Sunday, October 30, 2011

FTB Journal #2 Redux – Celtic Steampunk Style

This is my second attempt to make a hidden binding journal from Mary Ann Moss’s Full-Tilt Boogie online class. My first attempt was not entirely successful.

This journal started life as a used book I found in Rockport this summer. I was attracted by the Celtic-like knot work on the cover and the spine. You don’t see such intricate decorations on hardback books much anymore.

After removing the text block, I tore down 90 lb. hot press Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper into signatures to fit inside the book and sewed it together (by itself) over some painted watercolor paper tabs. At the time, it sat perfectly into the spine area.

The book block sewn over tapes before gluing in

Front end papers from my painting

 I needed to completely cover the endpapers (line drawings of the book’s subject) because it would distract from the streamlined Celtic steampunk theme I’d decided to try. Adding two gears and a washer directly over the printer’s initials on the cover, I also wanted to hide the splayed brad inside. Looking through some paintings I had done on watercolor paper, I tried to find any with a steampunk theme. I found a perfect one and decided to use parts of it to become both front and back end papers that would also attach to the first and last pages.
That’s when I ran into the same difficulty I had with the practice version. The painted end paper was 140 lb. watercolor, adding too much thickness to my perfectly-fitting sewn book block. I struggled to get the back end papers to both attach and close. Now I know to not use thicker endpapers!

Yet, it still looks cool despite its imperfections. You can turn the gears on the front cover and the end papers look steampunk.
I might have to make several more of this style of journal to really master it. Maybe thinner end papers or none at all would work better. Although I like being able to recycle old books, especially when there is a great design on the spine, this is not my favorite style of journals to make.

Back end papers