Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unfinished Project #4 (Marbled Fore-edges)

There are always a few unfinished projects on the shelf. Usually, these unfinished projects are personal projects which get shelved when custom orders and other paid projects come along. I do, though, try to go back to the shelf of unfinished projects periodically, and finish things.

This particular project was started in May 2011. At that time, I was taking a class at PBI and for the work we were doing in that class, we had a bookbinding plough at our disposal. I don't have a plough at home, so I decided to take advantage of this temporary access. A plough is used to trim the edges of a text block, to create very smooth even edges. It is necessary for certain bindings and it is necessary for fore-edge decoration. I decided to create a couple of textblocks and plough the edges so that I could bring them home and marble them.

These two ploughed textblocks sat on the shelf of unfinished projects for almost two years, until February 2013. At that time, I blew off the dust, and finally marbled the edges of those two text blocks. I had never done fore-edge marbling before, but it worked pretty well. Once I had a marble pattern that I liked, I dipped the textblock and made a matching sheet of paper to be used later on the covers.

I quickly moved the dipped textblock into a press.

I did that with both textblocks and left them in the press until they were dry. Then the textblocks went back onto the shelf. Fast-forward to February 2014, and I finally found the time to turn the text blocks into books, with their matching marbled paper covers.

Now, another month later, I finally photographed the finished books and shared the whole story here. A very satisfying finished project, for sure, even if it did take me three years.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New batch of paste papers

I like to make a batch of paste papers from time to time. It is nice to be able to create my own decorative papers. Although I really enjoy marbling and traditional marbled papers are certainly some of the best decorative papers, imo, I also like the more informal look of paste papers. And they are much simpler and quicker than marbling!

Just a few from this morning to show. I tend to prefer simple patterns, low contrast. I find that I am much more likely to actually use the papers, if they are subtle, or not too busy. I'm also just not very good at the busy crazy patterns that some people do so well. So I stick with what works for me, although I did experiment a bit. In addition to the ones shown here, I actually did several others that are just basic brush strokes, back and forth, no extra patterning. (There are more photos on my Facebook page.)

I used cornstarch paste, mixed with acrylic paint, and I used a 98lb Canson mixed media paper.