Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book: Green Scale Brick

Name: Green Scale Brick
Size: Size 1, Brick
Cover: All Leather
Pages: 500 (approxi)
Paper: 75 lb
Estimated Value: $20.00
Description: The Green Scale Brick is an all-leather cover, size 1, "Brick" journal with a tie closure and press work and leather dye elements.


Bricks are one of the easier journals for me to make and the design is something that I use for experimentation in covers. There's not a lot of cover material in a size 1 journal so I can afford to try new stuff. the different between a size 1 journal and a 'brick' is the number of pages. Bricks will have double the number of pages for an average size journal. For this project the pages are 75 lb, heavy weight 'construction paper' that takes ink, charcoal and paint very well.

Once I had the book block (the bound section of pages) finished and dressed (the edges were cut and the spine rounded), I cut out a piece of 2-3 ounce Craftsman Tooling Leather (from Tandy Leather) and started to lay out the basic space I would have to experiment within.

The design for this book started with a simple, quarter-inch border around the cover. It creates a 'framework' in which I can plug any design I want. Once I had the border lined, I added small dots with one of my leather stamps to break up the empty space of the border.

Then I wanted to get into some cross-hatching for the cover and see what would the effect be with such thin leather.

As you can see, Bricks are wide books. This one measure around 2 inches thick.

Normally I use 3-4 ounce leather for my books but wanted to try something thinner to see what would happen. Once the grid was put onto the cover and pressed, I started work on the dye process.

Leather dying is a pain. It's the one 'random' factor in making a book that I'm still working on. For this project I wanted to see if I could marble the leather to give it a mottled, lizard-like quality and I think I've achieved it. I left the outer edge the base 'green' color that I used as a reference for what I had to start with when I began altering the colors of the main body.

Once I had the cover dyed and marbled the way I liked it, I added a simple, string closure (mainly because anything too thick would stand out along the center of the book so I kept it thin) that one could tie closed.

For end-papers, I'm experimenting with marbling colored paper. I think it looks need and is kind of cool for a green-covered book.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wicker Tree Symbol

 So I was  at Walmart and saw a DVD title that caught my attention: The Wicker Tree. It is the sequel to the original Wicker Man movie back in the 1970's with Christopher Lee. The symbol on the front of the DVD cover caught my attention as an interesting combination of the sun-and-face design along with a pentacle.

So I decided to do a search for the image and found something that I could start with. I didn't want to use their versions because it's full of inverted crosses and that's hard to do as background filler in presswork for a leather journal.

I sketched out half of the design (since I would simply duplicate that half to make the whole) and scanned it in. When I combined the two halves together it made a weird... crown-ish design at the top. The wavey sun-rays should spiral around the sun in the same direction (and I planned on fixing that) but the image with the central 'crown' thing just looked interesting.

But I still wanted to see what the image looked like with the radial sun-bursts going in the right direction so I fixed it and decided to add some color for the wavy lines. In the finished design for the book, I'll simply press the entire shaded area and dye it darker.
But - since the book would not be white I wanted to see what the black on stained-leather would look like and knocked together a quick representation of the different looks.

I'll post finished progress pics once I start working on it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Term: Double Fold

Name: Double Fold
Size: varies but often Size 5
Cover: Leather or All Leather
Pages: 600 (approximately)
Paper: 75 lb
Elements: Varies but often will include Decorative Symbol (Raised or Recessed), Book Ribbons, Buckle closures, etc.
Estimated Value: $50.00 

A Double-Fold book is essentially two books bound within the same cover. Books such as these have been used for a myriad of purposes but were popularized in the movie, Practical Magic, as a Book of Spells. One of the books was for the 'good' spells and the other was for the 'bad' spells.

Double-Folds can be of almost any size (1-5) but are commonly made 'big' (size 5) because people wish to pour plenty of work into each page and need the additional space. Some have opted for a smaller version and gone with a smaller size but that is a matter of personal preference.

When designing a double-fold book there are a lot of terms and elements that need to be discussed (the cover material, any design that might be added and upon what cover will it go, etc.).

To make things easier for those people who want me to make them such a book I've tried to keep the terms fairly simple.

The cover for a double-fold is much larger than a standard book as it has to wrap around two separate blocks of pages. 
 It's important to note where a client wants a symbol or image place so that mistakes aren't made in the construction process. Additionally - images on the Interior covers have to be RECESSED as opposed to RAISED because the raised image will press into the pages of the Primary Book.

Double Fold books are divided into two sections: the Primary Book and the Secondary Book. The Primary book is usually the thicker of the two sections (usually 2/3rds of the total pages) and is the book  that one first sees when they open the book. The Secondary book is often thinner or equal to the Primary book (the distribution of the pages can be equal - it's a matter of the client's wishes) and is often where the author will keep 'reserved' information.

In the case where books such as these were used by the medical profession in the 16th and 17th century, the Secondary book was a book of known cures; things that the physician knew worked as treatments for various maladies. Essentially the Secondary book was the 'Physician's Desk Reference' of the time. The Primary Book was a written record of all of the cases that he had come across in his work. It would most closely be associated with a the charts and medical histories kept by the medical profession on their patients.

For my "Standard Double-Fold" I will often encourage the client to pick a symbol for the Exterior cover of the book - something that's meaningful to them. Normally I will try and keep the design down to an inch-shorter than the dimensions of the exterior cover. So an 8.5" x 11" cover would have a design space of 7.5" x 10". It's just easier to fit the design into the space allotted.

The only problem is when someone wants to add buckles to the book - the design space will shrink as the buckles attach to the Exterior Cover in two or three places and that can either A) shrink the design to near obscurity or B) move the design to the Interior cover.

Other binders or book suppliers charge STUPID amounts of money for their versions of Double-Fold books.

Studio Lapulia: $635.00

Term: Raised Design

A design element often used in leather or all-leather book covers.
The image is pushed  up from the surface of the book making it thicker.