Siberia, Based Upon

A truly unique Artisan Book

The Brief

Based Upon create objects based around the visual and physical history of their clients. Here, they had been commissioned to make a bespoke desk for a client. This desk, would also contain a series of ‘secret’ drawers one of which is to contain a book about the client and how Based Upon curated the imagery.

The Challenge

All materials have their own distinct properties and problems inevitably occur when attempting to combine these different materials. Here, we are making a book comprising principally of paper and attempting to place it within a wood, leather and metal structure. The book is part of a millimetre-perfect structure and will live in different environments where it can be expected to expand and contract at different rates to its surroundings with obvious problems.

Project Outline

Dimensional stability is the key issue for this book. Mountains are laid low by pressure from minute expansions and contractions caused by temperature and humidity; and a book is no different. The most vulnerable element is the pages which can be expected to move most in different humidities. Because an exact fit was essential we requested a duplicate carrier (the internal structure holding the book within the drawer) and used this to engineer the book .

As in every book we make, the grain direction of the text pages will run parallel top the spine and that means that the book block can only move across the grain. It has the potential to become wider but, only being fixed at the spine, will not affect the case and, since the case overhangs the text, it cannot influence the dimensions of the book. The cold glue binding will allow for a minute amount of ‘flex’ at the spine without exerting pressure to change size.

The case itself was to be bound in the same well-tanned leather as used on the desk and by using 4mm board (instead of our usual 2mm) for the case we were confident of stability.

All the materials were measured within the supplied carrier before being assembled. Because all the glues we use are water based it was essential that the book was kept under pressure and able to settle before being tested within the carrier.

We achieved a perfect fit with a tolerance of 1mm and total confidence that the drawer will open freely for many, many years to come.

Thanks to Based Upon for sharing their photographs with us, find out more about their work by visiting their website here


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