Concept + Process

I wanted to bring to life Paradise Lost, one of the books Frankenstein's monster finds while hiding out and observing a family. It ultimately plays an important role in the story arc of the character.

The concept of the spine work for the book Paradise Lost comes from the engravings from the original book. In Frankenstein, the monster describes how he identifies with the story of Satan and how he fell from Heaven and was forsaken by his creator. Many of the books from that time period included ornate gilded book spines, which is a perfect opportunity to call attention to this aspect of the Monster’s character development.

The technical process of producing the “gilded” spine on some type of leather surface in order to cover a book block was definitely a learning process. After many (failed) experiments, I finally was successful with using a gold foil/laser printer transfer process using a laminator. After the gold foil was applied to the brown paper, I used a Glycerine and water solution on the paper to make the paper and pulp more flexible before I crumpled the paper in a tight ball. I would repeat this process 2-3 times before applying various brown inks to create a more leather like color. After allowing the paper to dry, I would add more ink if necessary for correct coloring. Finally, I would apply 2-3 coats of an acrylic based gloss varnish to the surface of the paper. The method was the most successful because it allowed more printing/finishing options along with being able to control the exact color of the “leather.”  The final product was very close to leather.

Research + Inspiration
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