Book from wet prints?
Has anyone here tried making books from wet prints? Bookbinding is pretty cheap (about $15 for A4 hardcover & sewn spine when I had my thesis done; more for leather covers) so it occurs to me that books made from thin FB prints, perhaps interleaved with tissue, could make pretty spectacular coffee-table books and/or limited-edition fine-art artefacts.
I'm not sure what paper to use though, have never seen double-sided (I assume light bleed-through in the enlarger would make that impossible) and most of the FB paper I've seen is pretty heavy stuff. Does anyone know of any particularly light papers, i.e. about 100gsm? Or should I be resigned to my book being an inch thick?
There is blurb for those who want to do the hybrid thing and their prices are great but the quality is nowhere near the league you can get with good wet prints.
This is how picture books used to be made. I haven't done it, but your idea is a good one.
Most fiber paper is double weight. If you can find single weight paper, (it doesn't seem to be very common) that may be an option. I have heard that it is a pain to work with though.
I have some Kodak Polycontrast Art single weight, and yes, its a serious PITA when wet. The stuff feels fragile, it feels like it wants to tear when handled with tongs, soaks in lots of chems. I'm not sure it would make for good book pages. There are some good medium weight papers available that may fit your use.
Pray tell, what are the names of these medium-weight papers?
i have made many ( 20-25? ) hand stitched books of wet processed prints.
some were closed spine ( the pages in groups, sewn together in a sewing rack )
and many were open spine japanese bound books.
you can't really get images on both sides of the photo paper ( no emulsion :) )
one problem associated with hand bound books is that the book fans open when it is closed .. ( "<" )
because of the paper's thickness.
i have sewn pages together and it worked well,
i have also tipped images onto rag paper, and cut slots in the rag paper
and slid corners of the images in, to secure them, and allow for removal + duplication.
if you like hand binding, keith smith has a great series on how to make books by hand
have fun !
Might consider getting some paper actually for the book and, either, sensitize it or get some that can be printed rather than binding actual prints. The opposite page will always have the manufacturer's markings on it.
thanks for the link but I reckon I'll just get professional bookmakers to do my bindings. I don't need yet another thing for me to spend time on! Great to hear that people are making printed books though.
In pondering double-sided, what I meant was that there would never be double sided paper (i.e. no manufacturer would ever coat both sides) because it would not be possible to expose only one side due to the paper's translucency.
I don't see any use in gluing pages back-to-back either - it doesn't make the book any thinner and it means that there will be emulsion facing emulsion, which is asking for damage. Emulsion-against-FB I think is clearly OK because the paper survives in its original boxes without sticking or abrading.
Edit: Christopher: I've never seen manufacturers' markings on the back of FB paper! RA-4 prints (digital) from a lab, yes, but I can't print that stuff at home yet.
it really isn't that difficult of a task to bind a book.
a japanese bound book is very easy .. you just need images with a deep margin where the hinge would be,
and cloth and book-board ( thick dense cardboard ).
you cut the bookboard to be about 1/4" bigger than your paper,
you cut a section out of the board so it can be a hinge ...
you paste the cloth onto the board, and then rag paper onto that so it "looks nice" ...
then ... you stack the pages together onto the full board, put the hinged cover ontop ...
drill 5 holes through the boards and sew the spine ...
the only hard part is pasting things ( actually waiting for the paste to dry :) )
shows how easy it is :)
a closed spine book is a little more involved
since you need to sew the pages together as "signatures" ( packets of pages )
and then hammer + paste the spine ... and then paste the end pages onto the cover itself ...
it really isn't hard, just a few more steps ... and unless you have some sort of way to "image" the backsides
of your pages you will always have blanks sides ..
xeroxagraphy is archival btw and the pages can be very thin so if you are able to find a high-quality print shop
that can make xerox-copies maybe you will be in good shape.
the pod printers that are popping up on the internet do something like that ...
they print on both sides of paper, and just have a bindery make the book ...
have fun !