Its about time that I posted some work in progress. At this stage I have pretty much decided the content and form of the book. A lot of it is going to be printed using rubber stamps and I want to stamp the cover so have been experimenting with this on book cloth. Here are some photos of my efforts. Only one of the stamps here will be used for the book - the pink one - the others are stamps I made before and I was just using them for testing the ink.
The above was an experiment I did using book cloth from Hewit's - Arlington book cloth, which has been discontinued unfortunately. I don't like the replacement 'Edinburgh' book cloth half as much. Anyways, this has a special coating to protect it so it doesn't absorb the ink - which I expected. I tried 2 types of ink - just an normal ink pad and also a special one for fabric (pictured below) - the fabric one came out the best, but even when it was dry you could see that it was still sitting on top of the cloth.
In case anybody's wondering what the little purple packet with the teddy bear on it is - its some baby wipes, which apparently is the best (and cheapest - 90p for these ones) way to clean your stamps.
I have made a complete mock up of the signatures in miniature (below) and also been trying to devise the kind of stitch I want for the book. I want to do a sewn through the spine binding again with a very simple series of stitches along the spine. I couldn't find anything like this in any of my books so thought I'd have a go myself. It is still in a very experimental stage and I could totally change my mind about this once I've made a mock up of the book. Below you can see my initial diagram of the stitch and above was a practice one I did sewing through some thin card. Its nothing fancy but I just want a very simple stitch.
I got the best results from stamping with the fabric ink and book cloth from Falkiners (grey cloth above) which is paper backed and apparently can be put through an inkjet printer. However, this does not have any protective treatment in order for it to be receptive to ink. I've done some experiments with Scotchguard and sprayed it after I stamped it. I also carried out the test they advised on the tin to see if a small drop of water beads on the surface and it does. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has experience of this and the big question - what about acidity, alkalinity and archival quality?? Scotchguard will undoubtedly protect the book cloth but I have no idea if its acidic or this will affect the cloth long term. There are no ingredients on the tin - so if anyone has any ideas or knowledge of this I'd love to know.
I have included the photo below to show an experiment with stamping on a darker colour book cloth and the stamp turned on its side. The stamp was a bit wobbly so I wanted something to back it - there are all sorts of expensive dense foam you can buy to do this but I used some polystyrene which came with pizza packaging (the circular bit they put under the pizza). Its light, solid and was easy to glue onto the back of the stamp and can be easily removed too - and its recycling! So there you have it, my efforts thus far. I feel like I've got so much to do my head is spinning! But I will stick to my own personal motto - stop whining and just get on with it ;-)