Tabula Rasa

first page blank journalA new journal for a new year. Tabula rasa – literally a blank slate. That first blank page, waiting for what will unfold this year.

journal signaures wrapped in marbled papersAbove, in the studio, before stitching the signatures to the brown leather cover. This year I wrapped each of the signatures in beautiful marbled or otherwise decorated paper. I’ve had some of this in my flat files for years, and decided it was time to enjoy it. I like to also add pockets and fold-ins with these papers, for ephemera that hitchhikes its way into the journals during my turn around the sun. Then I used my favorite longstitch binding.

brown leather journal with green leather wrap stripIt all wraps up pretty nicely at about five by seven inches, more or less, a good size to work in and also carry around. This year I used a smoother and lighter paper, Zerkall Book, instead of my usual favorite Arches Text Wove. Thinking to do a bit more pen work and less crazy splashing around? Probably equal parts of both. There are nine signatures this year instead of the usual eight. I like to divide the journal into the eight turns of the Wheel, but gave myself the gift of an extra set of pages at the end to have a space between winter solstice, the beginning and end of the Wheel’s turn, and when I actually get a new journal made, sometime in early January. A time out of time, as it were.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • dreamingmind 01/11/2010, 5:42 am

    lookin’ good! but i’m guessing that leather will look even better after a year of handling.

  • Sue Simpson 01/11/2010, 10:40 am

    Great idea Cari…. I look forward to seeing it unfold :o)

  • Cari 01/11/2010, 3:23 pm

    Thanks, Don, and since you brought it up, I’ll ask you about this leather. It is different than any I’ve used before (usually use a suede or pebbled surface leather for these journals). I find the shiny surface scratches very easily, and when I used low-tack tape to hold my signature-block wrapper to it to mark my holes, it lifted the finish right off the leather. Even where I tuck the strap when I wrap it up is now marked with several fingernail marks. So it “distresses” really easily. I am thinking of taking some of my metal nibs and just going to town on it, since it’ll get all marked up anyway, I could make the marks look intentional and nice. What do you think? Or is there some way to protect this shiny smooth surface? (I think not, which is why I’m thinking of going the other way with it.) Sue, thanks, I too wonder what this journal will capture for me this year!

  • Julie Jacobs 01/12/2010, 11:04 pm

    I love your comments about the “blank slate” of you writing book. I especially love the photographs. Your leather “Tabula Rasa” makes me think of a sweet, little living entity. (of course it will because it will contain your living words) Beautiful work, Cari.

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