Tuesday 12 October 2010

Making Journals

For the past few months, I've been renting a small studio space in an artist co-op made up of ten artists each with their own room.  This weekend we're participating in an open studio event and today I went to the studio to finish a couple of paintings for it.  That didn't happen.  Instead, I started making tiny leather journals to pawn off at the event.  I've been carrying this leather, paper, and other book arts paraphernalia around with me for years (after pursuing book binding for a while) and decided to put it all to use.

I prepped the leather, signatures, and end papers. Lost of folding and slicing and cutting and piercing.  The gorgeous marbled paper was purchased in Florence on a trip years ago at a bindery (All'Ancora Secca) run by two sisters.  They marble the papers themselves, and make beautiful hard-covered journals covered in these papers.  

I sewed the signatures into the leather cover.  This part of the process I both love and hate.  What I love about it, is that this is when you really see the materials shaping up to become an actual book.  What I hate about it, is that this is when I'm most apt to make dyslexia-type mistakes and sew things upside down and inside out.  

It's always utter chaos as I near the finish line, no matter how well everything has been organized before hand.

And, finally, the journal.  I took amber beads from an old necklace to make a button-enclosure.  There is something so satisfying about taking beautiful materials, using simple, elegant tools, and hand crafting an item in pretty much the same way as it's been done for centuries. 

Tomorrow I have to get started on the other fourteen of them...

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