JournalFest Day 1

When I decided to come to JournalFest I decided I would take some classes that pulled me out of my comfort zone. I have certain beliefs about books and journaling and one of the things I don’t like are sculptural books that have no utility. I want my books to be used and to accumulate the patina of use. With that in mind, I took Dan Essig’s class on making a mica book.

I’ve admired Dan’s work for sometime and I though his instruction was thoughtful and well planned. He provided us with a materials kit that allowed us to experiment with a variety of techniques such a trapping, inlay, sewing and staining. Over the course of the day, he demonstrated each technique and then we stepped through it with the materials in the kit. BY the end of the day, we had produced a seven page book that was made entirely out of mica and bound with a two needle coptic stitch.

I actually like what came out of the class and I’ll amend this post in a couple of days when I have a change to take some photographs. While I don’t know if I’ll produce another mica book, Dan provided a lot of information about mica and its properties and I can definitely see incorporating it into my wood and polymer books.

We closed out the day with a fire at the beach and journaling in the Beach Shelter, a small structure down by the waterfront. There were hot dogs and marshmallows and pens were flying.


Next Up… Paste Paper

I’ve started sewing up the Woodland Gnome cahiers and they’re coming along nicely. In the meantime I’ve started working on something else, I haven’t decided what form it’s going to take yet but I’ve made some paste paper as a start. It has been a while since I’ve made some flatblacks and I’m leaning towards making some small ones for swapping at JournalFest.


Wrapping up the covers

Tonight I wrapped up the printing for the covers of my Woodland Gnome Cahiers. I stopped at a Kelly Paper store on the way home and found a stock to use for the book block which gave me the information I needed to put the colophon together. I created another Gocco screen for it and knocked out the last of the printing on the covers.



Getting Ahead of the Curve

JournalFest is coming up in October and after going through the confirmation materials, I’ve decide to make some things to trade. Normally, I end up scrambling at the last minute to get things together but this time I wanted to get ahead of the curve and get started. I attend PLAY regularly and normal make a small journal and a matching cahier, they’re always a hit so I’ve decided to make some of them JournalFest. I began by drawing out a Woodland Gnome for the cover and broke out my Gocco. I still have a cache of Gocco supplies and decided it would be the quickest way to get started. Here are a couple of shots of the covers in their first stages.


I began by laying down some blue ink to color the Gnome’s hat.


Once the blue ink was dry, I used a second screen to lay down some black ink.


The front of the covers completed.

PLAY: Day Three

Day three was a productive day as everyone worked on their projects, there were a few demos but overall people had their attention focused on finishing up their stuff.


Andrew’s Steampunk Journal looked great. He created it using an old clock spring, some watch parts and Ice Resin. I thought the texture he used on the surface of the clay was very nice and was surprised to find out he used some metal corset boning to create it. Andrew is a fashion designer and apparently, he carries some around with him.

Keeley spent the time working on her creatures. Their faces were so perfect that I assumed that they were made from a mold. But as Keeley talked about the work she told me that’s not the case, each one is individually sculpted. Her material of choice is PaperClay and that that I’ve seen a good example of what you can create with it, I may have to reevaluate it as a creative tool.


At least two polymer clay heart boxes were under construction but I know there were more.



PLAY: Day Two

Most people settled into the routine of just making things today or journaling today. Several people who had started polymer clay books yesterday finished them today by completing the baking process and painting them. A few people, myself included continued working with the polymer clay and made boxes that were shaped around organic forms. Some molded forms like a heart out of foil, I used a rock.

Some of the other PLAY participants were admiring my tiny jade book and The Books of the Jade Skulls. They asked about the technique I use to create the faux jade with polymer clay so I set up a demonstration and taught them how to make it. The demonstration left me with a piece of faux jade clay, I thought about making another small pocket book with it but instead I decided to make a box. I covered a rock with a layer of gold clay, then covered the first layer with the faux jade.