Friday 29 January 2010

The Four Gospels. Design and materials.... head work.

I have spent the last week looking at folded pieces of paper. Working out the design for the Big 4 (The Four Gospels)

There is so much to go for, the lives of the saints, the colours and various clues in Icons. The materials of the time... now and in the past.

It is my intention that the Big 4 works in four design parameters, one has been sorted out with the end papers and doublers. The other three will be visible when the books are displayed. Some serious head work !

During the research I have looked at treasure bindings, books of hours, Icons, statues... the list goes on. The more I think, the more I am leaning towards a combination of past and now. Leather and mixed media. One thing I am sure of is that no two boards will be the same, even to the point were the two boards on the same binding will be of different sizes. This will create a silhouette that is not regular, breaking the square or rectangular format of the book.

Next is to put into practise on the maquette the various techniques I hope to use.

Thursday 21 January 2010

The Four Gospels. Overlapping boards to the spine.

With the leather on the spine, leather joint in place and the doubler wrapped around the inner boards it was time to work on the outer boards. The aim is to have the boards meet in the middle of the spine. This will provide a large flat surface for the art work and stuff.

View of the book laying down with one of the outer boards in place. The work looks a bit rough because this is the maquette, all the practice and working out is down on this before I go on to the real books.

View of the board (blue leather) overlapping the spine (green leather) Don't worry this is not the finished colour scheme.

Friday 15 January 2010

The Four Gospels. Board lamination and beveling.

With any new technique or variations of method I work everything out on a maquette (a practise book) The boards are a series of laminated water colour paper and manila. As this is a going to be a double board binding I have beveled the inner squre to reduce the bulk and give a more delicate edge to the finished book.

By chance the resulting edge looks cool, the various layers of the water colour paper and manila offer an unusual decorative element , this will be covered with the doubler but is well worth remembering for future projects.

How the edges look with the book standing.

Sunday 10 January 2010

The Four Gospels. New commission.

The Four Gospels... A re-print of the famous Four Gospels by The Golden Cockerel Press. Fantastic stuff, lavish with the work of Gill, it does really deserve a place in the top 4 of the all time greats.
Originally intended as one volume, I have split the book in to four (lots more work) Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The end papers have all ready been printed, the text block sewn and now it is time for the edge decoration and end banding.

First is the application of a base colour. Purple, purple is often associated with royalty and God. During my research I have found that colours have as much meaning as the symbols and signs in Christian art.

Next is the modern Gauffering. Bronze foil is layed over the edge and tooled with a hot brass tool. The secret is to have a hot tool, pressure must be light as there is the risk of the edge being damaged. Of course if you are wanting a heavy texture to the edge then by all means press away... practise first. Patience is the key.

Last is the end banding. I have decided that I wanted to keep the endbanding as simple as possible. I have thought for a long time that the strength of the end band is in the tie downs. The wrapping of the silk or what ever around the core is for decoration. So, remembering to keep it simple I pared a lot of leather very thin. I then rolled up these thin pieces of leather into mini Swiss rolls. A number of these rolls where then placed side by side and sandwiched between some purple (again) and red leather. The whole lot was then pressed to a 3mm thickness and allowed to dry.

I used a thin PVA (Fevicole in India) and worked as quickly as possible.

This block of swiss rolls was the cut in to 2mm strips to form the end band core. Sewn only at the tie downs (the middle of each section) with silk (purple....again!) What the image does not show are the beads on the tie downs.. in red silk (red is for emotions. Love, hate, blood etc)

Saturday 9 January 2010

Mersey. The River That Changed The World. The finishing touches.

Gold and black line tooling finishes off the binding.

Detail of the front board.

Monday 4 January 2010

Mersey. The River That Changed The World. The final panel in place.

Now that the final panel is in place the finishing can start. I hope that the panel shapes reflect sails, ships hulls and the like.