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#1701 TMLee

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 12:41

This is one of several commissions which are long overdue.

 

I am slowly recovering my usual rhythm.

 

My humble apologies to all who have commissioned a journal with me.

Very embarrassing. :blush:

 

 

This commission wanted a picture of this beautiful aboriginal painting incorporated on the covers .

New%20Picture%201_zpsbjxvp8wq.png

 

Its truly beautiful.

 

I always liked aboriginal paintings.

Their sense of colour is so right.

And their compositions.... fantastic.

 

 

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of discussions, I embarked on this idea. .

I was toying with the idea of a swathe of dots flowing across the covers.

002_zpscdklmluv.jpg

 

Then the swathe idea got further developed into a river theme - a popular subject in aboriginal paintings.

 

But how to execute the river?

 

I thot  I could dot paint , but wasn't confident.

Any paint must be so good it has to withstand abrasion.

Besides it might also compete with the pic for attention.

Painting was beyond my capability.

 

I went back to the idea of  an emboss of a river of dots.

This way , it wont overpower the pic.

And I am more confident in embossing / debossing by now.

 

The difficult part was trying to resolve this river of dots.

It was a  technical challenge for this commission.

 

So I Decided to try out ....

Here you see both bookcloth(top) and buckram(bottom) being tried out.

 

003%204_zpsbnte3cns.jpg

 

 

Both me and the Owner settled on a Burgundy colour for the covers.

It blended well with the burgundy hues on the pic.

 

 

This trial experiment was useful in showing the following :

 

- what size dots would be more appropriate ?

 

- how thick should the dots be?

 

- how well each material could hug tightly round each bump of a dot.

 

- most of all , whether an emboss would work at all for closely spaced dots.

 

 

In the example above, I fared badly in dot painting.

As the Owner rightly pointed out, the dots should be of equal size , and more imptly, they are more regularly spaced out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#1702 dcpritch

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 16:03

TM, it is so great to see you at work, your usual thoughtful and contemplative approach to journal making is a pleasure to watch as it unfolds, and your descriptions and depictions of the process are absolutely fantastic.  :thumbup:


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#1703 mhguda

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:05

TM, great to see you back here.

dcpritch has said it: watching you work and discuss all the issues is a joy.


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#1704 TMLee

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:12

Thanks you all for your kind words.

 

:)



#1705 TMLee

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:32



This is one of several commissions which are long overdue.

 

I am slowly recovering my usual rhythm.

 

My humble apologies to all who have commissioned a journal with me.

Very embarrassing. :blush:

 

 

This commission wanted a picture of this beautiful aboriginal painting incorporated on the covers .

New%20Picture%201_zpsbjxvp8wq.png

 

Its truly beautiful.

 

I always liked aboriginal paintings.

Their sense of colour is so right.

And their compositions.... fantastic.

 

 

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of discussions, I embarked on this idea. .

I was toying with the idea of a swathe of dots flowing across the covers.

002_zpscdklmluv.jpg

 

Then the swathe idea got further developed into a river theme - a popular subject in aboriginal paintings.

 

But how to execute the river?

 

I thot  I could dot paint , but wasn't confident.

Any paint must be so good it has to withstand abrasion.

Besides it might also compete with the pic for attention.

Painting was beyond my capability.

 

I went back to the idea of  an emboss of a river of dots.

This way , it wont overpower the pic.

And I am more confident in embossing / debossing by now.

 

The difficult part was trying to resolve this river of dots.

It was a  technical challenge for this commission.

 

So I Decided to try out ....

Here you see both bookcloth(top) and buckram(bottom) being tried out.

 

003%204_zpsbnte3cns.jpg

 

 

Both me and the Owner settled on a Burgundy colour for the covers.

It blended well with the burgundy hues on the pic.

 

 

This trial experiment was useful in showing the following :

 

- what size dots would be more appropriate ?

 

- how thick should the dots be?

 

- how well each material could hug tightly round each bump of a dot.

 

- most of all , whether an emboss would work at all for closely spaced dots.

 

 

In the example above, I fared badly in dot painting.

As the Owner rightly pointed out, the dots should be of equal size , and more imptly, they are more regularly spaced out.

 

 

 

To make the dots, the first thing that comes to mind is the ordinary paper punch you find everywhere.

 

That was what I used in that trial test. The larger dots are from the common 2-hole paper punch.

 

But it became immediately obvious it was too large , given the size of the picture and the size of the journal covers.

 

It had to be something smaller.

 

 

Here is a size comparison of the hole-punch.

The larger one on the left is from your ordinary 2-hole punch . It is 6mm diameter.

The one on the right in red is slightly smaller , from a single hole punch - very much like a ticket punch used by a bus conductor.

