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For Best Results...Apply Some Pressure

Posted on August 27 2018

For Best Results...Apply Some Pressure

Do you like shopping?

I do, I like window shopping, browsing through aisles touching things, picking them up, turning them over, and last Christmas I was doing just that with Kev in John Lewis (we must have been buying something sensible!) when a black notebook with shiny gold handwritten lettering caught my eye.

Mmmmm...stationery...I darted over and picked up a really well made, string bound, hardback, cloth covered notebook. A5.

I bought it to learn how to make it!

I thought, that...is Dark Romantix!

Applying Pressure To Get Stuff Done

I found out that the embossed design on the cover was created using a technique called Foil Blocking.

I’d never heard of it, but wanted to give it a go.

In my head I thought I could buy a job lot of notebooks, foil block a Dark Romantix design directly onto them and Bob would be your uncle...

But, to make this notebook properly, I'd have to slow down apply some pressure, mixed with a ton of patience, the kind you need with a small infant...followed by buckets of love.

Bookbinding is not a rushed process.

At a workshop in a studio in Hackney Wick, called London Centre for Book Arts I was given an introduction to Bookbinding. LCBA run workshops for artists interested in making their own books.

The foil blocking technique involves a relief or raised surface design being pressed into a material - i.e. cardboard - with craft foil that then leaves an imprint of the design and foil into the surface.

In the same workshop, I learned how to make a Pamphlet, a Concertina and a handsewn Japanese Four Hole Stab Book (my favourite).

After 5 hours of book making I was certain knocking them out quickly was totally off the cards!

I'd have to deviate from my usual rush in to step back and plan. Like screenprinting. The actual printing in itself is relatively easy, preparation can be fiddly and repetitive.

There's something going on at a higher level. I'm exploring that, but, I digress...

I joined the studio, which has open access, so once I've completed a workshop I can then use the space to complete my projects.

My first attempt at foil blocking and I'm happy with the results. I don't know if it was beginners luck, perhaps...?

I can only get better.

In the pictures below, are the Rebel Angel front covers for the new mini concertina notebooks available for Christmas!

It is cloth covered, gold embossed, hardback and handmade. I love making them, they're about 9 1/2 cm by 14 1/2 cm - pocket sized.

Very cute.

What do you think...do you like the colours?

The four pictures after are the Pamphlet, Japanese Four Hole Stab Book and the Concertina books I made at LCBA. If you would like to learn how to do this...go here.

dark_romantix_rebel_angel_bookdark_romantix_rebel_angel_book2dark_romantix_rebel_angel_book3handmade_books1handmade_book2handmade_book3handmade_book4

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