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Part of my challenge getting started in leather last summer was that I’d purchased half a cow’s worth of oil-tanned leather (because it was on sale, конечно)–and no one else on the planet seems to be doing anything with oil-tanned leather.  So I made a number of things that weren’t really suited to the thick, soft, stretchy material, and then I figured out some things that played to its strengths.

Book cover with clasp 1

Book covers are definitely one of those.

The interior is pigskin, saddle-stitched with brown waxed thread that beautifully complements the burgundy oil-tanned material (a tragically discontinued color for this material).  The clasp is the same type which I’d used to such striking effect on my ill-fated slightly defective Kindle sleeve.

Book cover, clasp closeup

I began this project prior to leaving for Maryland in November; during that trip, I made the “clumsy cow” book cover and integrated a bookmark, so when I came back, I had to incorporate that into this project as well.  I’d already glued the main lining to the back, but not the sleeves for the front and back covers, so the bookmark went in there–a little far from the spine, but still useful.

Book cover open 1

This one was designed with fairly thick hardcover books in mind.  It was destined to be a Christmas present for my father-in-law.

It had gone through quite a bit of scraping and stray marks abounded on the cover.  These can just be wiped away with the oil-tanned leather, but I also rubbed in quite a bit of linseed oil to re-moisturize the material, giving it that nice deep burgundy color.

It’s still eminently frustrating that you can’t seem to burnish the edges of oil-tanned leather worth anything, but I’ve learned to make better cuts (with sharper tools) and just kind of accept the slightly rustic, unfinished look I get.  Not that I don’t still dream, though…

(The book is a hardbound trio of works by C.S. Lewis.)