Monday, July 19, 2010

A steampunk-ish journal with some history and romance

Years ago, I purchased a pair of 1930s leather motorcycle pants at an estate sale. They were jodhpur style with canvas-lined pockets and they laced up at the waist like football pants. The leather was a rich, warm brown, beautifully weathered and worn. They were wonderful. For a long time now, I have been wanting to make a leather journal out of them and I finally did. The journal/sketchbook was given as a thank you gift to a friend of mine who is an artist.

journal inside of pocket
The journal fits down inside a canvas bag fashioned from one of the pants pockets.

 Liam's gift
The journal's wraparound cover is cut from one of the pant legs. I believe the fore-edge of the wrap is the hem of the pant leg.

Stud detail
I added a metal stud where the stitching on the leather terminates.

tie detail
The rawhide tied around the journal is the lacing out of the pants. Click for a larger view to see the wires wrapping around the ends of the rawhide lacing. This is an original detail.

inside cover and text block
The book has three signatures, each wrapped in a piece of handwritten sheet music from an Italian-American Marine band composer. I got two boxes full of his hand-written musical scores at an estate sale on The Hill, the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis.

spine detail
The book is bound with a long stitch, or more
accurately, running stitch.

It's got kind of a steampunk feel, don't you think?
I hope he enjoys it.