Thursday, 23 April 2009

Loulouloves...casing in and singing

Casing in books has a bittersweet tone about it. It means the book is getting made and almost done but it's also a critical ballet between keeping it clean, straight and openable. I take a deep breath before every one. Constantly rubbing my gluey fingers on my apron and using plenty of waste paper for masking off the fresh pages. Muttering a running commentary or singing the same line from the same song over and over like a bookbinder's mantra. (today it's The Boxer from Simon and Garfunkel "O I am just a poor boy, my story's seldom told")

My desk is not organised at all, I start off with great intentions, clean mind, clean desk, clean hands and I find myself working in greater and greater chaos with my working space becoming smaller and smaller until I find I am working in a single square foot with piles of tools, scraps of paper and I can't find one of my six scalpels.

Then when it's all done I have a big clear up and cannot allow myself even one moment of satisfaction until this is done and then when I am back to some kind of space I sit and sign all the ones that are finished. 

Then I go into the garden and listen to the birds also singing their one line over and over and I think, none of this really matters at all. I'm just glad I am here today. And tomorrow there will be another song. 

Please God, don't make it an annoying one.


nath said...

That sounds exciting. I had never heard the term casing in before. It's nice.

I'm in the middle of cleaning up the dining table which acts as a studio from time to time. I too strive for clean hands, clean desk when working, but it never really happens that way.

And I have a line from a Fever Ray song in my head right now - 'Keep it tidy, keep it like a home, now's the only time I know', which is pretty apt.

Anonymous said...

I know none of it matters and if I think about that too much I wouldn't see the point of getting out of bed, let alone blahblah blogging. But if it matters even a little bit to you then it should be done and done with smiley thoughts. Looking forward to seeing the books...

louloulovesbooks said...

Dear Nath
Whoops, I should have elaborated on the term, it's my language of book making and I forget everyone else doesn't spend all day bookbinding!. Casing in, as you've probably guessed is when the cover gets attached to the book.
And that is the perfect line of a song for today. Thank you.

louloulovesbooks said...

Dear Lucy
I'm smiling now but I was probably grimacing earlier

Anonymous said...

Your books look amazing. Thanks for adding me to your reading list.

Francesca said...

wow, what a production line. this sounds like me when i am hammering the hinges on one of my wooden books and hoping it opens un-wonkily when i've finished!
i'm always trying to find the quickest, easiest way to bind, to limit mess and mistakes. i'm not good with glue. the book looks like it's going to be lovely.