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[BKARTS] fish skin redux

After reading all the talk on this thread about using fish skin in bookbinding, I relented and ordered the assortment of 20 fish skins from Sea Leather Wear.


The skins come in a rainbow assortment of colors, and are at most 4" wide, about 16" long. I chose to bind a small book, 7/8" X 4" X 6", in a 1/4 binding. (That's about all the skins would allow for.) I picked one of a burnt orange color with a dark brown webbing. Peter Verheyen had assured me the skins would take hot stamping. They appear to be heavily varnished, and to be sure, I followed a suggestion made on this thread sometime ago: I rubbed the skin thoroughly with clear ammonia before stamping. This had the desired effect, and the hot stamping of the book title turned out beautifully. (I used a high temperature gold foil and a Keynote font.) For a book cloth I used a brocade fabric with a black background and tiny embossed bees finely detailed in gold and silver. For endpapers I used one of Iris Nevin's patterns. I added scarlet headbands and a scarlet velvet place ribbon. The total effect was--- well, I hate to hype my own work, but it was beyond merely pretty.
The texture of the fish skin leather adds an unusual note of elegance to the binding. It is a wonderful product, and I encourage people to experiment with it.

Jet Foncannon

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