Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Venus and Adonis

This binding is done on a 1931 printing of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis by The Printing House of Leo Hart, with illustrations by Rockwell Kent.  I used one of these illustrations for the cover design.  I felt the image of Venus would look better for the front cover of the book so I reversed the image. To have the drawing fit the cover, I drew more leaves above the figures and completed Adonis's head.

I  chose a terracotta goatskin for the cover to accent the orange in the illustration. The top edge had been painted originally with a bright yellow gold, but I did not like the look with the leather so I airbrushed a darker orange gold over it. The other edges were left uncolored.

I began with the larger shapes and cut the onlays out of black and two shades of green. I decided to do the lines of the drawing with black line onlays.

I drew out the image on a 3 ply Bristol board and began cutting out the drawing. As I cut along a line, I then taped the pieces back together with a low tack blue masking tape. I first focused around the large onlay pieces.  

The drawing was placed over the trimmed and pared cover leather. Only then I could remove the piece of the bristol board where an onlay would go.  When the onlay was trimmed and edge pared to fit, I scraped the cover leather and used a paste and PVA mixture to adhere the piece in place.

When the onlays were all adhered to the leather, I back pared the piece and pasted it on the book. 

I continued cutting and taping the the drawing but left some lines uncut so the Bristol Board was not completely cut apart. I need to lift out sections so sometimes a line extended past the drawn line to join another so a piece could be lifted. To guide the tooling later, I used a red pencil to tell me were I stopped and started the line again.

I wrapped a strip of paper around the top and another strip at the bottom of the book so I could tape down the cut drawing at the top. That way the drawing could be lifted up to see the  tooling.  At the bottom, I used two pieces of tape to keep the drawing in place during the tooling.

All of the tooling was done with a single stylus.  I lifted out a section and with a warm tool, outlined the open shape. I lifted the drawing, and used a small brush to put water over the line. Then I tooled it again with the warm tool, creating a blind tooled line. This stylus is available from Talas; it is called the Ascona tool http://apps.webcreate.com/ecom/catalog/product_specific.cfm?ClientID=15&ProductID=23963

After more cutting and more tooling, this is what the two cover drawings looked like once the blind tooling was finished.
For the line onlays, I took very thin paired leather, pasted it out and stuck it to a piece of mylar. After it dried, the paste gave the leather some stiffness so I could cut strips thin enough to fit into the tooled lines.

 I began to glue the strip of leather by dragging it through PVA and then dragging it across the waste paper, leaving a small amount of glue on the leather strip. It was then placed in the tooled line and rubbed down with a piece of Japanese tissue to absorb any extra glue that might ooze out. 

Then to continue gluing the strip in place, I folded the strip back and brushed on more glue over an inch or two wide area. I rubbed it down in place and repeated that until the line was finished. With this image, you can see that I have the lines end away from the edge of the boards so they will not be easy rubbed out of place when the book is held.