Peculiar Christmas Present

    The pomander

One of my students gave me a Christmas present in a most unusual way. She brought me a small orange and jar of cloves and suggested that I make a pomander. Oh, no, how ? I’ve never made a pomander before.
Anyway, a wonderful website instructed me in how to make a pomander. Basically, stab the orange with a cocktail stick and inset the cloves. It was ok in the beginning, it seemed that I could make a nice shape. Then, I wanted to change the design, that was the beginning of a disaster. I stabbed all over the orange and it had taken a good couple of hours in the morning. Finally, I made the distorted pomander which is now hanging in the home Christmas tree.

え〜どうやって? 私は今までポマンダーを作ったことなどないのです。とはいうものの、素晴らしいウェブサイトがどのようにポマンダーを作るのかを指示してくれました。最初のうちはよく、なかなか良い形にできそうに思いました。そして、ちょっとデザインを変えたいと思ったのが大惨事の始まりで、オレンジを突き刺して穴だらけにすることに朝のよい時間を費やすこと2時間。最終的には歪んだポマンダーが出来て、今それは我が家のクリスマスツリーに掛かっています。

The Christmas present from my student 

The beginning stage for the making pomander. Marking the lines with masking tapes. 

I wanted to change this shape. I decided to use more cloves.

It is better side of the finished pomander

The pomander is hanging on the Christmas tree


The Master Class

  The sing at the corner of Bride Lane and New Bridge Street

During November Designer Bookbinders hold various events.
The Annual Bookbinding competition exhibition started at the St. Bride Foundation last week and a lecture day had held in the Layton Room beside of the exhibition on the 17thof November.
I am pleased to say that every year, the studio students and former students who have entered the DB Competition are amongst the prize winners. This year’s set book for the competition was “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. There are a number of very interesting design bindings are in the exhibition.
Please visit the following Designer Bookbinders site and you will be able to see the prize winner’s books.

 There was the Master Class held on 10th and 11th of November, in which I gave a Japanese Box Case workshop, also had held at the St. Bride Foundation. The workshop room called the Guidecca room, probably, it is the smallest room in the St. Bride Foundation. Although, it has reasonable equipment and is well arranged for a workshop up to 6 people. It was very nice class. All who attended were very friendly and keen to learn a new type of box making.

喜ばしいことには、スタジオの生徒さん、かつての生徒さん達が毎年このコンペティションに参加され賞の受賞者となっています。今年のコンンペティションの規定本はレイ・ブラッドベリーの「刺青の男」でした。 数多くの興味深いデザイン製本が展示されています。
11月10日と11日にはマスター・クラスがありました。これは、私が箱帙のワークショップをしたのですが場所は同じくセント・ブライド基金で、ワークショップの部屋はガイデッカ・ルームと呼ばれています。 おそらくこの部屋はセント・ブライド基金では最も小さい部屋だと思われますが、ほどよい設備と6人がワークショップをおこなえるよう部屋がうまく配置されています。とてもよいクラスでした。

The exhibition of the 2018 Annual UK Bookbinding Competition

The Guidecca Room at St. Bride Foundation

The Guidecca Room at St. Bride Foundation

The Master Class participants

One of the participants of the Master Class


Close and Open

   “Green and Stone” on the Fulham Road

It is of no recent date however many high street shops are having to close down in the UK and even well known, household names and big department stores are reducing their branches. Recently, my favourite shoe shop had to close down. In doing so my life a little uncomfortable.
I have mentioned the art shop “Green and Stone” in a previous blog (please see February’s blog 2016).
“Green and Stone” is one of my favourite shops in London. The shop is full of character and one of longest-standing retailers at Kings Road, Chelsea. It is located near the Chelsea Arts Club and many artists have visited this shop, purchased materials and created many works. When I heard the “Green and Stone” is closing the shop at Kings Road on the BBC London news, I was so disappointed that such a situation happened.
However, it is not closing down. The shop has moved to the Fulham Road and reopened. The new shop is still near the Chelsea Arts Club and the area has posh and mature atmosphere. The shop has newly renovated and has the look of contemporary. The new display cabinet looks nice and still got a full of character. I like the new shop.
Although, I miss the old “Green and Stone”, somehow it was always remind me the time when I was the student of Guildford College. Perhaps, my old-fashioned nostalgia.
If you would like to know more about the new “Green and Stone”, please visit the following site.



