Sunday, October 20, 2013

Green Brick

A string-tie was used to hold the book closed. The tie is looped through the cover and around the spine. 

A typical Brick is between 2 to 3 inches thick.

End pages were made by spraying bleach on colored, craft paper.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prop: Abramelin's Grimoire (Hansel & Gretel: The Witch Hunters)

From the movie: Hansel and Gretel, the prop is a book of protection versus dark magic.

It's an interesting design in that it combines multiple elements.

1. Raised Designs - the skeletonized bodies of two reptiles have been tied or anchored to the front covers of the book.

2. Two separate book blocks with a single, shared spine.

3. Over accentuated spines that seem to serve as support posts for the book when fully opened.

4. The pages seem to be tied together loosely and then somehow bound to the book.

Oak Leaf Stamp Journal

A new book project that crawled into my head utilizing a new leather stamp that I picked up from Tandy Leather.

I'm torn between the first and second designs. The only real difference between the two are a set of depression lines set to connect the corner stamps.

I think the second design looks better, more complete. The lines help 'frame' the design of the book in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Design: Pentagonal Book

The pentagonal book was an idea that I've had since I did the Triangular Book a few years ago. It took me a while to figure out how to construct the book-blank out of a standard-sized piece of paper. Eventually I ended up cutting it out of a size-5 book so it's somewhere around a size-4 when it's cut down to shape.

Then the problem came up that I have to put a cover on it. Naturally a pentagonal book would need a pentagonal cover. Well, this seems like a very pagan-focused book so I thought about putting a pentagram (since a pentacle has a circle around it) of... something.

I'm not sure if it's metal bars or sticks or what. I'm also not sure of the cover material: either natural leather or black.

Then I have to figure out how the book is closed if at all.


I need to find what the five main points would be. Perhaps gem stones of some kind.
Then I need to find out the five inner points. These could be upholstery tacks like from Tandy Leather.
Then I need something to connect the points together. Plate Aluminum? Something silvery-ish.

Still working on the concept.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Leather Stamping

To continue my recent foray into all-leather covers, I've been working with some leather stamps.

Usually I would employ leather stamps to decorate a book's border. It's a fairly simple way of adding design to the book without having to spend hours hand-pressing the design by hand.

 This stamp (the thing that looks like a pawn from chess) can easily be used to create what I would call a 'tulip' design for a border.
 The same design can be used to wrap around the book with something at the corner (as shown above) or left open (below) for a different stamp (perhaps something round)

There's also a fairly simple stamp that I ran across that would seem to be perfect for most of my covers.
The 'X' can be repeated over and over again to almost create the "Tripple Moon" symbol commonly associated with Goddess worship - or it could just be a simple, two-strand twist for a book's border.

Update 5.20.13

This pattern of alternating oak leaves is made from one of Tandy's Leather Stamps. Click here for the Right-facing and here for the Left.

Design: Journal Cover

This design is of a leather journal cover with a snap closure. The design, similar to the journal cover I created in 1994, was large enough to accommodate most spiral-bound sketchbooks that measure 8.5" by 5.5".  In this model the journal cover is larger to accommodate an 8.5" by 11" book.

Prop: Abraham Lincoln Journal

From the movie, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

This is an all-leather covered journal that appears to be somewhere around a size-2 book with a leather tongue on the back cover and a loop on the front with a small pencil loop inside.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Project: Necro-King

Name: Necro-King Size: 1, Brick
Cover: Leather Cover
Cover Material: Stained Leather
Pages: 500 (approximately)
Paper: 75 lb
Elements: Burned and Painted Design on Cover

Estimated Value: $30.00 

Update 5.19.13

Design burned into the leather with a wood-burning tool

Design painted and leather dyed with an oak finish.

A single leather tie will hold the book closed.

Update 5.17.13

The design taped to the cover

After speaking with the client, the 3-D cover design was just not practical. When I brought up the idea of an all-leather, size-1 Brick (like the owl-brick) he liked it. 

The all-leather cover compromise for the book has started.

Update 9.23.12

On a whim, I thought that I would try the cover with a three-dimensional element such as a stryofoam skull. Since it's Halloween season (for decorations and such) it's a perfect time to grab some materials for books. Using the basic shield shape from the original design, I made a mock-up of it and set the skull in the center to get a good idea of proportion. Since the client was looking for a size 4 book (7 x 9.5"), it's slightly less than a full sheet of paper (8.5 x 11").

Aside from shrinking the shield down a bit to make a better fit on the cover, I think that the skull is a very interesting embellishment. I'm not sure of the functionality of the book with the huge skull attached to one cover, but it would definitely get people's attention.

I think that the added bulk of the skull might be a bit much unless I bulk up the shield base as well. So I'll have to raise it off of the cover by maybe a quarter inch or so. This will increase the weight of the book (having nearly a double-thick cover) which will then have to be mirrored in the back so as not throw the balance off.
Silhouette of the crown that's to be used as a design element.

Silhouette of the shield base that's to be used as a background for the skull and crown.

Update 9.18.12

I've spoken with the client and he likes the image of the skull and the crown so that's where I'll start. 

Update: 9.17.12

I have created some concept designs for the front cover. These are simple versions of skulls that might look good as a raised image.

