4/21/2017

New Leather Journal


I love my sketchbooks and right now, I have at least 4 that I am working in at the same time. Each one has a different purpose.  My daily journal is the one I carry with me to sketch anything that strikes me as interesting at the moment.  It is really more of a diary and even though I don't write much in it, my sketches journal where I have been and what I have been doing.

One of my favorite journals was purchased from Iona Handcrafted Books at the Main Street Festival in Ft. Worth several years ago.  It is a very special, very beautiful journal that, although it is worth every penny, was more than I have ever spent on a sketchbook.  I looked at it for a year before I touched it with a pencil.  I was afraid that I would mess it up! I now use it to document the travels Wayne and I have made.  Since I started drawing in it, I am not as afraid of ruining it and have even added some ink and watercolor.  But when I sketch on a trip, graphite (my favorite medium) smears before I return home to spray it with fixative.

Another book artist that I follow is Mind's Eye Journals.  She makes gorgeous leather journals too.  I love the leather books, the smell, the feel, the cool factor!  And as I said before, although they are worth every penny, it is more than I can spend on a sketchbook. 

After watching Youtube videos, studying the Iona journal that I own, and finding inspiration from Minds Eye and Iona, I have decided to try to make my own journal.  I found a great deal on a very large piece of leather and I bought large sheets of Strathmore Mixed Media paper from Blick Art Supplies. By hand making my own leather journal, I am completely customizing it to my needs.  The Mixed Media paper is a 90lb paper that is nice to draw on and can take ink or light watercolor washes.  It is also cheaper than watercolor paper, a better choice for a first try at journal making.

To address the problem of my drawings smearing before I am able to spray them with fixative, I am putting tracing paper between each sheet of paper.  With it bound into the book, I won't have to try to hang onto loose sheets of tracing paper.  This is my work so far......

 The leather....



The papers.....



Folding and layering the paper and tracing paper......



The papers folded into signatures.....



A preview of what the journal will look like after the signatures are stitched.....



I am really excited to start stitching!  I haven't decided on a closure yet.  Stay tuned for updates!


3 comments:

leslieleisel said...

How interesting! We have all gathered together this evening to read your post and see your progress. It is fascinating! Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted. These are lifetime treasures. As my businessman husband would ask, "count the pages in the book. Now divide that number into the cost of the book. Now how much does each page cost? Then, realize the value of your artwork cannot be counted. A small price for such a treasure!"

Margaret said...

Ah, brave one! It looks so beautiful...I am cheering you on to the finish! Hugs!

Diane J. Evans said...

So very cool! I have always wanted to try making my own journal -- this one's going to be a beauty that you'll treasure forever.

Diane