Thursday, July 10, 2014

Leather Journals

I made this!
You might be surprised to hear that I've been holding back.

It's true.

I've long been interested in making soft-cover leather journals, but haven't been confident in what leather to use or how to create functioning closures... so I just haven't done it.

I certainly have the long-stitch skills, and the tools.  But the fear of leather has kept me from moving forward.  After all, leather is expensive stuff and I'd hate to mess it all up.

A few years ago I tried out some ideas with a few remnant pieces of jacket leather I managed to get my hands on, but I really only had enough to make a few little books.  Most of which are still waiting for me to figure out how to move forward fearlessly.

What was I so afraid of?
When I found out this winter that Elissa Campbell would be teaching a leather book workshop at our July Book Arts Guild of Vermont meeting I could hardly contain myself.

Last night was that meeting, and I am still giddy.

Elissa provided a kit of pre-cut materials so we could focus on construction.  This was perfect for me - I already know how to cut leather, paper and thread.  Construction and structure is where I needed to get comfortable.

And so, I did.

Being familiar with long-stitch allowed me to fully focus on how the leather functions:

Does it bend along the stitching? What if I do this? How does my Japanese screw punch work with leather? And all those other questions I haven't been able to answer because I haven't been working with leather.

Of course, I still have more questions!  But I have enough answers due to this satisfying experience that I feel comfortable buying some leather and creating more of these beautiful soft cover journals.

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