The Art of Creating Hand Made Leather Journals

Journal by Michael Graham

The Art of Creating Hand Made Leather Journals
Guest Article by Illustrator Michael Graham
NewSouthBooks

 

As a professional illustrator, making leather bound journals became an extension for artisanship. It’s been necessary on occasion to explain to someone wanting a leather wallet or saddle work that I’m not a leather artisan. I’m a journal maker, a maker of fine leather books. Just so happens they’re covered with leather. My journals are hand constructed based on the availability of different leathers. As a printmaker, I have saved prints (proofs) for many years that provide for wonderful and unique adornment in the journals. Incorporating original artwork such as watercolors, hand torn pieces from silkscreen art, and drawings help to distinguish my books. There is the appeal of ‘real’ artwork and no two are the same.

Leather Bound Journal

In researching the construction of leather journals, I discovered that most were stitched to the spine. I have seen this type of book–and attractive as many are, I find their construction lacking. The signatures (groupings of pages) are often loose within the leather cover. My journals are all truly bound, using real book binding materials and imported head bands. This is the same process used by commercial producers and I prefer the aesthetic.

Hand Made Leather Bound Journal

After initial market success with my journals, prospective clients began asking about custom, made to order journals with a particular color of leather, size, dimension, and number of pages. Some have sent me various cover adornments for front covers. I have received photographs and artwork to incorporate within the pages. This often presents new challenges that I embrace—and once the journal finds its way to the owner, they ultimately put their own handprint on it. Artists, writers, scrap bookers, travelers, cowboy poets and serious doodlers are using my journals. The applications are as diverse as the imagination. They become a very personal possession to keep for a lifetime.

Custom Journals

If you are interested in purchasing one of my leather journals from the Etsy Site, I ship the next business day–delivery is usually within five days. Alternatively, an individual custom journal to spec (dimensions, leather color, number of pages, personal adornment, etc.) would require a two to three week time period.

My intent is to produce a purposeful objet d’art with integrity and beauty, an extension for artisanship.

Michael Graham

Michael Graham Journal

 

The Art of Creating Hand Made Leather Journals
Guest Article by Illustrator Michael Graham
NewSouthBooks
www.etsy.com/shop/newsouthbooks#

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