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The Bookbinder's Largess

For several years now we at de Nevell Book Arts have been looking for the perfect gift to give as Largesse.  We were especially interested in finding a token of appreciation that we could leave for other artisans at A&S faire, and beads on a string just weren't going to cut it for us.  We needed to find a token that would convey our appreciation of the artist, represented us, had some "cool" factor, and most importantly wouldn't break the bank.

With the elevation of Bess' apprentice sister to the Order of the Laurel, Meisterin Katarina Helene wanted to come up with a small token of largesse that Cassy could present those who visited her during the vigil.  Since Cassy was known not just for her C&I but for the creation of many complete books, Meisterin though small books would make the perfect gifts.

Bess got to work on a prototype based off of the token books done by Bess and the kids in 2001, and by Meisterin Katarina Helene's soft covered coptic codex.  To her great surprise, with the right materials, this little book she designed from an old folder and printer paper was going to be quick & easy to make, classy and fairly inexpensive. 

The finished largesse books that Bess created consist of a single signature of 100% ivory cotton paper.  Each was made from a single sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper cut into eights and folded in half.  The colorful textured cardstock cover folds over creating an envelope around the signature.   The quire is "bound" directly to the cover with two staples taking the place of sewn tackets.  A small metal eyelet was placed in the cover flap through which a ribbon was attached to wrap around the book and keep it closed.

These small tokens are ideal for expressing gratitude while still representing the art and the person giving the largesse.  With their simple design using a standard sized paper any message can be easily placed into them.

The pictures above are from the 1st set of books made for Magistra Cassandra Elenora di Milano's elevation vigil.  The books were designed to reflect Cassy and use her heraldic colors of  red, yellow and black.   On folio 1 recto is the Magistra's motto in Latin and in English " 'Ancoro imparo' (I am still learning) ~Michelangelo" and her name. Folio 1 recto was printed onto the signature sheet before it was cut using a font reminiscent of 16th century hand writing.

First the covers are cut into 3" x 5.5" strips from a textured piece of 8.5" x 11" card stock .

I use a friskars brand paper cutter with a rolling blade.


Next I cut the signature paper into eighths, from which the last section will be folded in half to make the bifoliums.


The eight bifoliums  are folded in half and nested into each other to create the single signature of the largesse book.



Coming Soon!!  Step by step putting the book together.

* Largesse from www.m-w.com

Main Entry: lar·gesse
Variant(s):  or lar.gess /lär-'zhes, lär-'jes also 'lär-"jes/
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English largesse, from Old French, from large
Date: 13th century
1 : liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior; also : something so given


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