This is a project I was commissioned to do some time in the spring and finally finished and sent off in September. Not entirely sure why it took me so long to get started on it but life seems to have been a bit like that this year. I particularly like book cover commissions and this is the second I’ve been lucky enough to receive from this customer.
It would be easier with the book in front of you but it can be done and I rely upon careful measurements being supplied. My brief was to incorporate trees and a small cross. The cover is for a much loved but old and now slightly fragile bible, with this in mind I wanted the inside of the cover to be a little bit special so I lined it with bamboo fibres.
Bamboo has similar properties to wool as it wicks moisture away and it’s also somewhat antibacterial plus it gives a lovely sheen making it feel special.
In the end I decided upon 2 crosses, one on the front and one on the spine.
Once felted, the trees sank into the background more then I would have liked so I brought it back by using a running stitch along the branches in a bronze thread which was semi sparkly and I just loved how that turned out. You can see below I used more running stitch on the cross to give added texture but the shading was very subtle.
I felt it important to have a few berries left on the tree on the front of the cover and used plum coloured beads to bring these to life. More could have been added but it’s true that less is sometimes more.
The shot below is my favourite because the light and the bricks just work together beautifully to show the cover off. You can see the second cross on the spine which was outlined using a simple backstitch. You can see the tree trunk stitching too which I really enjoyed doing.
View of the back. I like to dry the finished felt on the book it’s to cover so that it dries in shape, of course, I do cover the book with plastic first to protect it from moisture. As I didn’t have the bible to work with I took a tape measure and sampled various books until I found ones which, when stacked together, gave me the exact measurement of the spine of the bible.
The edge was finished with blanket stitch in two colours of thread as I used grey along the bottom and a midnight blue everywhere else so that it toned in and became part of the cover but in no way detracting from it. I’m pleased to report that it fitted perfectly and the customer was delighted with it 🙂
I received a book cover commission from a very lovely lady this week. A real book enthusiast who wanted a special cover for her inventory book and who loved a design she’d seen in my shop. My brief being to make it darker and more stormy if possible, I set to.
I laid out two layers of BFL and then a final carded layer of BFL and Merino.
Next, I added the snow using wool nepps. It’s important to put the snow on before the tree so that you don’t end up with blank spaces round it later or snow in a line down the trunk. I wet the background fibres before adding the tree so that I could position exactly where I wanted it and without it being disturbed later.
More snow laid on the bottom third – well it was settling!
Laying fibres along the top of the branches not only represents settling snow but brings the tree to life. In addition to white fibres I also laid a little crab fibre for that added shine. I suppose you’d like to see the finished version now.
The edges are blanlet stitched in navy blue embroidery thread.
You can see how the crab fibres have been forced to wiggle as the wool felted down.
I love the darkness of the sky and am wondering whether I should have made the foreground darker too. The photos may not show it but the sky has some datk purples and greys mixed in there and the tree is actually a mixture of black, dark browns and dark greens.
This is a special size book cover so I just hope I’ve got the dimensions right and as it’s already in the post I should know soon.
If you fancy making your own book cover why not come along next Friday 14th February to the book cover workshop here in Ilkley. There’s still a couple of places – book now.
I’m a lucky girl this week. I’ve just received two commissions for a total of four brooches, now I just have to find the time to make them. How many hours in a day again?
It’s always good to be challenged to work in new colours too and I’m always happy to take commissions.
I was commissioned to create three vegetable pictures. They’ll be used in a research laboratory which works with children looking at how we can get them to eat more veg. I know my own daughter goes on and off different vegetables and fruit although overall she’s pretty good about everything except green salad. I usually substitute: raw white cabbage for the lettuce, red peppers for the tomatoes and peas instead of cucumber. It seems to work okay. Before they go off to their new home I wanted to show you the pictures.
I know they’ve used bright wall paint in the lab and I wanted to provide equally bright pictures with the vegetables in forms the children would recognise. Each picture has an element of low relief. Nothing too exaggerated or it’d be difficult to frame them. I hope they’ll be liked.