Here’s a small experiment of mine; presenting the Marbled Diamond pattern.
The idea behind this journal was to take classic elements, most notably marbled paper, and use them in a way that would look new but at the same time convincing and natural, as if this kind of decoration could have existed as a standard form in the 19th century.
This is the design I had in mind; a diamond pattern onlaid with marbled paper. As far as I’m concerned I have never seen anything like it, however if some experienced or knowledgeable binder/conservator out there is aware of any similar historical binding/s please do share the information (and as a bonus trash my creative excitement in the process)!
On the one hand it strikes me as strange that there aren’t at least a few historical examples of such a design, even as an odd piece or excercise of creativity. Then again, judging by the time and measurements it required, production or time-efficiency wise it is a somewhat impractical design.
I opted for the longstitch because much as I wanted to try the technique I wasn’t very keen on producing a laborious sewn-in boards fine binding.
As you can see I committed the sacrilege of using 2 different decorative papers for the cover and endpapers, a marbled and a paste paper. Before you grimace in disgust and search for stones to throw stay your hand and consider my reason behind such blasphemy; the marbled paper I wanted to use had the grain wrong. So, if it would be used as endpaper it would have to be placed in the correct grain, thus the pattern would be running horizontally in contrast with the vertical pattern of the cover pieces.
I preferred to match it with a paste paper of very similar colors hoping to achieve some relevance between the two designs. It’s not ideal but I suppose it wouldn’t be called “the ugliest juxtaposition of patterns one has ever seen”, to quote Brien Beidler on one of his findings!
As for the verdict, I really like the pattern and the resulting visual. I believe there’s more to it and will definitely return sooner than later for a second go. I also have a couple of ideas that could make it less time consuming and more repeatable.
As an extra note I have to admit there’s something a bit “off” about this specific journal, a few people who saw it expressed the same feeling. Longstitch aside, I attribute this to the blind tooling. I wasn’t sure about it but after completing the marbled diamond pattern the remaining spaces felt somewhat empty so I decided to do some blind tooling as a remedy. Came out a bit too “chatty’ for my taste, should have gone with double gold lines so that an inner linear rhombus would be created in each gap – more discreet.
In any case I look forward in trying the design again, next time on a more classic form.
Until then what do you make of it?