Two large, minimalistic longstitch books covered with black python skin. The thin and supple python was laminated with black cardstock and cut in two clean and sturdy cover pieces. Ten sections of archival, natural white Munken Pure paper were sewn on each with gray linen thread. Both books have simple sewn-on black endpapers as well. Made for a customer. (Want to be a customer? Just contact me.)
Odd project for today. A simple little leatherbound journal, with two different types of recycled paper for pages. This book has handsewn linen headbands and some modest blind tooling on the cover. The leather I used is fine goatskin in one of my favourite browns (yes, I have several favourite browns and not much else).
The past few days have, for some reason, been exceptionally frustrating and difficult. Like a friend so kindly suggested, I had to respawn. So as a remedy of sorts I dyed and painted some papers,
envisioning the blood of my enemies.
This cardstock was first thinly painted with “Interference gold” acrylic colour, after which I washed over it with Indian ink and, coincidentally, “Indian red” ink. I realised it will make quite the perfect covering material for Shōhei Ōoka’s Fires on the Plain, which I have had sitting on my project shelf for ages. The gold only shows through when you look at the paper from a certain angle.
The 17th century, when the Sun King Louis XIV reigns in France. The Togukawa Shogunate marks the beginning of the Edo period in Japan. Queen Christina reigns over Sweden and never marries. The Gunpowder Plot. The Commonwealth ends 1660, making England a monarchy again. In 1665 the last of the Great Plague reaches London, and 1666 the city burns. Peter the Great becomes a czar and some twenty years later builds the beautiful, impossible city of St. Petersburg on the swamps where the river Neva meets the sea. Johannes Vermeer paints in Delft. Bunyan writes the “Pilgrim’s Progress”.
Twenty people are executed as witches during the Salem Witch Trials between 1692-1693. During the unusually cold years 1696-1697 the great famine in Finland leaves even the wealthiest houses without crops and grain, and eventually kills one-third of the population. Tea and coffee become popular in Europe. The Dutch East India Company is established and competes in the spice trade with the English East India Company.
How infinitely more lovely is the repair of old books when you begin to think of the era they come from, and all the eras they have survived. It’s a somewhat justifiable trick for keeping yourself interested in fondling and patching completely boring pieces of old rag paper.