The antiquarian book shop on the corner of the Fulham Road and the Old Church Stree 

The flower stand on the other side corner of the Fulham Road and the Old Church Street

The Chelsea Arts Club on the Old Church Stree 

The entrance of the Chelsea Arts Club  

The window display of the new “Green and Stone”

The old “Green and Stone” on the Kings Road 


Studio Facility Update

    The metal label frames and the labels 

Occasionally, I will do a stock check of the materials and equipment in the studio and at the same time I tidy up and refurbish the studio facilities. I have checked the stock of leathers and cloths this month. Then, I rearranged the storage place for leathers and made a file for onlay’s leathers. I also ordered some cloths and tools. While I ordering these things I found other item on the internet that I thought it useful for the studio facilities.
It is the metal label frame for box. I wanted to use the metal label frame for the studio boxes when I moved to Barnes from Maida Vale. However, I could not find the suitable frame at the time. Since then, I temporarily put the paper label as needed. Substantially it works but aesthetically it is awful.
I have use approximately 60 boxes in my studio. It will takes sometime to put the frame completely. However, it looks already nice to put the metal label frames on the few boxes.


The new tools for the studio students.

Rigth : A Small spatula teflon coated for bookbinding course student     

Left : A Heavy spatula tefion coated for box making course student     

The files for onlay leathers

The top file : Thin pared leathers

The file below : Thin pared leathers backed with tissue paper

  The studio box shelf. The boxes with the metal label frames.


Another Japanese Case

   Orikomi Chitsu 

The “Orikomi Chitsu”(Folded Case), is also called the “Shiho Chitsu” (Four Side Case) and is another form of case or enclosure for Japanese books and documents that has protection on all sides of the books, being similar in that respect to the “Hako Chitsu”(Box Case).
The basic Japanese Binding wraparound case “Chitsu” is relatively simple to make, however it does not fully protected the head and tail of the book or books inside. The “Orikomi Chitsu” solves this problem hence it has extra work for the flaps and the measurements of the case are different to the simpler "Chitsu".
There are several ways for covering for Chitsu
This time, I made the “Kagami Chitsu” (Mirror Case) version which the outside of inner lid has used the same materials of the inside of outer lid. It will give lighter impression when you open the case.
Also, when you have the project to create your original case, this version of covering is easy to put your images or creation work on the case.


The outside of inner lid has used the same materials of the inside of outer lid

The case has two flaps 

The Inside of case


Unusual English Summer

    The light brown colour glasses of the school sports fields

I have never experienced continuous hot days during summer since I moved to England. Although, I feel that the weather is still drier and cooler than a typical Japanese summer, especially this year as some of the Japanese regions have had around 40 degrees compared to 32 degrees in London. I was born in the summer and I like hot weather such as it is in London.
All of my house plants have grown well, however it has not rained for a long time and the school sports fields of the school opposite have turned from a dark green to a light brown colour and the black berries in the Leg O Mutton have withered on the stalk. 
Finally, we had rain last Friday bringing the trees and grasses back to life.
I have thought that it is not necessary to buy an electric fan for the studio until this year. First of all, if I use the electric fan paper and other materials tend to be blown around the studio. Although, it may difficult for the students who are not use to a hot, dry summer. I may buy the one for studio, just for air circulation.

とはいうものの、典型的な日本の夏と比べると空気はまだ乾燥していて涼しく感じます。特に今年は日本の一部の地域で気温が40度前後にまで上がっているのに比べるとロンドンはまだ32度ぐらいです。 私は夏生まれで、今のロンドンのような暑い気候が好きです。

The blackberries had withered on the stalk in the Leg O Mutton

  The lilac had also withered on the stalk in the Leg O Mutton

The discoloured leaves on the Themes path 


  The plants had withered on the stalk at riverside of Thames

The African Violets at home


Japanese Box Case

  The Box Case covered with thick Japanese cloth (opened condition)

 I will be giving two Japanese Box Case Workshops one is in October and next year. The October workshop is organised by Designer Bookbinders and the next year’s workshop is for the Society of Bookbinders it is a regional event.
There is a series of basic measurements for the Japanese Box Case that I have usually used for a long time and it works well with thick Japanese cloth. However, when I use ordinary bookbinding cloth, I always have to change the size of the boards or add some paper to build up the thickness. Although, It is not only the thickness difference, how flexible a cloth is can also have an effect on the measurements. It is difficult to explain for each case.
I have made some samples using ordinary bookbinding cloths and I hope that the workshop participants will be able to easily understand the measurement for the boards for each different material.


The Box Case covered with thick Japanese cloth (closed condition)

The Box Case covered with ordinary bookbinding cloth (closed condition)

  The Box Case covered with ordinary bookbinding cloth (opened condition)