It is smaller at 4mm diameter.

I believe there are even smaller one hole punches like 3mm - for ticketing.

I couldnt find them .

( Actually nowadays its getting increasingly difficult to find things (tools) of yesteryear. Everything is mass-produced. Things are now made to be thrown away. Very sad on one sense)

003%203_zpscdtp8uhf.jpg

 

 

What is also apparent is the thickness of the punchout.

 

The white sample above is copier paper at 80g - too thin for embossing.

 

The little red one is thicker - postcard kind of thickness.

 

 

 

I decided to use the postcard thickness for the dots .

And the smaller 4mm diameter dots.

 

This is a dry-run.

Positioning the dots to form the river.

You see that one-hole punch there too.

002%202_zps6ek9hcmy.jpg

 

 

The swathe of dots forming the river had to be in a more organic shape.

 

This dry-run also allowed me to see for myself how it compares against typical dot-painting.



#1706 pen2paper

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 03:00

delightful to see you back in creative action  :D

 

Having observed some aboriginal, and first nation representative drawings, (not sure at all if these are the same, not my field), but in those there were defined patterns of spaced dots, lines, and whorls that represented rivers, trees, as I gathered, geographical, pictorial story telling.

 

happy seeing this interesting post.

wondering if dots alone mark the river, or if a line is necessary?



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#1707 TMLee

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 03:09

GLUE

 

Some tips on glue.

 

I use white glue also known as PvA glue.

Its commonly used in school for crafting.

Its pretty versatile.

 

It is also very strong.

 

and when it dries, it is transparent - which is a big bonus.

 

All my exposed journal spines are 'painted' with a coat of this glue. 

It doesnt add strength to the binding,

it just seals up the gaps between signatures.

The downside is that it attracts dirt becos it is ever so slightly tacky. :(

 

 

 

For those of you trying out bookbinding, you will notice that

Fresh glue is different from not-so-fresh glue.

 

Fresh glue is wetter , kind of like a freshly opened tin of paint.

 

Not so fresh PvA glue (or old glue) you will notice is very thick and very sticky.

You get this when you have been using that jar of glue for a long time without replenishing .

 

( Sometimes I add -  in very little amounts at a time - hot water to thin down this old glue that is like coagulating.

Thats how you revive a jar of too-old PvA glue. )

 

 

Here's the tip :

 

Keep a smaller jar of not-so-fresh PvA glue.

 

It is very useful to have very sticky glue of the same kind.

(not advisable to use different kinds of glue especially on the same element becos different glues can give different reactions )

 

At times you need high-tack glue  to glue some parts of your journal which is hard to stay put in position.

 

Example, when you do the foldovers at the corners, you need to fold them over and they often struggle to stay put where they are glued.

If you use fresh glue, you will have a hard time executing this.

Meaning you may find yourself needing  to hold it down with your fingers till the glue dries enough to keep the folded material in position.

Again, when you handle things for too much or too long, it will result in handling marks and stains here and there.

 

 

 

Instead, if you use old glue which is very sticky, you will see that it just stays put there very 'obediently' .

 

You wont experience that much of a problem described above when using thin pliable material like thinner paper etc

 

But if you use heavier material like leather or Buckram or heavier  bookcloth , they hardly stay in place when attempting to do foldovers.

This is where old sticky glue comes in very useful.

 

You accomplish the task quicker and neater. :)

 

 

 

 

 

For the same reason, when you have a larger area to glue,

fresher glue is more suitable becos

- its easier to spread

- it wont dry out halfway before you cover the entire surface needing the  glue .

- it buys you time to examine the wet surface and remove lint.

 

 

Enjoy :D



#1708 TMLee

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 04:46

delightful to see you back in creative action  :D

 

Having observed some aboriginal, and first nation representative drawings, (not sure at all if these are the same, not my field), but in those there were defined patterns of spaced dots, lines, and whorls that represented rivers, trees, as I gathered, geographical, pictorial story telling.

 

happy seeing this interesting post.

wondering if dots alone mark the river, or if a line is necessary?

 

 

Hi pen2paper,

Thanks for the welcome back :)

 

You are correct, very often you see more expressions like whorls and squiggly lines.

 

I chose not to be so detailed in this area because I felt it was

- too detailed to execute on an emboss,

- and i didnt want those details to draw attention away from the pic.

 

I can imagine some improvement of sorts if I shld make another matching twin.

Not identical but matching.

Like a 'dialogue'  pair.

 

:)



#1709 TMLee

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 05:03

I made a double rebate to receive the picture.

I felt it was a little more elegant.

 

032_zpsy8ochmbh.jpg

 

 

And here goes ...

