lunes, 18 de septiembre de 2017

A Project

I'd like to share with you some project I am working on. I just wanted to do something different, something unusual using the techniques I have learnt over the years but that I hardly get to try. It is not finished, but it is progressing.
This was the design, even though I think I will finally only do the stamp on the middle and probably ignore the dark dots, as they don't convince me:

It has 192 pages of Fedrigoni paper and it is A5 size. The style is a regular Ethiopian, as I didn't want to spend too much time on the structure, I wanted to go straight to the decoration part. 
After sewing and trimming, I used anilines to paint the edges:

Then I put on the cardboards and I used a thin saw to cut the boards to a shape.

Which was then glued to the covers. I am sorry, I forgot to take a picture of that step hehe. 
Anyway, I dyed some leather using Fiebing's red, one of my favourite dyes, and I put it on:

This is how it is looking now. I intent to do some tooling, gilding and mosaique work on that cover. I have great hopes it will look good!


miércoles, 21 de junio de 2017

Using 22k gold!!

It's been a week since I received my real 22k gold, silver and copper sheets. I had an adhesive named Fixor from two years ago, but since in the online shop there was another adhesive very cheap, I decided to give it a try, in case Fixor was expired or to try it for when I ran out of Fixor. 
Anyway, for my tests I glued two scraps of leather, black and brown, and blind tooled with no heat a stamp. Also, I made some very thin lines to test a pallet (you only stamp a pallet once, as it is very difficult to very precise when reestamping). I applied one layer of Fixor on the stamps and two on the pallets separated by ten minutes (that is how I was taught to do it). I also applied the other adhesive. While Fixor penetrates on the leather and is barely noticeable, the other one is sticky and messy. 
Anyway, after waiting for about one hour on Fixor to make sure it is dry and about 30 minutes on the other one so it starts its effect, I started... and I quickly noticed my mistake: that glue I had bought was useless for my purpose. It sticks all the layer, not just the tooled parts. And then I understood that that glue was used in restoration to gild marks or stuff where the whole sheet of gold needed to stuck. After I realized this, I continued with Fixor and came to this:

I used a cushion and a special knife to cut the metal. Then I moved it as I could to where the stamp was. I had previously put a touch of almond oil on the stamp, so the metal wouldn't fly. I can't stress enough how lightless the sheet is, how even breathing it flies. One must be extremely careful, because if it crumbles, it becomes dust. Also, it sticks to your fingers and it crumbles. 
Anyway, once the cut sheet is on the stamp, the tool is heated. To know when the tool is ready, I had a wet sponge. I pressed the tool on the sponge and if it made sound, it was too hot. Once there is no sound, I wait for 5 seconds to cool it on the air and then I gently apply it to the stamp. When I am sure the tool is well positioned I press hard, moving it left and right, north and south and diagonally. 
When the tool is out, with some cloth I remove the rest of the gold. Sometimes you can help yourself with an awl on the small places.
And it was returning that awl to its place I put my arm on the pallet, which was still pretty hot. A cry was made and a visit to the doctor was appropiate. The nurse cured me and three days after that is how the burn looked:

Fortunately, it appears it won't leave a scar, so yay!!
Anyway, by the time I got hurt, I was almost done and these are some close ups:

After that test I have gilded some books. I actually intended using copper on the black one, but I forgot and used gold.


I am particularly happy with this one. That mark was made with a wheel.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Best!


viernes, 9 de junio de 2017

Some gilding and tooling

I have been doing some gilding and tooling lately. For the gilding, I have been using fake gold, but I am waiting for my real gold to arrive. I also ordered silver and copper, so we'll see how that works out.
Here you can see the process. I first stamp with my tool cold, with the leather wet. Then I press with my tool heated, so the mark gets deeper. Always with the leather in wet, else the print would not be deep and the leather would risk damage. In this image, the stamp on the left has already been hot stamped, while the two on the right only have had the cold pressing.


Some of the results. This one has 48 toolings with 5 different stamps, both done twice, so a total of 96 times I stamped. 


