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


Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

     The Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. At this time of year, it is not necessary to go to the Chelsea Flower Show to enjoy beautiful flower gardens.
The Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, is well known for the Azalea Garden as well as the Rose Garden in Regents Park. The Richmond Park is not so far from here, however the size of the park is huge (9.55) and it is quite a long walk from the park gates to the Isabella Plantation.
My friend often visits Richmond Park and she invited me to a picnic last year, that being the first time for me to enjoy this plantation. It is a magnificent garden and we had very nice and relaxing time there.
Richmond Park is also well known for the deer roaming and the panoramic view from the King Henry’s Mound.

If you would like to know more about the Richmond Park and the Isabella Plantation, please see the sites as below.




Japanese Binding Demonstration at London Craft Week

   Musubi toji (left) and  Sensoubon Fukuro toji (right)

Designer Bookbinders will join the London Craft Week at the St. Bride Foundation again this year.
This year, I will give the two types of Japanese Binding Demonstration in the morning of Saturday the 6th of May.
One is the “Fukuro toji” this book style is considered by many to be the classic form of Japanese Binding.
It is also called the “Yotsume toji” (Four hole binding ) or “Sensoubon”(Thread line binding).
The other binding style I will be demonstrating is called the “Musubi toji”(knot binding). It is also called the “Yamato toji”. However, it is historically correct to call it the  “Musubi toji “ according to a recent study by specialist binders. (If you would like to know more about the name of Japanese Bindings please see this blog Archive November 2014)
Physical evidence would indicate that both of the binding styles were already in use during the 12th century and arstill popular in Japan as presentation books, note books and the like.
According to experts, the “Fukuro toji” style used from Kamakura era (1185~1333) but during this period there were no fixed sizes, shapes and hole positions. With the development of paper making in Japan, the book form as we would recognise today began to take shape with the standardisation of manufacture with certain rules being put in place during the Muromachi era(1338~1573).
The making text block of both bindings are almost identical. The main difference is the attachment of the covers.
“Fukuro toji” cover uses soft materials and the text block and cover are joined together with thread. There are several variations of sewing design.
“Musubi toji” can be made with either a hard cover or soft cover, moreover, it has variations of using either tape or thread for binding.
 In the demonstration, I make simple Four hole “Fukuro toji” and “Musubi toji” use soft cover with thread.
 If you would like to know more about the London Craft Week please see the following site.



London Craft Week catalogue 

  Fukuro toji (Yotsume toji)

Sample for Fukuro toji sewing variations 

Musubi toji (using hard cover and tapes) 

Musubi toji (using soft cover and thread)