Archive for July, 2010

The Metronome Lever Journal

The Metronome Lever Journal is actually the third journal that I made. The Mica Journal was the 2nd journal I made; but I’m gonna go a little out-of-order, as I don’t know where the Mica Journal is because of my recent move to Seattle. It’s in a box somewhere. When I find it I’ll post it up. I learned how to make the Mica Journal in a class at Journalfest, taught by Dan Essig. Anyway…

The Metronome Lever Journal was made when Tracy held a class at his studio and invited Trista and I to attend. I had some ideas kicking around for a smaller journal than the Brass Tome. Clocking in at 7″ x 9″ and 9 five-page signatures thick, the Brass Tome is a bear to lug around. My idea was something smaller to carry arround and have the Brass Tome to work in at home or on special occasions. I looked to the paperback books that I love so much (for their portability). The size of a paperback is approximately 4″ x 5″. That seemed a little small to me, by and large not giving me a lot of real estate to draw, create, and write; so I increased the size to 5″ x 7″. With 6 signatures of 3 pages each, it is much more portable.

And thus the Metronome Lever Journal was born.

The Metronome Lever Journal Cover

The cover of the Metronome Lever Journal

While I was trying to come up with some ideas for the cover I kept coming back to these 2 plates and camera lens. The plates were no problem to attach, some rivets and its good to go. The camera lens presented a huge problem in mounting it to the front of the journal. One idea that I had was to sand down a small piece of plywood, drill out a hole large enough to fit the lens,  and rivet it to the copper before attaching the leather. That was what I went with as my attachment method, but all of the large-bore bits were either slightly too small or slightly too big. Rather than force it, I decided that it would be better to g too big and then glue it in with gorilla glue. I was a little wary of using glue cause if i messed it up i probably wouldn’t get a second chance and could potentially ruin the lens. but it all worked out fine and the lens looks great.

The spine of the Metronome Lever Journal

The spine of the Metronome Lever Journal

I didn’t do too much to the spine of the Metronome Lever other than the binding. The only concession to anything slightly stylish is how I dealt with melting the knot. After binding the journals signatures together, instead of using a charm, which i have found breaks my knots, I melted the knot down; and while the wax polyester was still hot I mashed the knot down on to the pine plank that I’ve been using as a drilling surface. This gives me what i call a smash knot. It makes a small flat disk and keeps everything bound nicely.

The back of the Metronome Lever Journal

The back of the Metronome Lever Journal

Like the back of the Brass Tome, I opted for the use of 2 running stitches with 2 colors of thread. I also then added on the other metronome plate on the back. I was really lucky that I found the cool scars for the back of the journal.

For this one I decided that a 6 signature book didn’t need a closure and I think that its given the book a really clean look. The copper was originally polished to a mirrored finish, and I really like how it’s tarnished up as I’ve handled it.

Well that’s the Metronome Leather Journal. Thanks for taking a look at it.

Next up is the Leather X’s Journal.


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The Brass Tome Journal

First, some background…

About a year and 3 months ago a few friends of mine and I went to Seattle to visit some other friends of ours. One of our friends, Tracy, makes these really awesome handmade metal cover journals. While we were there we all asked him if he could teach us to make them. He of course said yes because hes an awesome guy, and we all got to go home with an awesome metal cover journal. This one was mine.

The Brass Tome Journal Cover

The cover of the Brass Tome Journal

The elements on the cover I got at a few different places. The rusted spigot knob and cabinet handle came from an antique store in Port Gamble.  The shift lock key came from a vendor at the, appropriately named, vendor night of Artfest. The latches that form the closures were purchased at Archie McPhee in Seattle.

I had originally planned on filling the negative space on the cover with lots of other do-dads and what-not, but found that I really liked the open unadorned brass. It gives it a nice space to just be; as opposed to being overcrowded with lots of cool, but ultimately overwrought stuff. I especially like how the brass has aged as its been handled.

The spine of the Brass Tome Journal

The spine of the Brass Tome Journal

The spine of the book is fairly simple as far as books go. The binding I used is the one Tracy taught me to do. It works great on journals with leather spines. It has the added benefit of looking really cool and being really easy to do. The buttons on the spine came from an antique stone in Port Townsend. I don’t entirely know why i put the buttons on the spine, but I’m glad that I did. I suppose that I thought that it would look cool, and it does. I was a little worried that they would end up getting pulled off in my travels and getting stuffed into and pulled out of my backpack. So far they have held up really well.

The back of the Brass Tome Journal

The back of the Brass Tome Journal

The back of the Brass Tome Journal is again really simple, almost to the point of being utilitarian. The only little element of style that I put in was the grey thread that I used for the running stitch on the interior stitch.  The attatchments for the closures have a little bit of superfluous stitching to give it a certain look. Other than that though I really liked the look of the full leather back on the, well, back.

And that is my breakdown presentation of the Brass Tome Journal.

Now its a year and three months later and alot of things are different. Since I made that journal I fell in love and moved out to Seattle from Albany, NY. The wonderful young woman that I fell in love with is Trista Moore, daughter of my friend Tracy.

I’ve been cranking out lots of new journals lately and I can’t wait to share them with you. More to follow soon here on Gearskull

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Welcome to Gearskull

Welcome to Gearskull. This is my journaling and journal making blog. What I’m trying to do here is share what I know and learn about making journals, bookbinding, and journaling. Ill be posting my thoughts on journal making and journaling, any tips and tricks I pick up along the way, and pictures of the journals I make and journal pages from my own journals. I hope that this is helpful to all of the journal makers, book binders, and journaling enthusiasts out there.

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