Books are an essential part of our culture—whether a family volume, a favorite novel or book of poetry, or the photo album with pictures of long-ago family vacations. We have all had the experience of opening a cherished, perhaps expensive volume, and having some of the pages fall out—this is because the publisher used a “perfect” binding, which means the pages are held together only with glue, which weakens and loosens over time.
For fifteen centuries, there has been a better, more permanent style of bookbinding. The traditional “Codex” form of the book is based on “signatures” or “folios” which are simply two or more folded sheets placed inside each other. Then, these folios are sewn through the fold around cords or tapes, which makes a very strong, long lasting and very functional book—which opens perfectly, and lies flat for easy reading. In addition, many years from now, a book conservator can take apart this book, do repairs, and resew it back into a usable book.
David Ashley has been binding books since his very first calligraphy class in 1974. He has studied binding with many teachers, through the auspices of the Colorado Calligraphers’ Guild, and especially with Laura Wait, and the Guild of Book Workers.
David has made countless blank journals, custom photo albums, small editions of family stories, poems, artist books, calligraphic books and graphic design portfolios. These have been covered in a wide variety of materials: all kinds of book cloths (paper backed so that glue does not show through the cover,) art and decorative papers, leathers, vellum, wood veneer and wood veneer papers. For personal works, he has made his own paste papers, or even used hand painted thin wooden boards.
Traditional and contemporary bookbinding skills lend themselves well to producing portfolios and books for Artists, Photographers, Architects, Musicians and Poets who wish to present themselves in a unique and distinctive way.
In addition, David makes truly original boxes, binders and folders for advertising agencies, designers and marketers to present their latest ideas and innovations in a way that truly makes them stand out above the crowd.
All projects are custom–and each individually tailored to create exactly the “look” that each creative client needs. Peruse David’s samples to see what looks are possible!