[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[BKARTS] making your own endpapers

	For several years, I have purchased decorative papers for book endpapers through a variety of merchants:  Talas,
Hollanders, and BookMakers, for example.  The papers, in particular, the marbleized endpapers offered by these
merchants, are often works of art, for instance, the papers made by Iris Nevins and Ann Muir, and the merchants are
ultrareliable.  I don?t intend to slight any of them. However, I have recently discovered that it is sometimes a good
idea to make your own endpapers.  Doing so may offer an opportunity to more accurately integrate the endpaper design
with the other components of the book.
	To do this, I start with plain endpaper, offered, for example, by Brodart or Gaylord.  These papers come in several
sizes--- I use 18" by 24"--- and are inexpensive and of good quality;  they come in either white, cream, even black.  I
then apply to these papers a variety of techniques described in the book, ?Professional Painted Finishes, a Guide to the
Art and Business of Decorative Painting? by Marx, Marx, and Marx.  I often do 3/4 bindings, with leather hot-stamped
inlays for titles, done with shaved leather. (The process of making leather inlays can be found in the BOOK_ARTS
archive.)   Once I have decided on the color scheme for the bookcloth, inlays, and leather, I can pick the paints for
the endpapers.  This approach can produce a more carefully orchestrated decorative scheme than that resulting from store
bought endpapers.
	 Alkyd paints are best, but since I hate working in paint fumes, I use acrylics.  First, it is necessary to size the
paper to keep it from buckling and to prevent the paint from soaking through.  I do this using a 1/2 shellac varnish -
1/2 alcohol sizing. A problem with acrylics is that they dry so rapidly that is is difficult to apply techniques such as
decalomania and frottage, as described in the above book.   The way to give the paint more working time, up to 45
minutes, is to use an acrylic retarder.  My formula is 1 T retarder, 1 T glaze medium, 1 T methylcellulose solution, and
mix with either paint or pure pigment.  (It?s not possible to give exact quantities, since this depends on the effect
one wants.  One suggestion is to start with 1 t of paint or pigment and work your way upwards.) 
	You?ll need lots of small plastic bowls, and tools such as sea sponges, cheesecloth, etc.  One can use opaque pigments
(cadmium and chromium based) or transparent ones (phthalocyanine dye pigments), depending on the effect desired.  Heavy
metal pigments require caution, and I do all the work wearing latex gloves. 
	A little experimentation will probably be necessary, but it is a lot of fun, and the learning curve is pretty steep.  I
don?t try to produce a finish approximating true marble, which is the effect sought in the book above, but rather an
abstract design which complements the colors of the cloth, leather, and inlays.  This procedure has produced for me some
truly stunning endpapers,  with intricate multicolored patterns of great complexity and fluidity.   I often incorporate
into the endpaper design patches of gold or silver to echo the hot-stamping on the labels and the edge gilding.  Here I
find acrylic paints do not give satisfactory effects,  so I use gold or silver oil based paints.  This is the only use
of oil based paints, and exposure to fumes is small.
	When the endpapers have dried, I spray with a matte acrylic varnish to lessen the surface gloss.  An alternative is to
use a special matte glazing medium, available at most art stores. Doing this minimizes the pressure marks made on the
endpapers by the leather turn ins when the book is placed in the bookers.  I let the papers dry for two or more days and
am careful to separate them, using waxpaper,  from each other and from the paper of the textblock before placing the
book in the bookpress.  Any unevenness in the endpapers is completely removed by the pressure of the bookpress. 

J. J. Foncannon
Philadelphia, PA  19139

	The Belgian surrealist painter Renee Magritte entered a cheese store in Brussels to purchase a wheel of Swiss cheese. 
The owner pulled a wheel from the front window, but Magritte said he preferred the one on the back counter.
	?But they are identical,? the owner protested.
	?No,? Magritte insisted.  ?This one?s been stared at.?

Now Online - The Bonefolder, Vol. 2, No. 1 at <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]