Making the Book *slow*

*slow* is the graduation thesus I made at the end of my studies at Ensci-les Ateliers.
For the jury and my family, I had to produce 25 copies of it. Instead of having them made by a printer, I decided to try to make them with my own hands. This part of the work was actually very important to me. I wanted to give birth to my baby myself.

To learn how to bind, I called Nicolas Filloque who I met through my friend Adrien Zammit. These two are the minds behind Formes Vives. If you happen to speak french and enjoy beautiful, engaged images, check their work out. Nicolas taught me a few basics, and after a couple of hours I was good to go.

First, go to the copy machine and print your book. In my case, I printed on A4 recycled paper. Once you had your stacks of paper printed both sides and organized, you can start folding each sheet, one by one, to create small booklets. Mine were 22 pages.

Each book contained 22 booklets. Once their are done, you have to sew them together with a special waxed thread. You need to tie them together tight, but not too much.

After that, you have to glue them on the side, adding a piece of cloth that will act like the book’s spine, giving it its flexibility and strength. To do so, I clamped them to hold them very tight – but still, not too much, and then applied the glue with a brush.

Next, you need to trim the edges to make them even. A massicot is needed for this step. Now, the body of the book is ready and the last step is the cover. For it, I used thick cardboard covered with belgian linen reclaimed from the wallcovering industry (again, thank you Audrey). On the following picture, you can see the book bodies on top left, the linen sheets and booklets on the left. Cover in the making is bottom right.

It took me something like a month to make the 25 copies. The whole month of August, as I was traveling around France visiting my family – with my tools and paper in my luggage. It was my vacation before starting to work on my graduation project, [stac].

Click here to read more about *slow*.