My Bookplate Work Station
I treasure my large pen and ink, stipple drawing but the ultimate purpose of this project is to create customized, adhesive labels that can be used to identify personal books. These labels are traditionally called bookplates and used to include the Latin phrase "Ex Libris."
In today's digital age, more and more book lovers have reduced their personal libraries but many still cherish their book collections. Bookplates are an ancient method of marking ownership. In Medieval times, the wealthy commissioned artists to create custom bookplates and today you can sometimes find commercial bookplates in the dusty corners of book stores. I like to teach a pen and ink unit with my advanced students that requires they hone their ink skills while creating a personal bookplate. For nine years now I have been creating an annual bookplate at the same time.
After I have scanned the drawing, I then create and print the image on adhesive sheets with the names of friends and coworkers. I especially enjoy packaging these labels in a different manner from year to year. This year I wrapped the personalized bookplates in velum. I then stamped brown, butcher paper with a vintage, clock face stamp. I cut these into strips to wrap around the velum. I intended to add a nickel, silver number to each bookplate but found it really difficult to glue with any hope that it would survive mailing across the country so I decided to just embellish the outside with a small, card stock number.
I would love to manufacture and sell these items but I also like the fact that there are only a limited edition of them created each year for special people in my life. When the ink drawing is reduced it does lose a little of it's detail compared to the large original.