road-tripping the end of the world

bookbinding – base staining, metal leaf (the once and future king)

The book is all but finished, figured I’d break up the “in progress” photos into a few posts.

After imprinting the covers, I decided to allow the book a few days to rest and dry, just to make sure the imprint stayed – it did nicely, and meanwhile I experimented with some of the water-based (I think acrylic) stain I had on hand for the leather, and the metal leaf I was planning to use. I “concluded” the best approach was to apply a base stain, then do the metal leaf on the lettering, and then work up the effect from there.

To (hopefully) get a more even effect with the stain, I wet the leather with water first, and then applied a diluted solution of the stain with a sponge brush. Initially it looked quite dark, but as it dried the effect was more subtle:

DSC_0757-2 DSC_0758 DSC_0759

 

And then it was time for the metal leaf!

I chose an imitation gold leaf for a number of reasons, but most pointedly cost (way cheaper than the real thing) and the fact that it would patina naturally over time. I wasn’t going for perfect, a rough look was sort of the goal, so the effect looks pretty shoddy at first. The “kit” I bought included an adhesive and sealer and “antique glaze” as well as a “base coat”, I experimented with all of them but eventually decided to just use the adhesive primarily, and then layer a bit of the glaze and sealer on later:

DSC_0760

 

The basic steps:

1. With a ridiculously tiny brush, line the inside of the letters with some adhesive.

2. Let that get tacky for a few mins.

3. Place down some metal leaf on top and use a soft brush to adhere it.

4. Use a coarse brush to brush away the excess and texture what leaf has ‘adhered’.

The results looked pretty good, nice and rough, though a little brilliant. The plan was for the subsequent layers of stain to reduce that intensity (the antique glaze helped a little). I applied some of the ‘sealer’ to the letters as well and I’m honestly unsure as to what effect that had.

Two views of the result:

DSC_0762 DSC_0761

 

And next up, the next round or two of staining, blood and ash!

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