In no particular order, an image archive of handbound books from our Properly Made Books series made since 2018.
Properly Made Books are made to the absolute highest standard and are the finest quality, off-the shelf- blank books available anywhere.
Some are made in a series and many are one-offs. In either event every single one is different and will never be remade.
Even the seemingly simple books have a hidden detail rarely if ever found in books made elsewhere be it vellum tipped corners, gold tooling in unexpected places or even something as simple as a polished book cloth or ink sprinkled edges.
All Properly Made Books are LayFlat bindings. This is the superior method used to make books. LayFlat books can be fully opened without fear of causing structural damage to a bindings.
Dutch Gilt Journals
Dutch gilt is a printmaking technique where metal leaf is used instead of ink using a combination of a special adhesive and pressure. The leaf is normally printed over a coloured background which adds colour.
Dutch Gilt over a multi-coloured harlequin pattern with vellum spine and corners. Weirdly this book contained brown ribbed kraft paper papers. The spine is repurposed calfskin vellum - made from an antique vellum legal document, perhaps a will or a title deed.
Dutch Gilt over a floral pattern with blind tooled leather spine with raised bands and vellum tipped protective corners.
14 x 10 inches in size, hence the name. They contained a dual textured Hahnemuhle watercolour paper.
Hand printed Bewick's Animals with gold tooled leather spine and vellum tipped corners.
"Domino" covers with gold tooled leather spine and vellum tipped corners. This paper is fairly complex to make due to the number of colours.
Hand printed and stenciled paper with gold tooled leather spine and vellum tipped corners.
Bird feeding tiled print. This pattern is printed using one carved lino block which is then coloured by hand.
Dutch gilt Polka dot with shadow cover.
Rorschach printed cover. What do you see?
Sea Shell print made on pages from an 18th century House of Lords records book.
Hand printed covers with gold tooled leather spine and vellum tipped corners.
Tea Dog print based on a real life Jack Russell who likes to drink tea!
A popular design featuring characters or types from various walkes of life in ye olden days.
Various notebooks and journals
Hand printed covers with gold tooled leather spine and label, vellum tipped corners and blue sprinkled edges. Acanthus pattern printed on antique book paper.
A pocket sized jotter with hand printed covers, gold tooled leather spine and label, vellum tipped corners. The print is a Medieval Angel block print on 18th century handmade antique book paper.
A photograph album with hand printed 'Lear' paper covers, salmon-pink gold tooled leather spine and corners. This contains wonderful charcoaly Somerset Black printmaking paper.
Hand printed covers with blind tooled leather spine and corners. The lines across the spine are called raised bands.
Hand printed and coloured covers with blind tooled leather spine and vellum corners. The metallic printing ink over the flower print is made using powdered bronze.
Made with deckchair cloth! A simple leather spine and ink sprinkled edges. Nice but perhaps not a classic pmb!
Chatham Vellum Series
Various hand marbled covers with gold tooled leather spines and vellum tipped corners. These books are filled with vintage handmade J Green Chatham Vellum, a wonderful watercolour paper.
Skull and crossbones tool hand carved by Brien Beidler.
Gold leaf embossed paper with gold tooled leather spine, internal vellum tipped corners.
Hand printed and coloured covers, gold tooled leather spine and internal vellum tipped corners.
A tongue in cheek ode to the modern day so-called 'Designer Binding'. This has a Hirst style spiral painted cover and gold tooling on handmade antique paper, painted leather spine with gold tooling and a hand printed Pie and Beers slipcase.
A beautiful series of little fat journals covered in a variety of hand printed Dutch Gilt and hand printed papers with gold tooled leather spines. These books contain vintage handmade Hayle Mill paper for drawing and painting.
Hand printed covers with vellum spine and corners. The spine is repurposed antique vellum/parchment legal documents, hence the handwriting.
Oxgangs Paper Books
Gold tooled, full leather boxed journals filled with handmade paper.
