Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lovely February at The Gilded Leaf

I finally made it out to the Gilded Leaf to meet with Bob and finish up my first medieval book. It has been a strange month since my last visit. I've been practicing paring leather and I have to admit...I'm terrible at it. I'm a little nervous about all the paring that Bob has planned for the weekend. Off to Maryville I go!

I made it to Maryville in the late afternoon and started working right away at paring leather. Guess what? I'm not so bad at it after all! It helps when you have a Sharf Fix machine! It still took me the rest of the day to pare the leather for my spine, round out the back and cut off and extra material that might show through the leather. The leather is pared so finely that any little bit of dust or stray thread will come across glaringly! So I cleaned my book block as best I could and applied the leather to the spine. It was so exciting, like baking a souffle for the first time, or at least that is how I would imagine souffle baking would feel as I have never been much of a genius in the kitchen. Once I applied the leather to the spine, we moved on to measuring and cutting jigs for our corner pieces. Then back to the paring machine and to bevel the leather edges with my home made paring knives. I'm getting pretty good at this! {but still pretty slow}. While I pared away, Bob took a break and played his musical compositions for me and they were incredibly beautiful. What a talented fella. Here are some pics from the leather application process...

{click on any image on this page to enlarge it}

In the above photos you can see Bob demoing the corner application and also tying down the leather spine with twine so that it could rest for the night and form beautifully against the raised cords that I had sewn on last month.

After a great nights sleep I headed back to Bob's early in the morning to finish the book! We had lots to do beginning with paring a label which is actually pared thinner than other leather. It is, in fact, pared so thin that you can see daylight through it. As you may imagine it took me a few tries to get it that thin without tearing through it. We turned on the hot plate to warm up the tools for leather tooling. While the tools warmed up, Bob introduced me to the gold stamping machine and we stamped my initials onto the label. The rest of the day was spent blind tooling and gold leafing the spine and leather corners.

and as the daylight faded and the stars came out, I finally had a completed book...