I haven’t blogged in over a month, so it’s about time. This winter has been unusual in many ways – first, all the snow! Yes, I’m in an area that gets a lot of snow normally, but this winter has been especially persistent with neither the cold nor the snow ever letting up. It’s almost April and I still have half my yard covered with snow. It’s not from a sudden snow, but has been there since January. There’s still a high berm of snow around the driveway from plowing and two foot drifts in places out back. One hopeful sign is that I’ve seen some snowdrops poking through. They are not blooming yet, but soon. Of course they usually bloom in February. Enough about the weather.
I occasionally have people ask if I can make them a special book or marble paper in specific colors. I take these requests with mixed emotions. It’s fun having the challenge of working to someone else’s vision, but there’s the stress of knowing it could be an epic fail, like the carrageenan disaster I had. In February, I had four special requests and two of them involved making preservation boxes. To have them all come at once was unusual and messed up my hibernation plans. Everything was finished on time, but it took some juggling.
First request was for a wedding guest book with an engraved plate on the cover and endpapers to match the wedding colors. We added a preservation box for the book and then complicated the box by adding a drawer to keep the printed ephemera from the wedding. Here’s a brief look at the process.
The drawer had to be larger than the book due to the size of the invitation, so I used the extra space on top to provide a place for a pen. All of the measurements have to be exact so that the contents are protected and won’t move around as the box is handled. I cut the binder’s board first, but find I often have to make slight adjustments as I’m working. Since the tolerances are small, I always am amazed that everything fits perfectly at the end.
The second request was for a preservation box to act as a portfolio for a student’s artwork. This was a challenge as the colors and feel of the box had to complement work that I hadn’t seen and fit smoothly into someone else’s artistic vision. Plus there was time pressure.
We went through many different designs and finally settled on the combination of a black outside, gray sides, black and white paste paper interior and lined with a black and white photo.
The easiest special I did was from a customer who had bought several of my jotters in the past. She wanted the same thing in a larger size to use in a sketching class. I thought it was a fun idea and made some extras for sale on Etsy and at the Arts Center of Yates County.
The sketchers only have ten pages so they are perfect for day trips or to keep in a car or purse. They are easier to organize than loose sheets of paper and keep sketches done at the same time together. I’ve used a nice drawing weight paper for the pages, so I hope people like them.