One of the members of the Book Arts Forum recently initiated a book swap with a modern interpretation of a Nag Hammadi Codex. Astrid's has been posting on her blog with the history behind the books if you would like more information about them! She posts first in German and then in English so be sure to scroll down for each post. My book was sent to Rachel and I received a book from Astrid.
I made Rachel's book using all recycled materials. The green leather is the first piece I've used from the couch that I stripped in the fall, the inside pages are trimmings from a project a local conservator was working on, and the liner paper is a piece left over from a custom order I made.
I decided to stay close to the original structure as I had never put ties on a leather journal or paper backed leather. I had a lot of fun attaching straps and was pleased with the results. Paper backing leather was a learning experience and one that I think I'll repeat again. I was surprised how stiff the paper made the leather. The couch leather was thin and I used a thin handmade paper was well, when the two dried it made a very stiff book cover. I'm not sure if it was combing the two together, the pva, or a combination of all but I had to press the book for two days to keep the cover flap closed!
The book I received from Astrid is fantastic! It's made from bonded leather which looks and feels like cork but smells like leather... mmmm... It has fantastic detail stitching and 3 pen loops on the inside. It's held closed by a belt buckle and has a bright orange elastic band around it to function as the side straps that my journal has. The paper inside is a mix of white, grey, and tan, the grey paper is 100% hemp which is exciting as I've not seen hemp paper before. I've stolen the pictures Astrid's book from her blog, you can see more detail of the book there as well!