article’s instruction indicates that the knot is made on the front cover. However, there are a number of examples of books in existence that have the knots on the back cover. For example, The Chronicles of Japan (also call as Japanese Chronicles) made in 1691 have the knots on the back cover.
 It reminds me that some bookbinders do not like to make the knot in the middle of section when they are making a single section book, and some bookbinders do not like to make the knot in the out side of the section. Both types of binders have their own reason and own beliefs.
If you would like to know more about the Musubi toji workshop, please click the  JAPANESE BINDING WORKSHOPS in the page column as above.


タイプA : 綴じ糸を使い表紙で装飾的に結ぶ製本。
タイプB : 綴じ糸を使い裏表紙で結ぶ簡素な綴じ方。

和装本の専門書の「書庫渉猟」櫛笥節男 著によりますと宮内庁書陵部にある1764年の本の中に「結び綴」の図が描かれて結びのことが言及されているそうです。それには綴じ糸は表表紙で結ぶと述べられているということですが、現存する幾つかの本は裏表紙で綴じ糸が結ばれています。例えば1691年の「日本書紀」(日本紀)は裏表紙で結ばれています。
結び綴のワークショップの内容は、上記ページコラムのJAPANESE BINDING WORKSHOPSをクリックしていただければ詳細をご覧いただけます。 

  “Musubi toji” Type A  the decorative knots in the front cover

  “Musubi toji” Type B  tie the threads in the back cover

“Musubi toji” Thpe C  tie the tapes in the front cover  

  Fumikurashoryo by Setsuo Kushige