Friday, 14 September 2012

Book of Secrets!

I've been doing something new! I've never taken part in an online workshop before but I'm currently doing Andy Skinner's Book of Secrets one and having fun! Andy gets some fantastic finishes on his projects and steampunk is way outside my normal comfort zone so I decided to sign up and see what I could learn.

This post is a bit picture-heavy - sorry!

Andy uses a wooden box as the base for his tutorials but I decided to take the "book" part of the workshop title literally and I've used a real book as the base for my project. The people who owned our house before us left behind loads of "books by the yard" and we've never done anything with them. I chose one that looked extremely unlikely to have any financial or cultural value and set to work!

One of the things I struggle with on steampunk is the "more is more" aspect. I find it difficult to add lots of stuff and still feel happy with the overall composition. I think I did OK here and I didn't go for a straight copy of Andy's sample (trying to copy something is always a recipe for disaster at my craft table!).

The "power indicators" (flat back gems) were something that struck me as a fun addition to the mechanical components.

Andy adds dates to his large compass with metal punches. I liked the idea but didn't have the punches to achieve it. What I did have was an embossing tool with interchangable tips that my dad picked up for me at a car boot sale (thanks Dad!). I used it with a hammer to add detail right round the inside of the compass. I think it works quite well.

The spine has been given a leather-look makeover. It's not easy to tell that the book started life as a blue cloth-bound hardback and I think this would probably look quite convincing lined up with other volumes on a shelf!

I carved out a niche inside the book for the inner workings of the machine. I thought a butterfly would provide a suitably unexpected power house for a steampunk contraption and the light/bright colouring makes a nice contrast to the industrial tones.

Lessons for niche carving - be prepared to even up the right hand side once the pages are glued together as there's a surprising gradient on the pages of a closed book!  The slope on the left goes towards the spine and can't be seen but the slope on the right obviously goes into the niche itself.

Here's a detail of the texture on the cogs - nice and rusty!

Old book
Tand Creative chipboard shapes (Compass Duo and Cogs grab bag)
Die cuts
Lamp black, Burnt umber, Burnt sienna Americana Acrylic paints by DecoArt
Texturizing medium by DecoArt
Brads, googly eyes, flatback pearls and gems
Sun charm (saved from a freebie chiffon scarf)
Wings stamp set (Darkroom Door)
"Engine" and number from a retired B&O Railroad set (CHF)
Ranger Perfect Pearls
Copic markers

This is not quite complete yet - I need to do the back and as the niche only goes about half way down the depth of the book I've stuck together some pages so I have a couple of surfaces to decorate. I got distracted into trying a second project though, I'll share that soon!

The Book of Secrets workshop is running again at the end of the month - details of what it entails are here if anyone would like them.

Thanks for stopping by!


Kaz said...

Wow this is amazing Joanne and you're right, so different from your usual creations. I really love what you've made here. Can't wait to see the next project! x

Kathy said...

I absolutely adore this. Brilliant work Joanne

Karen said...

WOW this is really different for you and I can see that you enjoyed it! I love the addition of the butterfly, it really adds contrast & compliments the book totally! Andy's work is incredibly realistic. I have been lucky enough to handle some of his work. He really does make things look leathery or rusty and always tactile. xxx

fatmonica said...

This is stunning!I love it.

Carol Plume said...

stunning piece Joanne and as others have said, so very different for you!

can't wait to see what else you come up with. x

Kath said...

Wow! Fantastic. I wonder what your other project is? Equally fabulous I should imagine.

Andy Skinner said...

I love your twist on the Book of Secrets Joanne, Fabulous!!

Jackie Elwin said...

Lovin' this Joanne! Your embossing detail on the compass looks great and I love the idea of gems as power indicators.

Paula Whittaker said...

totally wow....looks like it's one heck of an online course

sam21ski said...

WOW Joanne, this is amazing, well done to make something this creative out of your comfort zone.

Sam xxx

Deborah said...

Wow Joanne! Hard to believe this is out of your comfort zone, you're a natural steampunker. Glad you are getting so much from Andy Skinner's course. I hope to get round to one soon.

Katherine said...

I LOVE it :)

tracy said...

WOW!! thats fantastic joanne-you should definitely do more of this ;)
i like the cogs at different levels:)

Mari said...

GORGEOUS! You may feel overwhelmed stepping out of your comfort zone, but this looks beautiful. No one could ever tell that it was a stretch for you!

salamanda said...

I love this project especially the niche inside

Anonymous said...

A stunnng piece of art Joanne. Love this. Low impact steampunk plus butterfly - the incongrous works well:)
Lynn x