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…
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.