Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preservation Work

I will be embarking soon on a new project for my aunt and her church and so I'm of a mood to post pictures. My bookbinding skills will be needed for this one! They discovered in the church belfry an old collection of hymnals, most of which are filthy, damaged, and incomplete. They chose a few of the best copies and I am going to clean, repair, and piece together one whole bound copy in its entirety. I have a few "Before" photos just to show the condition they are in.

I know this layout is a little icky (I seem to have trouble getting things to look nice unless I want to invest the time in messing with the html), but you can see the front cover (the best one), some of the middle section, and below there are photos of the back cover and of the few others in worse condition.

On the subject of bookbinding, while I was putting together a PowerPoint for a class I'm guest lecturing, I found some photos I took over a year ago of a leather-bound book. I repaired it in the lab, which is a treatment we only do rarely. Using a wheat starch paste that we cooked in lab, I was able to reattach the boards with muslin strips. I simulated cords by separating the ends of the strips and attaching one side underneath the board (and under the marbled endsheets) and the other side on top of the board (under the layer of leather). A later photo shows the hollow core I adhered to the spine (again using wheat starch paste). The core is made of japanese tissue paper and is glued in stages, keeping it open inside using a strip of mylar. The mylar was removed once the core was dry. The third photo shows the dark brown italian canapetta that I used for the spine, while the fourth shows the original leather spine readhered. It was still mostly intact and I wanted to preserve it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


It's really too bad that practically no one reads this blog. I wouldn't say I'm in a creative slump per se, it's more that I see so many options and so many types of media to work with that my brain feels overwhelmed and I don't end up working on anything. It would be nice to get some advice on how to inspire creativity, but in a strict sense. I love art classes for this very reason. Because of the parameters that are put on assignments, it allows me to be even more creative because I can focus. When the sky is my limit, well, that's just too broad and uninteresting for me. Anyone out there know of good books or websites that could help with this? Too bad I'm not an art teacher, I could assign myself some projects.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Night Owl Designs, up and running

My three collections are complete as of last weekend. I took some photos (although not the best in the way of photographic environment) and although they could be better, you can see enough. The thumbnails are at the bottom of my blog page but also available on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nightowldesigns/). I'm the least satisfied with how the book collection turned out, but mostly because of color choices on the journal I think. The jewelry collection included two sets with a necklace and earrings in each, as well as a basic box for them that I decorated with paper. The scarf also goes in this set and it's titled "Handmade Accessories." The book collection included a large sketchbook, the 200+ page journal (with endbands), and two "Forget-Me-Not" notebooks (you can see how small they are in the photo where use my hand as comparison). Finally, the canvas collection is three pieces that follow the theme "Live, Laugh, Love." They were covered in paper of varying weights, decoupaged, and other decorations were added afterwards (such as sewn seams, buttons, ribbons, etc). I also have a few photos of a bracelet made of glass beads and wrapped in wire. This one was made while watching TV a couple nights ago and I'm posting it on Etsy. Let me know what you think. I welcome criticism or other ideas.