A dos-a-dos book is essentially two books in one structure. The style dates back to the 17th century where it was most commonly found in religious books; for example a bible and prayer book bound as one. This series is a particular personal favourite.
The spines on the dos-a-dos series are made from repurposed old vellum documents hence the handwriting. They are also tooled in gold leaf.
Boxes for the above series of dos-a-dos Properly Made Books. Each one covered with a different hand printed paper.
Arnold Double Elephant
This book contains an entire sheet of Arnold's double elephant sized paper; 40 x 27 inches, 1016 x 678 mm which with the exception of J Whatman's Antiquarian, was the largest sheet of handmade paper made. Famously this size of paper was used in James Audubon's Birds of America book.
The Unbleached Arnold book is covered with a polished bookcloth and has a blind tooled spine featuring two elephants signifying the paper's size.
A series of 3 drawing book containing different coloured laid ingres paper. The covers are hand printed over a painted background. The leather spine are blind tooled.
LANDSCAPE VINTAGE PAPER SKETCHBOOKS
A large series landscape orientated ketchbooks - all with hand printed paper covers and gold tooled vellum spines and corners.
Dutch gilt paper is printed using metal leaf instead of ink. This technique dates back to the 17/18th century. It was mainly made in Ausberg, Germany and was used to cover books or given to children to cut up, rather like modern sticker books.
Dutch Gilt or brocade paper was traditionally made over a multi coloured background - a harlequin pattern in these colours - blues, oranges and yellows as seen above was widely used.
Fancy Printed Paper
The vellum (aka parchment) on the spines and corners was made in Brazil. The paper inside is handmade cotton rag vintage paper by WS Hodgkinson in the 1950s. Each book was supplied in a custom made box covered with a different hand printed paper.
A lovely little notebook with a single colour repeat print paper cover, gold tooled leather spine and elephant label and vellum tipped protective corners.
"EVERYTHING" - A jamboree of hand printed and coloured cover papers with a block printed leather spine and internal vellum tipped corners. Contains vintage handmade Hayle Mill watercolour paper.
Direct print of feathers on paper with a gold tooled leather spine and corners, supplied in a lined slipcase covered with a two colour block printed paper made on antique handmade paper. Contains Hahnemuhle Medieval Laid paper for drawing and writing.
A series of smaller books made with a variety of hand printed or paste paper covers, gold tooled or printed leather spines with internal vellum tipped corners. These contain vintage handmade cotton rag watercolour paper made in the 1950s by WS Hodgkinson & Co of Wookey Hole, Somerset.
Full Leather Bindings
From the 17th century onwards, commonplace books were exactly as they sound - the equivalent of today's A4 jotter pad. Used to make notes, recipes, to-do lists etc. This one-off is a full leather commonplace binding with hand printed paper slipcase and loads of gold tooling to every surface.
Small pocket notebook in full leather binding with gold tooling. The bee and hive tools were carved in-house. This simple little binding even has tooling along the top edge.
Full leather binding with blind tooling and red sprinkled edges.
"Fisher's Treasure" - Sprinkled sheepskin leather binding with white and yellow gold tooling. Contains smooth cartridge writing paper with ink sprinkled edges.
Small full leather notebook with gold tooled elephant to the front cover. This one has red ink sprinkled edges.
A black calfskin leather journal with blind and gold tooling and red sprinkled edges for decorative purposes.
Another calfskin leather with blind and gold tooling and red ink sprinkled edges.
Full leather notebook with gold tooling. Painted edges.
Made to exactly the same standard as full size Properly Made Books albeit with fewer materials.
Soft binding with leather onlays - small pieces of leather set into the cover to create a pattern which is then given detail thanks to gold leaf tooling.
Shellac polished cloth covers with gold tooled leather spine and internal vellum tipped corners.
J Whatman Double Elephant Books
A series of books containing a complete sheet of handmade antique J Whatman Double Elephant paper - the same as used in James Audubon's Birds of America. Each book has the year of the paper's manufacture tooled on the spine and two elephants to the front signifying the size of the paper.
Marbled Books with Tie Closures