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2016.09.26 - Drawing Shades on Leather Cover

For my current project, I have to draw shadows of objects inlaid on the book cover on the leather of the cover material.

I have worked with inlays a lot. I have messed with leather in different ways during the years of my bookbinding experience. However, I have never tried to paint leather in any ways or to draw something like shadows.

The general idea is to create recesses in the cardboard material of the cover, to accommodate for the printed photos. Right before gluing the photos to the cover, I should create these shadows somehow.

How would you achieve that effect on leather? What paint would you use?

Leather is crème in color. Maybe a bit warmer than crème. Therefore, I suppose the shadow shouldn’t be black or gray but something colder, like dark-dark-blue.

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2016.09.23 - Soft Weights for Bookbinding 15

Several weeks ago, I wrote about my first experience with soft weights. I had to construct a fake curved spine for a box. It is not possible to use flat weights to press a rounded surface and I had to find some other solution. On our kitchen, I found two synthetic fiber bags and filled them with rice and buckwheat seeds. It worked!

That original post received quite a few comments and recommendations on what to fill the soft weights with. Suggestions included:

I don’t like my initial design because rice and seeds tend to attract some nasty kitchen bugs. The idea of my experiment was to use some inconsumable stuff. With exception of salt.

The bags I have used for my first try were soft and sturdy at the same moment. That’s why I’ve spent some time trying to find the material they are made of. It appeared to be spunbond – a nonwoven synthetic fabric. They are sold in many densities ranging from thin fabrics used for greenhouse insulation to thick sheets used for building insulation.

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2016.09.19 - Ideas for the New Season of Bookbinding Classes

This October marks the beginning of the third year I’m teaching bookbinding. Being a bookbinder for almost a decade, I have never thought to give lessons. Well, at least before a friend of mine asked me to show her and her photography colleagues some basics on how to make photo-books.

A new season begins for me in a new studio, that I still have to furnish before the 2nd of October, when the first class takes its place. I plan to add some new subjects to the pool of classes (‘Crafting simple bookbinding tools and instruments’, for example).

That’s why I wanted to ask you:

Which bookbinding course subjects seem to be interesting for you? I mean both as a student, and/or as a teacher, if any bookbinding masters would like to share their opinion here.

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2016.09.16 - Bookbinding Makeover of a Diary 02

Last month a relative from the US was staying with us at our apartment here in Moscow. On one of the last days she asked me if I can make her sketchbook look a bit better. It was an ordinary black notebook (like Moleskin), with black spine lining, black covers and black magnetic fastener.

I offered her a choice of bookbinding cloths I had on stock at the moment and she chose a colorful one, a friend of mine have brought me from the Western Africa (it wasn’t a bookbinding cloth initially, of course =)).

Unfortunately, I absolutely forgot to make some photos before the change. However, you can see how the sketchbook looks now. I had to tear the covers from end-leafs a bit, to tuck in the new cloth.

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