This Scottish Album with Coat of Arms family scrapbook became a highly intensive project. Multiple layers of individually leather wrapped components combine with numerous materials. The Scottland family crest photo album showcases full customization with the following features:
The custom designed clan McLeod scrapbook features abundant sculptures. Built-up multiple layers of binders and mat board create the base structure of each three dimensional sculpture on the cover. First, comes hand drawing a design. Second, entails building up strategic layers. Third, cutting rough shapes with a bandsaw. And forth, very slowly carving each form into a three dimensional sculpture by use of many razor blades.
After carving a sculptural component, I then wrap it individually with leather. By brushing archival glue one half inch at a time onto the form, the wrapped sculpture slowly takes form. Most importantly, a specific starting point is required, followed by a strategic covering of the sculpture to assure that the leather optimally covers the form. In other words, glue is very slowly applied in small increments as leather is worked deep into the grooves until dry.
At the edges of the sculpture, I trim the leather thinly so it can be tightly wrapped around to the back side. As a result, a sharp appearance can be achieved.
Smooth black leather covers the book, accented with two suede stripes on the front for textural contrast. Furthermore, the back cover features various levels for added interest, including a raise suede black stripe and an inset suede green stripe. The main part of the back cover features smooth black leather with an inset decorative design of loose curved ornamentation.
Most of the sculptures hide many wires which tightly affix each piece to the cover. Before the leather is applied, wires are inset into channels and protrude out the back. Then after the leather application, the wires insert through drilled holes in the cover to firmly secure them.
Some exterior visible wires become functional to hold sculpture onto the cover. However, most serve as purely decorative features, such as on the lion’s mane.
Metal accent components take many forms. For example, sheet metal cut into shapes. Also, various types and thicknesses of wire with different finish textures. Plus, silver and gold beads.
Copper sheeting received a slight green patina with lemon juice. Consequently, it works perfectly for the plant leaves. This copper, as well as brass components, were brushed, cut to shape, sanded with fine jewelry tools, clear coated and wired onto the surface.
Aluminum wire was sanded and hand hammered to line the crest. Therefore, it caps the border and becomes a frame.
Textured metal beads accent the corners of the handcarved and embossed McLeod name plate.
Thick wire required hand hammering to create the spears on the ends of the flagpoles. That is to say, flattening of the wire occurs followed by cutting it into an arrow shape. Then sanding and finishing takes place before wiring it onto the cover.
The helmet on the Scottish Album with Coat of Arms includes several layers of metalwork to add depth. For instance, wires inset within the helmet window, framed by brushed brass. Subsequently, a convex hand hammered brushed aluminum piece caps the opening over the red suede. In addition, brass caps the brim of the helmet on a higher level.
On the back cover, copper filigree wire insets into the curved grooves and includes silver bead accents.
GLASS and CRYSTAL BEADS
Swarovski Crystal clear cube beads inset into the McLeod name plate. Likewise, one also highlights the Holdfast banner in a diamond shape orientation.
Also, the flowers consist of purple glass beads as blossoms. Silver beads accent the suede leather of the crown. Golden metallic hue glass beads inset into the eyes of the bull as well as the lions.
The shield contains white leather wrapped castles and triskelions or Tree Cassyn Vannin. Brass wire wraps around each triskelion with three gold beads on each as spurs. A copper banner appears to be floating on top of the shield as it is attached with just two wires resulting in a clean look.
The lettering of the two white leather banners was made by forming each letter from round leather cord. Archival glue was patiently brushed onto one letter at a time. Then the thin leather forms tightly into the shape with small tools. Once one letter is dry, then I move to the next.
The upper banner reads Hold Fast. The lower banner displays Murus Aheneus Esto, a Latin motto roughly translated as “be thou a wall of brass” or “let this be your wall of defense.”
The book contains cover weight white acid-free pages, hand sewn around five leather binding cords seen along the spine. The smooth black leather wraps over these cords as they extend onto the front and back covers. I handripped the outer edge of each page one at a time to achieve a deckled edge throughout the book.
Handstitched headbands protect the spine edge. These consist of square leather cords, wrapped and sewn directly into the edge of the pages at the spine. Three needles are used : Red thread on one. Yellow thread on another. And the third needle holds the loose leather cord onto the spine in preparation for sewing. Unlike modern self-stick headbands only used for ornamentation, these genuine headbands sew directly and firmly into the spine.
Real headbands serve three functions: One, spine edge protection. Two, color décor to match the theme of the book. Three, to serve as a handle if a book is placed spine-side out vertically on a book shelf, such as in a library.
The coversheets include handmade paper in several colors. A Scottish McLeod family tartan scarf accents the endsheets in the form of vertical segments. The official family tag remains on the scarf for authenticity. Handmade papers coordinate with the colors of the tartan fabric. Archival permanently flexible glue adheres the coversheets, so the first page is appropriately permanently flexible.
Two layers of 55 pound tensile strength fabric line the hinges. They hide discreetly under the leather and under the interior coversheets to reinforce this heavy book. As a result, they provide 110 pounds of pressure resistance for heirloom quality and strength.
This custom Scottish Album with Coat of Arms demonstrates intricate personalization and highest quality. Family lineage photos and keepsakes may confidently be passed through the generations in this leather bound book.
You may also be interested in viewing Binding Process steps.
Please CONTACT me if you are interested in your own Family Album or wish to discuss a Custom Design.