Welcome! We're happy you're here!
About a month ago Joseph and I were talking about how cluttered our bindery was feeling, and how it felt like everything was falling down around us, even after cleaning and reorganizing, and more reorganizing; we were just feeling like we needed a refresher of sorts, and so that is exactly what we did!
We keep long work hours, and so it really makes sense to work out of our home, otherwise, we'd never be home, right? When you spend the majority of your days and nights in one space, it's smart to make it useful and efficient, organized and clean, comfortable and beautiful. I think we've put together a great bindery, library, sitting room; whatever you want to call it. This is a place for us to create and continue to grow our small business!
Okay, I know I say this with every blog post, but I CAN NOT believe how fast this year is flying! Is it really September? I'm still in the mindset of Spring, man. If you follow along with our Insta Stories, you often see us during our evening break chillin' around the firepit with our cute farm animals. It's become a routine ever since we had our baby lambs earlier this year, and one I look forward to everyday. For me (Jill) working from home has been a huge challenge, simply because I enjoy getting out into the world, seeing people out and about, and I do miss the routine of the hustle and bustle of going to a traditional job. So getting out of the bindery and visiting our animals is so rewarding, and really that breath of fresh air I need to stay motivated and focused on projects.
I think oftentimes people want us to show more of what we're doing in the bindery rather than out on the farm, and we do plan on showing more of our life in the bindery; we're just in the process of remodeling it, so it's not quite ready for its close up just yet. Also, I have a hard time when people start asking who owns the book we're working on, or how much money is that book worth; frankly that information isn't anyone's business. If you want to talk about the history of the book, the author, the binding style, the paper stock, type fonts, we're all in, and will talk for days about that kind of stuff. Unfortunately, more often than not, human curiousity takes over and people seem to be more interested in information that we just won't give out. So if we seem closed off when it comes to our bindery work, I'm sorry about that. We have been sent emails from other binders telling us we're snotty and look down our nose at them. For us, our closed off attitude is about being protective, that's really all it is.
Lately, in addition to regular bindery work, and remodeling and moving our bindery, we're gearing up for our first Fiber Festival that's happening this November where I'm selling my hand spun yarn and threads, raw wool from our rabbits and sheep, and other roving I have from a variety of different fiber animals, as well as our adjustable frame loom, antiques, notions, antique prints and engravings. Of course we'll have old books and new ones we've made there too! I'm really excited to meet fellow fiber enthusiasts.
We're always making improvements on our homestead, something that is a constant work in progress. Animals wear things out fast, and so does East Texas weather. We built fencing around our house blocking off our front yard, so now our sheep won't escape when we open the gate to back out of the driveway! All of our fencing just needs paint—another project to add to the list—but we'll eventually get it done. We're also in the process of building a dog run which is basically the hugest dog crate ever made; we built it using cattle panels. Our big dogs will not be able to dig, chew, our bust their way out of this baby; a reassuring feeling animal owners enjoy.
As always, we've worked on amazing books and have built beautiful enclosures this summer too! After eight years as a full-time conservator in the rare book field, I still am amazed at what collectors find, and how well they take care of their collections; it makes this conservationist (Joseph) very happy.
With so many projects going on at once, and our constant checking off that to-do-list as fast as we add to it, I see why time flies by so quickly; we know everyone feels that way. We hope y'all had a great Summer, and are looking forward to a wonderful Fall season, I know we are.
Stay tuned for our new and improved bindery reveal in the coming weeks (same location, just expanding)! Now, back to the books!
When my client asked for a fore-edge painting on a historical rebind, I was pretty excited! I had the freedom to choose the image and the treatment, which is always nice, but can be nerve racking too.
This book is an 1876 Doctrine and Convenients that once had a ratty old cloth binding; now it's bound in the way it always should have been, in our opinion, because the cover of a book really should always be beautiful, and probably always leather.
We rebound the book in calf leather that we hand dyed, then tooled the spine and boards with a classic 19th Century Design. The center tooling on the spine is a build up of a smaller tool, which is one of my favorite ways to tool on leather.
We marbled these lovely French Curl end sheets, and Joseph painted a landscape image of the LDS Nauvoo Temple. He then concealed the painting with a graphite edge treatment.
We gave this book the VIP treatment, and we loved every minute of the restoration project. We thought it would be fun to film a short video of the graphite edge treatment process, and the reveal of the fore-edge painting. Enjoy, fellow book lovers!
We recently restored and rebound this amazing first edition King James Bible, 1611, and it was so much fun!
We also made a custom enclosure with an internal compartment to house the original leather we took off the covers, and any other documents or provenance that may have come with the book.
The book's boards were quite tattered and not really protecting the text block anymore. The leather was breaking away and not protecting the boards, and well, you get the idea.
We rebound the book with wooden boards in our hand dyed calf leather, hand tooled in both gold and blind, embroidered chevron end bands, hand forged brass corner bosses and clasps that I engraved with a period appropriate design of the 17th Century. We finished the project by adding a facsimile title page.
It's always exciting to add life back to these special relics from the past!
The other day the sun was hiding behind the clouds, and the evening light was perfect to shoot photos of our cute sheep as they were out and about on the homestead. We're also happy that our puppies, Brina and Callum, are learning how to interact with the sheep better.
We love our sheep days at Eidolon House!