WELKIN Book I – An Intricately Decorated Leather Journal, Clad with Silver and Tooled in Gold


The “WELKIN” Collection is once again standing on the firm shoulders of traditional structures and decorative practices, while at the same time leaving space for more dynamic tooling patterns.

These works are another step forward in my quest to achieve a balance between tradition and my personal contribution to the craft. We are back in a time before the printing press, when the work on creating a book was slow priorities were robustness and longevity. The three books of the collection are designed with the ambition to be the most suitable vessel for the family history, personal achievements, and the cherished dreams and thoughts of connoisseurs of literature, writing and art.

With my father, we were able to improve on every aspect of our work. The body is sewn in a new, slower but much stronger way around double cores of twine, and the thread behind it passes through three holes. The uniform sealing and positioning of the stitches behind each signature allows for an even distribution of the pressure during movement of the spine. Further work is on both the shape of the spine of the book and the shape of the cover. We took a lot of time to improve the shape of the silver fittings, to be as tightly fastened as possible with the least possible breakthroughs in the covers.

Each element of the book is somehow influenced by the shape of the previous one.

The book is sewn on three double bands with quality linen thread, consisting of 14 signatures of 32 pages and with the leaves on the end sheets makes a total volume of 450 pages. The paper is 80 gsm, archival quality, cream colored, smooth and a joy to write with a dip pen, fountain pens or pencil. The endpapers are decorated with hand-made paper leaves with flowing texture and attached to the book body by sewing through their leather joint.

The cover boards are constructed from two 2.5 cm thick pieces of millboard. They are sculpted and tied to the book body via the three bands. The book edges are sprinkled with a solution of methylene blue for decoration.

The book is bound with a fine quality, cyan colored goatskin. Only sumac and other natural materials are used in the tanning of this fine quality range of leathers. These skins are hand polished and finished to show the beauty of the natural grain. The natural character of each skin is maintained, no pigment finishes are added and no grain correction is made.

The endbands are constructed with double twine cores sewn with linen thread to the book body. After this a pattern is embroidered with three colours of cotton thread.

The decoration on the leather is done with two techniques. The blind tooling is achieved with a heated tool pressed onto a moistened leather surface with a solution of rose water and glycerin. The moisture and heat produce the beautiful contrast without burning the leather. After that the surface is treated with a water solution of shellac and gilded with 24 carat gold leaf and 23.5 carat, reddish gold leaf.

The mosaic оf different types of gold achieves the peculiar shine of the tooling.

The corners and clasps are made with a silver standard of 925 with a weight of over 40 grams. They are attached to the covers by various silver nails and rivets. The attachments are patinated and polished to achieve a shine on the different levels of the decoration.

The journal is with dimensions of 15 x 11 x 4 cm or 5.9 x 4.3 x 1.6 inches.

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