I tooled a pallet and gilded three different stamps with fake gold (also called American gold or foil).

And finally, a single gilding with foil, too. 


I will come back with my work using real gold, silver and copper soon. Can't wait to try out those!!

All of these journals are for sale on my shop:

Have a nice day,


viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

New Face for a Special Book

Today I wanted to share with you a rebounding of a book I made last year. For the person who wanted the book, it was a very important book, and he wanted to have a nicely bound edition.
The first step was ordering the book online.

The book was bound in a single-sheet soft cover. That meant I had to discard most bindings, as they work in signatures, and had to go with an American binding. I removed the cover. There was a really thick layer of industrial glue that I had to remove, because the book had to be rounded. It was so complicated, I finally had to cut, but because they were already single sheets, it didn't matter!
Anyway, after trimming out the glue, I made some cuts to the text block in order to insert some cord, then I gave the rounded form to the spine and applied some glue. Once the glue was dried, the block was ready to be worked on.

I applied the cords, the headbands and the backing cloth.

Once the text block was ready, it was time to work on the covers. A brown leather was chosen, with handtool decorations and the name stamped on the front cover in Bradley font.

And the finished book.

viernes, 25 de noviembre de 2016

A Book for a Baby

I know I said I would try to post every Friday... it is just I have so many projects!! Right now I am making my way through the restoration of a couple of books (volume 1 and volume 2) that will be turned into a dos à dos! That is two books joined in one. Plus the fact I am actually restoring them, not making them from scratch, and I get to repair pages and so... But I will show you that when it is more advanced, right now it is in the very beginning hehe.

Today I want to talk to you about another big book I made. Mike contacted me because he wanted a special book for his child, who was expected a couple of months later. They didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. He decided he wanted a Springback, something that looked very sturdy and long lasting, and they wanted a big size: they went for A4. Now, that is a big size to work with, specially for a complex binding as the springback. He wanted the book to open completely, so I used escartivanas. Then, he mentioned they had bought a photo printer, so they were likely to be putting many pictures. For that reason, I made the escartivanas wider, so they worked as compensators too. Anyway, some work in progress pics for you.

Here you can see the escartivanas and how they compensate the future thickness of the pictures.

It was quite a thick book. The paper was a white 150g Basik, very fountain pen friendly.

The book has been trimmed, the spine has been rounded and backed with some cloth. First thin cover has been applied.

Fully backed book on the press, headbands included.

In this picture the second thin cover is on and the layers of the spine are on.

All the thick covers are applied now. You can see the book is so big, that the press left marks on the cardboard. But those went unnoticed when the leather was on.

And pictures of the final book. The leather was black, I gilded an arabesque and tooled their family name. The endpapers are a Bomoart design.

Another look of the effect the escartivanas have.

I made a box to keep the book safe from dust and light. I used black cloth and the same paper design for the cover.

The baby was born safe and it was a girl. I am sure the book has been put to a great use since the birth :). 
I hope you enjoyed the post and have a nice day!

lunes, 10 de octubre de 2016

Three Springbacks to the Middle West

Today I want to share you one of the biggest orders I have had. Three springbacks for the same person! Well, not actually the same person: one for him, one for his wife and one for a friend. And, from the first time, my customer was from the Middle West; from Iraq.

I have already showed several times and I will show some more in future posts the work in progress of the springback, so, for this time, I will not show that many pics of that.

The first of the journals was for Ahmad himself. I used a burgundy leather and he chose the endpapers, which I printed. The decoration was his name and an arabesque blind tooled. His journal was Arabic style, meaning it opens from right to left.

Dhoha's journal was made with turquoise leather. The chosen endpaper was a Bomoart. The decoration was her name and a tree blind tooled. Her journal was also Arabic style.

Finally, Mohammad's journal was special: it was the first time I had used leather that I dyed myself. I used alcohol based aniline. The result was a nice blue with different tones, I hope they can be appreciated on the pictures. The endpapers were chosen by Ahmad and I prined them. His name and the arabesque were blind tooled on the cover. His journal was Occidental style.

I hope you enjoyed and have a nice day!