Original Post: 9.12.12

Name: Necro-King Size: Size 5, Double Fold
Cover: Leather Cover
Cover Material: Black Leather
Pages: 500 (approximately)
Paper: 75 lb
Raised symbol
Estimated Value: $70.00 

What style of book do you want? Single-Fold (normal-style book)  
What size of book do you want? Size 4: A book that is 7 by 9 1/2 inches in size  
What kind of cover do you want for the book? All-Leather  
What kind of paper do you want for the book Thick-weight paper  
What COLOR of paper do you want for the book? Stained / aged. 
What kind of closure do you want for the book? Two Buckles (Silver) 
Embellishments Raised cover symbol (symbol raised up from the cover of the book. Specify design 
at the end)  

Briefly describe the book. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure of what symbol I want on the cover yet. 
All that I do know, is that I want it to have something to do with my personal studies. I'll most likely think of something as time goes on, but for now, all I am certain about is the fact that I am wanting to make this tome into my personal grimoire on the subject of necromancy. It shall include my spells, as well as my personal notes and instructions.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Owl Brick

A client asked me if I could repeat the 'Scorched Leather' effect along with a Burned Design for a Brick.

I said sure and got the design for the owl face and started to work.

So far it looks pretty good. I'm going to scorch the leather and apply some stain to it to break up the pale tan of the new leather.

I think I'll have this be a single-tie closure since it's only a brick.

Updates to be posted soon.

Fish Ledger

The Fish Ledger, as I call it, was a project that I started a while back for a friend of mine whose nickname is...Fish.

Well, the idea of a yin-yang with Fish came to mind since it combined two of his "themes" and I drew it up. Unfortunately I had no idea what to do with the design until I started wood-burning leather.

That's where I started with this project.

I had a ledger-sized book-blank ready to go and some time on my hands and started to lay it out on the cover of some nice oak-tanned leather and then tried my hand with the burner.

The result was very nice. It was supposed to be a light fish on one side and a dark one on the other. Easy to design but not so easy to burn that way without messing it up.

The leather, since it's brand new, needed something to give it some character so I tried the burned-leather look that I did on a previous project (click here) and scorched it here and there.

This broke up the pale tan leather and the burned fish image very well and gave me a good start before I started to add the finish.

The first layer of dye gave the leather a nice, earthy look but the color was blotchy here and there so I decided to give it a second coat and a layer of leather protectant to seal in the color and preserve it against water damage.

Since this is a ledger book (7" x 11") I needed to add some kind of closure to hold the whole thing together. I thought that the leather ties at the top and bottom would be a great element and punched holes to run the leather lace.

Here's the finished image of the book. You can see that after I buffed the leather it's taken on a nice shine that will, unfortunately, dull with age but by then the book will have developed its own character.

I'm very pleased with it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Defending Darwin

This is a paperback book that I'm repairing for a friend of mine.

The book's spine was heavily damaged and the front cover was torn free with several of the first pages just piled in there loosely.

So - I reattached the two halves of the cover together and reinforced the spine and then added brown-paper corners to reinforce them since they were already frayed and nearly gone.

Once the block is finished drying I can reattach the cover and have this one done.

It's a nice exercise in paper-back repair.

Project: Elves and Fairies

This is what I call an "educational" project.

A few years ago, a friend of mine asked if I could repair a book she had kept from her childhood. The book, "Elves and Fairies", was a large book filled with color prints that had obviously been a well-loved edition as evidenced by the various repairs to the torn pages and such.

Repairing damaged pages is always a tricky issue - especially when the paper is already starting to show discoloration possibly due to damage due to the paper's natural acidity. So it took me a while to research the best way to both repair and 'clean up' the pages as best I could.
When I was given the book almost all of the page were torn apart. Originally they were gathered into five signatures (which is odd because most books come with even numbers of signatures) but years of flipping through the pages had torn most of them either completely through or had left large tears at the top and bottom of each spine.

Thankfully I was able to find some material that would both repair the spines of the pages, re-attach them to each other and prevent any further damage so that the book could be enjoyed for another generation or two. Additionally, I was able to pull some of the discolorations out of the paper where it had been dyed either through age or acidity.

I now know why book 'restoration' and book 'repair' are widely different concepts and hugely different price ranges.

All that is left for this project is to sew the signatures up and attach a paper spine. Unfortunately there's nothing that I can really do for the damage to the cover boards except add some fore corners to the edge. The large rip (on the front cover, bottom left edge) is something that I tried to see if there was a trick to fixing but I can't find any acceptible solution.

Originally I was going to see if there was a copy of the book's cover as a digital image online. I would print the image and then paste it over the tear to fill in the missing content. Unfortunately I can't find any copy of the book's cover of an appropriate size. Most of the pictures are way too small so that when you increase the size for printing it blurs the image.

I plan to use a black, acid-free paper stock for the spine and the fore corners.
This is a gimp-aided concept of what the back cover will look like with the spine replace and the fore corners added.
Update: 5-8-13

Once finals were over I had time to work on this project again. I've added book cloth to the corners and to the spine and then attached the pages.

After speaking with the client about the large tear on the front they recommended either painting it a complementary shade of blue (to match the background) or to leave it for now until a better solution could be found.