Our peer to peer session had to be rescheduled this week, but we’re still going strong on the WhatsApp group. In contrast the ideas wall seems to be very quiet, I don’t think it is suited well to back and forth with the size of the group.

Project Development

I needed an emblem for the front cover of my book, so I started working something up. I really liked the circular effect from the linocuts I’ve been doing so I kept that thread through the emblem design. I’m calling the project “Rooted in Place” so I wanted something simple that included these threads. I tried many variations and got feedback from my peer to peer WhatsApp group as well.

I also tried putting one of my drafts through DALL-E again, as that had thrown up some thought provoking variations with the lino cuts. This is a really interesting way to iterate, and some of the variations proved useful as I adapted elements and tried different avenues. Nothing is polished using this AI tool, but it has been a great midpoint when I’ve started to go round in circles with a design. I think I’ll continue to use it as an idea generator. Crucially, it only works once I have a design finished or at least firmly started – generating only from text has not been successful aside from the novelty factor. It has only been helpful when I have given it a finished or nearly finished design to run variations on, it is almost a collaboration in a way.

My final emblem combines all of these elements – a flower/leaves, roots, and the sea, all encompassed by a round double border representing both of my homes. I’m planning on foiling the final book with copper. I’m not sure how it will work yet, but I am exploring several avenues to make this happen.

Feedback from Emma on my foiling ideas

I also finished my mockup! It was not a smooth process, so I’m glad I tried on a dummy before doing a finished version. I used some uncoated SRA3 paper, as I don’t want to spoil the book cloth I have, so it isn’t the most sturdy. The bookbinding glue is also incredibly strong, so you need to be very careful with it. I spoiled a few cover blocks when I was squeegeeing the ends over, but this won’t be as big of an issue with the book cloth. The uncoated paper is much more fragile and prone to marking. The most important thing is to get the spine measurements correct – I had them very close, but not quite wide enough, so when I glued the book block in it did not go well!

Oops! Oh well, I had to cut the book block out and try again.

The second time it went much better!

Definitely a book!

The cover is not very sturdy because it is uncoated paper, but I’m now confident that I could cover the final book with a soft touch laminated paper, which would also allow me to do digital foiling as well. This is not ideal, as it would only be gold, but definitely a possibility!

Because so many of the things I’ve been working with have ended up being circular, I’m going to make my final piece square, probably 210x210mm. I also need to get some thinner scrim for the binding, as the ribbon and muslin I used is very apparent in the final dummy. The endpapers need to be thicker paper than the rest of the book as well, and I think tipping them in will work better than trying to include them in the stitching process.