Today saw me at another workshop at the Welbeck Estate at the studio of Louise Presley of Hope and Elvis - this one being run by Cath Ray bookmaker.
I'd seen Cath at a couple of craft fairs so was familar with her work - recycling old leather into the covers of new books. These leathers include an old cream sofa, a leather jacket too squeaky to wear, leather from old car seats and old handbags.
We were to make two books today one with a soft back and another quarto bound. Cath had lots of lovely papes to use as end papers but I'm a fan of the marbled papes so used those on both books. Although we used new paper I love the idea of incorporating some vintage papers - the possibilities are endless.
I must admit I missed a trick when somebody spotted this vintage crepe paper wrapper among Louise's treasures and bought it to cover his book!
And so the day was spent measuring, folding, pricking, sticking, pressing and generally becoming more familiar with a set square than I have cared to be since leaving school. (Speaking of school - one of the attendees recognised me from being in the year below her at school 36 years ago!). This pile of blocks of wood and clamps is a book press to ensure that papers had bonded with leather.
It was great to see that something which I had envisaged would need a lot of expensive tools could in fact be undertaken with some very cheap tools using a bit of imagination.
The book on the left is the soft back lined with marbled paper with 6 "signatures" (bundles of papers) hand stitiched down the spine.
And the greeny one below is the one with hard back boards covered with marbled paper and with a leather spine taken from a suede jacket. If you look closely you can see the holes from the stitching which I decided to use as a feature rather than remove its history.
I think I might have a new hobby!