Travel Sketchbook

Before I tell you about the first work featured on this post, I would like to quickly tell you about what it is I do.  I’ve taken many classes through various workshops and Universities to learn bookbinding, and until recently I was doing this part time. However, earlier this year I have decided to make it a full time endeavor. Generally, I produce small edition bindings, custom enclosures, one off artist books, as well as restoration and conservation treatments. In the posts to follow, you will see the work I create as well as updates on things to come…

Travel Sketchbook
Architecture, 2009. Natural Iris book cloth and Acrylic
Travel Sketchbook
Headband Detail


This sketchbook was made as a present for a relative of mine who was going on their first trip overseas to Italy.  Knowing what it is like to travel to a new place so different from the one you live, it was important to me to make the cover design match the significance of the trip.

To begin, I turned to imagery associated with Italy, and one of the most common subjects associated with travel in Italy is architecture.  When one speaks of architecture, several Italian cities are studied: the dome of the Florence Cathedral, the leaning tower of Pisa, pretty much everything in Rome to name just a few. So it was clear that I wanted to make some element of architecture the prominent design.

The next decision to be made was how to get my design onto the book cloth, a material durable enough for travel.  So after a few tests, a stencil proved to be the best way.  I made a “test” stencil out of paper with the intention of transferring it to Mylar for the final stenciling.  However, the paper held up and I decided to just go with it.  The back was sprayed with an adhesive and the stenciling began.

One thing I learned from this procedure was that the paint needs to be as dry as possible.  I had added water in order to make the paint go a long way, but too much water causes the paper backing to pull away from the cloth; something to keep in mind in the future. The headband thread was dyed with acrylic as well to match the cover decoration.

Book Cloth with Stencil
Stenciled Bookcloth
Stenciled Book Cloth