Glueing each dot into position.  :unsure:

033_zpscq3b5xnj.jpg

 

 

035_zps5k7y3edw.jpg

 

 

Trimmed away those dots half-in and half-out.

To make the river recede into the background.

038_zpsihdrev3i.jpg

 

 

041_zpsu8uyeqkx.jpg

 

 

Completed fixing the dots in position.

040_zpsqi9ri6g5.jpg

 

 

 



#1710 Earthdawn

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 07:08

I tell ya.. If I am ever in Singapore we are spending a day together. I really would love to watch you work and see the techniques you use as you do them.

 

I can speak for everyone here when I say that your dedication and willingness to share how you do things and why is appreciated and respected immensely.



#1711 TMLee

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:57

I tell ya.. If I am ever in Singapore we are spending a day together. I really would love to watch you work and see the techniques you use as you do them.

 

I can speak for everyone here when I say that your dedication and willingness to share how you do things and why is appreciated and respected immensely.

 

 

Thanks Earthdawn for your kind words. :blush:

 

Yes I humbly agree on the part about the 'whys' of 'how' I do things.

This is the part that I share , which is not often explained in books.

If you find a book that tackles this aspect, buy it !

 

Knowing the 'whys' helps alot in rethinking the ways you do things.

Rethinking can lead to modifying your techniques.

And modifying your techniques, can sometimes lead to better quality finishing.

 

:)



#1712 TMLee

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 13:40

Took a deep breath and made the jump ...

 

Here you see the glue applied around the dots.

 

The glue here is fresh glue - wetter.

 

Wet glue means you can still slide your material around becos it hasnt set yet.

 

Wet glue also means that it takes longer to dry and set.

 

A longer drying time gives you time to work on the cover , in situations like these requiring work on and around the embossed dots.

 

 

Unlike my other emboss designs, this one has many dots. 

Each raised dot has a complete circular edge that needs to be adhered tightly onto the coverboard.

So theres a lot of edges to deal with.

 

I was worried the glue might dry first before i finish  working around each dot.

 

The only way was to have glue that is wet enough to allow me to continue working on the emboss.

 

I applied more than my usual amount of glue around the dots.

 

Tip : when doing embossed designs, apply glue on the emboss FIRST , then the rest of the cover becos its faster to cover the non embossed part.

 

004_zpscgbsstk8.jpg

 

 

I used a thin leather to lay over the dots , then used my elbows to rub them down.

It didnt work becos the dots were too many, and the spaces between the dots was narrow.

 

Then I removed the leather altogether, and used my bare elbows.

Didnt work either.

 

I took out my old burnisher - made of ceramic.

and went round each dot as fast I could.

 

So here you see the right side burnished - looking better.

The left side had gone thru my elbows already but didnt work well.

 

I was much relieved after burnishing becos it made the dots clearly delineated.

Phew !

005_zpsyp6vdage.jpg

 

 

 

Complete

006_zpsmrwppavt.jpg

 

 

I continued to watch for another 10 minutes to see if the spaces round each dot would de-bond.

 

It didnt.

 

The entire process took about 20mins ? From applying glue to using the burnisher.

 

I am also very relieved the Owner insisted on Buckram material.

Only upon finishing that I realized that the Buckram was ideal to withstand all the rubbing & burnishing.

Buckram is very tough.

Its like tarpaulin.

 

My guess is that bookcloth may not have performed as well.

All the rubbing will produce rubbing marks - I am quite certain.

 

 

 

 

With that confidence, I proceeded to do the other cover.

 

007_zpsunu9qjsv.jpg

 

Less dots but there was the double recess which required constant burnishing to keep the corners crisp until the glue dried.

 

Throughout all this, I had to work fast before the glue dried.

 

The professionals use methyl cellulose glue which dries slow , allowing ample time to continue working on the cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corners folded in.

Buckram - Oxblood in colour.

The dots were well delineated.

013_zpsqdoywcaa.jpg

 

The decision to use postcard material for the dots was correct becos the card thickness and rigidity did not allow the dots to be deformed (compressed)  from pressure and rubbing.

If thick paper was used, the dots will very likely suffer marks everywhere becos thick paper can still be marred.

The postcard material had a glossy finish - in other words - coated - so it is spared from becoming pulpy from the moisture of the glue.

 

One easy way to tell if a paper surface is coated , is when it cant take pencil scribbling on it.

The superthin plastic surface coating doesnt give friction resistance against the pencil graphite.

 

I am very relieved it didnt deviate much from expectation.

 

:)

 

 

 

 

 



#1713 my63

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 14:35

Outstanding, your embossing gets better.

It is nice to see you back in production 



#1714 fountainpagan

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Posted Yesterday, 07:40

Fabulous work, indeed!


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