Sunday, 17 May 2015

And Lots More Books: The Commissions Update!

My previous post had an update of some books - and one more business card case - that I made in the last few weeks, for my online shops.

I've also worked on several commission books and this post is to show you those.

Commission One - An Italian-themed Holiday Journal: 

Anne chose raspberry red leather, ivory binding thread and a wide ivory ribbon to tie her book.  She specially wanted the ribbon to tie vertically, as shown in the photo.  I used a variation of a traditional Italian Longstitch binding to stitch the pages.  It looks rather nice...

Inside, the leather is lined with red mulberry paper, but each cover has half of a map of Northern Italy, from a vintage atlas.  The map was chosen online by Anne and I purchased it for her.  
I made a label for the inside of the book, using a copy of part of the map, printed onto vellum paper, with the title "Italy 2015" (the label is not attached in the photo). 

* * *

Commission Two - An Artist's Sketchbook: 

Danielle and her twin sister have their 18th birthdays in May.  She asked me to make a special sketchbook for her sister, who is a keen artist.  

Danielle chose a rich brown leather for the covers.  This was lined with red mulberry paper and we decided on a fastening with a simple red cord to wrap round a metal button.
The pages were of Murano paper, which is an artists' paper designed for drawing with pencil, pastel, charcoal and other dry media.  It has a slight texture, giving it a good "tooth" for the drawing media used.  Danielle chose several shades of ivory, cream, grey and charcoal for the page sections.  I also added some loose sheets of glassine tissue paper, to be used between pages, so the drawing doesn't smudge, until it can be fixed with spray.   
The pages were sewn with a cross-stitch, in red linen. 

* * *

Commission Three - A Book of Shadows: 

I was commissioned to make a book, by my sister.  She asked for a Book of Shadows, for her friend's birthday.  

The covers are black leather, lined with purple mulberry paper.  The book ties with a black organza ribbon.  The cover is hand painted in silver, with a traditional Book of Shadows design, of a Pentacle, along with a black cat and symbols to represent the four elements.  

There are forty pages of hand-made Indian cotton-rag paper inside.  The book is sewn in a decorative longstitch, with purple linen.  

* * * 

Commission Four - A Present for Jen: 

Finally, I commissioned myself!  I wanted to make a gift for the birthday of a very lovely lady, who is a skilled artist and produces the most beautiful papercut art.  She goes by the name of Jen and you can see some of her work here - My Papercut Heart

Jen designs large and complex paper cuts, which are all hand-drawn on plain paper, before being copied to the sheets from which they are cut.  We chatted about drawing paper recently and she commented that she'd been sticking A4 sheets together, to make a sheet large enough for one of her commission pieces.  So, it was pretty obvious that I should make a Large sketchbook!  

A3 (16.5" x 11.75") Sketchbook.  This has hard covers, in a Nepalese Lokta paper with a screen-printed "Kongpo" design of a garden - a very special sheet, that I bought some time ago and saved for a "special project".  Well, this was just the right project, as I was able to show the whole of the wonderful design on these book covers.  
The edge trim is a saffron yellow silk and the covers are lined with a matching saffron coloured art paper.  The book is sewn with a Coptic style binding, in double rows, with ivory linen. 

The pages are sewn in several sections, so there are plenty of sheets that open out to A2 size, for Jen's large and complex planning drawings.  Hopefully, she won't have to keep tearing out sheets and sticking them together, to have enough room to plan her next masterpiece! 

I wrapped the edge of each section with brown art paper, to give a bit of space inside the book and also to add a nice contrast to the golden silk edge-trim.  I added a small hand-tied silk tassel to the front of the cover, along with a silk-mounted label, with "Jen" printed in an oriental-looking font. 
I'm happy to report that Jen was very pleased with her birthday present - and I'm still smiling! 


  1. Love the Italian themed journal.

  2. Oh wow, I love all these books, such gorgeousness! I am especially driven to the brown sketchbook with the red elements and cord... great color-combo!

  3. Your kindness and care for others and sheer love of what you do just beams through all of this glorious post, Lizzie! My favourite is that Italian Journal - just sumptuous ...

  4. These commosions are just beautiful. I love the map pages chosen for the Italy journal it really makes it individual. I also love Jen's sketchbook, the yellow makes the front page pop
    Jo xxx


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