How to make “An illuminated Book of Cats”

abcbookintro“An illuminated Book of Cats” 2010
words by Rod Morgan, illustrated and handbound by Mo Orkiszewski
with musings by Ariel P. Cat
7 years in the making, our 21st C abecediary was inspired by medieval manuscripts, coptic binding & a bossy cat.
abcbookprocess1in 2010-2011 I hand bound 17 copies of our cat book in leather
ABCbookprocess2to raise the letters I printed out the title page, pasted it on thin cardboard, cut out each letter with a no 11 scalpel blade and glued the letters in place onto a second printout pasted on the book board for the cover
abcbookprocess3using a mixture of bookbinding paste and acid free PVA (which has a long drying time) I pushed the leather tightly around all the letters with a bone folder
abcbookprocess4finishing off with a steel dental tool defines the edges
abcbookprocess5each folio is Stonehenge 245 gsm paper edge bound with a strip of fine leather
abcbookprocess6paper ripped to size and folded with a bone folder
abcbookprocess7the Canon Pro 9000 MkII A3 inkjet printer makes digital magic with the Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Satin 310 gsm paper
abcbookprocess8The Letter A prepared for applying 23K gold leaf
abcbookprocess9preparing covers for coptic binding
abcbookprocess10preparing the text block with a template so all the holes line up perfectly
abcbookprocess11starting the coptic binding with the back cover
it doesn’t matter how many times I do this binding Rosemarie of Sydney Bookbinding 2003 class notes are brilliant!
abcbookprocess12pasting in the plates with a Pritt archival glue stick
abcbookprocess13stitching the coptic heandband
abcbookprocess15the bound book
abcbookprocess17painted edges with Jo Sonja rich gold matte fluid acrylic
abcbookprocess21abcbookprocess22dedication to Ariel
here’s a recording of Old Man Crow’s song for Ariel
Little Pussycat

the bluecatheaven website and e-mail in the photo above no longer exist
but you can read our illuminated book online here