Making Book Jewelry


I began experimenting with copper for unique book jewelry that can slip over a book page. The metal jig I use has molvable pins that can be configured into a number of patterns. The 18-gauge copper wire, as a soft malleable metal, is easily formed on a metal jig into a desired shape.

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The Thread That Binds Binding

Final Cover Binding
Final Cover Binding

Pamela Leutz, a fine binder, wrote the book The Thread That Binds: Interviews with Private Practice Binders. It is book that examines book binders who have chosen bookbinding as a vocation. In 2010, the Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers planned an exhibition around the individual design binding of this book. Oak Knoll Press printed a limited number of unbound book sets as well as bound edition. Fifty-one binders, bought the unbound sets and crafted their own binding designs to express both binding knowledge and creativity. Continue reading The Thread That Binds Binding

Water book binding

The concept with the Starfish was selected for the Water book binding.

The starfish shape is built up on the davyboard covers using paper clay, a white moldable, clay like substance made from paper that dries quickly. The pared dark blue leather is laid over the whole book and the very thin leather onlays applied. The white and sand color onlays are “wetted and pasted out” with wheat paste and then puckered in the application. This gives the impression of ripples in the sea foam.

The shagreen leather onlay applied to the starfish is interesting stuff to work with. It is very tough and the “pearl” scales have been commercially sanded flat – a perfect texture for the starfish form.

Leather hinges are used with marbelized endsheets and the head of the book is painted with shell gold. The headbands are hand-sewn with silk thread.

Water bookbinding cover concept

In 2009, I purchased a set book to create a full leather fine art binding for the International Designer Bookbinder’s Competition. To think through the concept for this binding cover, I used Photoshop to sketch possible ideas. I finally settled on the starfish version for the final book creation. I took stock of the leather material I had on hand and decided to purchase shagreen (stingray) for the starfish body. The leather was scanned in to get the feel of the way leather would appear on the covers.

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