a story. some time ago, I happened upon an old hardcovered book called "girls' stories" with an appallingly cheerful cover. I ripped out the pages, and in true craftster style, sewed up a whole range of mixed papers, glued them in with dodgy seventies bedsheets as end"papers", and the book was re-born as a sketchbook.
needless to say, I took it everywhere (even to Paris, to the Louvre!) ...and I've since been forced to retire it, since I can't really fit anymore drawings in. however, after using a store-bought sketchbook again, I've started to miss the different papers, the whole character of the thing, and of course, people's astonishment that I've made the whole book myself. what can I say?
last night, I started on the new sketchbook. a new year and a new start, I guess!
I'll post pictures when I can - but will tease you with the information that I have about five or six different pieces of ancient sewing machine case strewn about my floor ... and before you jump to any conclusions, it was going horribly mouldy before I started disembowelling it - no seamstresses (or antiques dealers) should be reaching for their scissors!watch this space.
cassette.PART 1: DECONSTRUCTION A selection of images from the deconstruction process. Wish I'd taken some before I cut it all apart but believe me, the mould was extensive. The case was essentially a box, with layers of card, paper and a leathery outer layer. It had metallic elements to strengthen the outer edges and was stitched with a strong, probably waxed thread. However it had suffered over time (and from being left in my dank cellar) and the bottom of it was almost completely rotten, with a variety of beautiful colours of mould.
Firstly, some of the papers from the inside - I ripped these out and pinned them up on my beams to dry them out. I probably won't use these right now but will save them for other projects.
Just a selection to show you what kind of surfaces and textures I'm working with - and of course, the trusty stanley knife
The work area... and more tools. I've had to use the pliers (normally for jewellery-making) in order to extract studs, pins and close metallic joins. The hammer is smaller than your usual hammer and intended for paper crafts but it's been pretty good for knocking some sense into the metallic corners of the box, which you can see below left.PART 2: RECONSTRUCTION??
Oh my! finally I've had the time to get back to this...
I've been collecting different papers for months in order to sew them into fat little signatures; but I'm not your common-or-garden "fancy paper" kid. I can't bring myself to spend money on lush thick paper for sketchbooks (seeing as... I have barely any money) and instead, I love to mix it up like this.
There's watercolour paper, cartridge paper, sugar paper, tracing paper, plain fabric, patterned fabric, magazine pages, plastic document wallets, and even a healthy bit of plastic bag thrown in there. Some pages I prepared with ink washes, but not many of them.
My stitching is haphazard at best, and my fingers will hurt forever.
...but it was worth using this fishing line to bind it all! found it on a beach some holidays ago, been making jewellery with it before but it seemed nice enough to use for this too.
and everything together... half-way through, when I decided it was best to retire to bed with a big cup of tea.PART 3: LET'S GET OUR FINGERS FILTHY WITH PAINT NOW PLEASE
This has taken me a ridiculously long time.
The spine. I put D-rings in so that I could mess about with tying ribbons to the book and such.
Sort of a side view. shows the rusty lock on the front cover, I love it.
...and in case anyone was enormously curious, the back is here and looks like this.
I think I have already qualified as overweight in terms of photography. But gratuitous sketchbook images abound.
and because I made a pocket in the back... for all that sketchery gubbins... a shot of it in, er, "action".
finally! ...hope you like it. I'd love to get some feedback, as it's been pretty much a labour of love. feel free to share your sketchbook stories, too - I'll no doubt be posting more of mine.
speak to you soon!