Monday, March 2, 2009

How do you get to Carnegie hall ???














....so every now and then Carnegie Hall wants to honour someone , usually a donor with very deep pockets , or commemorate a season , lifetime ......whatever the reason I`m glad of it as it means I get to make some nice bindings , stamp their great plates in leaf , and use my first ever and favourite wheel.
The binding is pretty starightforward....a case with inlaid panels , usually red , but this weekend green ... but then comes the finishing...
It did admitadly take me some time (good tip coming)to figure out that the best way stamp difficult plates in leaf was to not use anything to hold the leaf in place.This may be pretty obvious to some , but I always have to learn the hard way.The red book is a lot larger , and the plates more difficult . The image of the hall is problematic , due to its size(approx6x9) , its very detailed , and it`s top-heavy , meaning its position underneath the blocker is key to getting a good impression.
The text plate has a large wide band of gold , which is not impossible to clean out with butane , if you are sticking down with vaseline , but it takes nerves of steel.......as does removing , cleaning , and replacing underneath the press , and stamping again.....trust me , it does.
No , the key , is to position under the press , lay the leaf ontop , stamp , and brush out easily using a soft-haired brush - quicker , easier , and just an all round better result.Obvious to everyone but me right?
After stamping , the back of the book is put in , headcaps made , tied-up , and left over night to dry . Then next , a hand rolled wheel across the front and back boards , but first as in the photo , gold is laid down .The tool is then rolled across the gold , and butane is used to clean of the excess , hopefully leaving behind the pattern!!
I chose the wheel as the pattern was simple , open , and the raised petals were just about the right size to ensure a good finish pretty easily .
On the more recent green book , I did try a different gold . For the past several years I have been mostly using a French pale 22 carat , on new work . This was originally because i found the shade more appealing , but later it became clear that it is actually easier to use , than the fine stuff.I did try some years ago , the 24carat fine gold that Talas has , but found it incredibly delicate and prone to cracking , and flying around , etc! But , guess what , another 4 day turnaround , and i`m out of pale , ...I`ve got plenty of fine though , so I gave it a shot , and it came out.
Yes , the 24 carat is more delicate(seems lighter , poss.due to not being mixed with alloy) , and it did require some repair work , but it came out just as good.
In the little I have learnt and understand about working with gold in the past five years , it`s all about confidence(positive action) , and confidence can only be gained by experience , and experience is only gained by failure....lots of failure...
But its just like the cliche
How do you get to Carnegie Hall
practise , practise , practise (sorry !!!it was just too easy)

2 comments:

Matt M. said...

Gavin, Congrats on this! Well done.

Paper Dragon Books said...

thanks matt