Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wedding signs

Sometimes wedding signs are needed, and a recent Louisville wedding involved my making several signs - some typical and some unusual.  Besides the signs, I lettered envelopes for the wedding and a party, all the place cards, and created a one of a kind guest book, the pages of which were made from the same envelopes used for the wedding.

 Here is detail from the Bridal Suite sign.  I embellished the signature blue lettering with silver.

 This may have been the most unusual signage of the event.  "Mama's Soap Box" was the bride's idea.  Her mother climbed atop the sign-covered ottoman to welcome guests to the reception.

 My first iteration of the soap box was unsatisfactory to me, so I took it back to the drawing board and placed the signs on watercolor paper all around the ottoman.  I worried about 'Mom' tripping and covered the top with felt and then a rug.  It all worked out very well.
 The guest book wasn't just my favorite part, but also the bride's mother's.  She was near tears when she saw it and held it for the first time.

 The guest book's inside covers were made of paste paper that I had painted covered with a rayon paper complete with glittery specks of gold and silver.
 The place cards were extra large to accommodate some embellishment pieces the bride was having made in Germany.
The above were the party invitation envelopes where we first used the bride's blue.

The same week I made another sign - "Thank You" to be used for another bride's thank you notes.
I love weddings!  I love brides!  I love brides' mothers!  (And dads too.)  It's been a wonderful pre-fall wedding season.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hand-tooled leather covered book

This past weekend I made a hand-tooled leather covered book in a workshop with Bonnie Stahlecker, bookbinder extraordinaire.  Ten of us plus Bonnie gathered in Louisville for this fabulous workshop.  Bonnie is an excellent instructor, and all the resulting books were stellar.

Above are the front and back covers (respectively) of my little book.

I painted paste paper to use for my end sheets inside.

The closure was wonderful...we wove a thin strip of leather in and out of itself and connected it via a jump ring to a tiny brass brad in the other leather clad wooden cover.

All the participants had excellent results.  The books are only about 3 x 5" but are packed with 12 signatures and bound with a modified coptic stitch so they will lay flat when opened.

If you ever get the opportunity to take a workshop from Bonnie, I am sure that you will enjoy it and you will learn a lot.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Certificate Repair

A professor at a nearby university recently contacted me with an unusual request for certificate repair.  She said there was a major problem with a certificate she wanted to have framed.  I agreed to meet with her (no promises - you can never tell with a problem like this if it is repairable or not.) The problem with the certificate was that she was listed as an MD, but she is a PhD. She hoped that I could turn the MD into MS (because she was also Master of Science) and add PhD behind it.  I decided that the best I could do was to camouflage the parts of the existing D with paint while turning it into an S with black ink.


The week long seminar she had attended was taught by people who meant a lot to her, and some were no longer available to sign a new certificate.  She wanted to preserve the bit of history that their signatures provided.  Also, the lettering was a style I seldom do, by a different, unknown calligrapher.  I would have to attempt to match the lettering as closely as possible.  Professor Z had contacted the CDC who issued the certificate, but they only advised her that they could re-issue one (with different signatures and with her name printed since they no longer use a calligrapher.)  They advised her to try to find a good calligrapher who might be able to help.  In a Google search, she found me, but when I saw the actual certificate I feared it would not have a good result.  The paper was not the best quality - thin and 'papery', not conducive to scraping ink off well without tearing.)  To top it all off, the ink had smeared in one place - and I had no idea if I had any ink that would match up since this was a decade old.

Later as I began working on trying to eliminate the smeared parts around the M, I discovered that careful scraping was working.  I was able to 'erase' the M pretty well.

It's not a perfect result, but it's not bad.  It's better than we had thought could be accomplished.  The Ph had to be narrowed a bit to fit the M's slot, and there is some ink residue from the M and the original smearing.  I was afraid to try to scrape it any more than I had, and I had erased with a typewriter eraser and a white eraser until no more ink could be removed.  I think when she has it framed no one will notice the repair.  She is thrilled to have saved this piece of her history, and I am happy to have made a new friend.