Fallen Angels

The Book —- The anti-universalist, or, History of the fallen angels of the scriptures: proofs of the being of Satan and of evil spirits: intended as a refutation of the three main points of Universalism, namely, that there is no hell after death, no Devil or Satan as a being, and no future day of final judgment.Author: Josiah PriestPublisher

The Project– The book was in considerable disrepair having succumb to ravages of dry rot and the frailty of the original stitching. The whole was dis-bound with a scalpel, repaired and hand stitched. A snakeskin head and foot band were added(hardly noticeable but certainly a fun addition form this binder) and covers were laced onto the stitching. The leather for this work is a fine brown calf produced by Richard E. Meyer and Sons / Pergamena Parchment of New York State. Once pared and stretched it was glued to the book and worked with a bone folder over the spine bands. The leather was pressed for a few days in heavy felts and later finished with a beeswax, cow fat, and natural oil mixture that is a proprietary blend created by JRR Bookworks. The leather was buffed and then glaired with egg glaire many times.

Each shape is created by a hand held brass tool. Each tool has to be heated and an impression made. Then a piece of gold leaf is placed over the impression and the tool is heated again. Once the heat is perfect the tool is impressed over the leaf and into the original marks. Glaire, leaf, and heating are repeated – in this case up to 4 times- to get the right thickness for the gold. Each time the gold has to be placed perfectly, the tool held perfectly and the impression made perfectly or errors arise and are noticed. Nobody is perfect but we strive toward it nonetheless in our binding. I need to strive quite far yet indeed.

Red leather is pared with a large paring knife that has been sharpened enough to shave with. The fleshy side of the leather is shaved (pared) off till one can see the surface veining through the backside. This is then impressed with the tool and the resulting shape cut out with scissors or razor. This leather piece- no thicker than paper- is placed on the matching gold impression on the book. Each onlay is glued on and then tooled over yet again. Each gold image needs to be cleaned and rubbed for perfectly resulting gold lines. Too much cleaning and the gold is rubbed off.

It is all very time consuming.

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 Once the title plate is pared it is glued to the spine and individual letter hand tools are then used to – glaire, heat, place gold, and impress in the letters. ONE AT A TIME.

This is what makes a binding at very involved this level. The gold work alone has taken over 50 hours. It is nearer where I want to be but still quite far from my intended goal as a binder. The journey continues.

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