Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Process: Leather Journal

Hi there! We've talked about illuminated scrolls along with platters and coasters and other wooden things, so now it's time for book stuff. Today's item is the leather journal.

While Jen was devoting every spare minute to designing borders for said illuminated scroll, I busied myself with leather and paper and binding techniques.

This book making process has a lot of details, but I'll give it my best shot! Here goes.

Step 1-Preparing the Pages: The journal covers are 5.75"x8.25", so I started by cutting out paper sheets that were roughly 11"x8". I then folded each sheet in half (width-wise) to create a total of 16 folios. Next, I coupled the folios, placing one inside of another, which gave me 8 signatures. Stacking these signatures creates what is called the book block.

Step 2-Letter-pressing: For this particular book, I letter-pressed on the first page only. This was a relatively easy task, which involved arranging type on the letterpress bed, inking it with a small brayer, clamping the first folio on top of the type, and pulling the roller across the folio...resulting in "OPUS demo" appearing on the first page.  (I'll talk more about letterpress next time!)

Step 3-Preparing the Covers: I cut out two pieces of art board, 5.75"x8.25" each, and a single piece of leather, approximately 11"x12". I then adhered the leather to the boards, wrapping it around their edges. Once the adhesive dried, I moved on to...

Step 4-Binding: I poked holes in the valleys (fold creases) of each signature using an awl. With the same tool, I pierced holes in the spine of the leather (the relatively narrow section that joins the covers) so that they were aligned with the signature holes. I then bound the covers and book block together using one of our very own Opus stitches (this particular one was inspired by the Coptic Stitch).

OK. I hope you survived all of that.

The end!

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