Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Not carving but indulge me.....

This post is kind of related to carving, in a roundabout way. My journey to spoon carving came via

bushcraft > knife making > sheath making > other leather work > campfire whittling > carving

(there you go, proof that Frigyes Karinthy's theory of 'six degrees of separation' was correct) and so, though this is a post about paper and leather work, it's actually about spoon carving, or at least, that's my story.

Like many other people, I am a fan of books - I love to read and much prefer real-live paper books to ebooks; I have loads of notebooks for my writing; as a kid I used to like to make miniature books, stitching the folded pages together with one of my mum's needles and thread. I have made note books before, and have run book making classes with kids at school, so, when I was thinking of a gift I could send to a friend's 18 year old son who is on a 2 year mission in Arizona (he's a Mormon) I thought that a handmade notebook might be something different and that he might use.

I had bought these old brewery pins from ebay for next to nothing.

I wanted the two rooster pins, but had no use for the other two. It just so happens that my friend's surname is Mann, and since he and his son are English I thought the George and the Dragon motif was fairly apt.

The Theakston pin I have no use for - any takers?

So I decided to make a leather covered, pocket sized notebook with the Mann's pin on the front cover.
Firstly, I cut some A4 paper in half to make A5 sheets, which I counted into bunches of 4 and folded to make a bunch of 8 page folios.

I then made stitching holes along the crease of each folio.

And then proceeded to stitch the folios together into a block.

Once stitched, I clipped the block to prevent it moving around and hold it upright...

...then glued along the spine with PVA glue, leaving it to dry and then repeating another couple of times.

Once the layers of PVA are dry, the block is held together firmly and can be used as it is, if desired.

I then made flyleaves and used them to glue the leather to the block.

I had a nice, soft piece of grained leather. I snipped the pin from the front of the badge, ground off the spur with a bench grinder, and then glued it to the cover with apoxy resin.

I was quite pleased with the finished book and it's now winging its way to Arizona.


  1. Nice work!
    Like a hand made spoon,usefull and unique .
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Good work! I like especially the leather cover. I saw many journals with stitched cover but glued one looks very elegant too.

    All the best,
    Forest Turtle