For journalers, there is no such thing as too many journals. So when Lynda Abare of 5 Acre Arts taught her copper-cover journal again, I signed up again. This time I wanted to make the journal for someone else. Lynda does amazing things with repujado–metal embossing. And today’s amazing thing was a copper-covered, metal-embossed journal.
Lynda’s class is relaxed and chatty. She helps you when you don’t understand what to do, and her kits make you feel like an expert when you are no such thing. What makes this journal wonderful is that the complicated binding is easy-peasy. The individual signatures (groups of pages) are stitched together in a running stitch. The stitch is strong and creates holders for the ribbons that hold the signatures together with decorative paper panels. The ribbons can be adjusted so the book is either tight and designed for writing only, or looser and ready for pasting in tickets, memorabilia, and photos.
There are other choices, too. You can make the front and back the same, or you can choose a different pattern. Lynda brings in stencils and rubbing plates–enough to make everyone feel they have chosen the best design for their journal.
I chose a braided pattern for the back. It says something about the complications we face in life and how we use them to create a pattern we recognize and can use for strength or for beauty.
Once you’ve done the embossing, there are two more choices–you can color the covers using a torch or a chemical oxidation. The oxidation is done with liver of sulfur, and I used enough of that when I made jewelry. And I love a good torch. So I torched both sides of the copper to make it look old and used. I like a book that’s wiser than I am.
If you live (or are visiting) in the Phoenix area, check Lynda’s website and see if she’s teaching. No prior experience is necessary to turn out a useful and beautiful journal.
And if you need to fill up that journal? Well, then, you can get in touch with me. I help people decide how to fill up their journals.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and artist who teaches raw-art journaling–keeping an art journal for people who can’t draw.