Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Maharajah's Palace Projects-Books (Iznik)

This post 1st appeared on My Maharajah's Palace- Day 26
is the theme for today. Inspired by Kim's Moroccan tables, I had wanted to make minis out of these Iznik ceramic plates I hand carried home all the way from Istanbul 9 years ago.

These plates are so beautiful I have decided that if I can indeed make minis out of them, I will devote an entire room to showcasing my Iznik ceramics.

Since I do not own a convection oven yet and cannot start on my polymer project, I decided I would make reference books on Iznik plates instead and perhaps try my hand on the pottery later.

Making my 9 books on Iznik plates took me 5 days, 4 of which was spent on research and "adobe-ing" the pages of my books. This is the production process:

I had earlier bought a set of antique book templates or cut outs from paperminis. The book covers (which are gorgeous) are from paperminis but I had to create the pages as the antique books came with blank ones. After about 2 days of research, I amassed over 100 designs of Iznik plates. Many of them are museum pieces or Sotheby's collectors' items. I created 12 titles:

Each page has a picture of the plate and a short description. For the museum series, I have also listed the date, style, museum and city. All the books are readable as I will only collect or make readable books.

This is what I did today:
To create the antique look for the pages, I used a tea-bag to sponge the page . I then sipped the tea I made with the "sponge" (before, of course!) while I waited for the paper to dry into a nice, crisp, crinkly brown. Using the craft knife which I love to death, I then cut the "strips" of pages and place them into my Iznik bowl for viewing pleasure.

I used 2 types of glue, Chemitex Gum which cost S$2 for 1.3kg (excellent for gluing the inside pages but pretty useless for glossy photo paper) and PVA Craft Glue for bonding the covers with the pages. I used pretty much the same method I did for making my 1st mini book on Day 19 EXCEPT this time, NO headbands. ALSO, I found a really good material for making the outer page- foil paper commonly found in cigarette boxes. The foil backing feels really similar to the back of a real book!

Below are pictures of the various stages.

If you look at the 1st pic which is of the various glue-drying stages, you can see the book with the 2 golden strips of ribbons. That was my "brilliant" attempt to substitute the "headache inducing headband" in Day 19. After I made 2 books with this method, I discovered the beauty of foil paper and promptly abandoned the ribbons.

12 hours later, yes, it was 1pm-1am, I finished 9 books (1 1/2 "-1" height & width ) and here they are together with "Indian Miniature Paintings" from Day 19 (my camera conked out on me after this shot. Will post better ones when camera recovers).

Taken from a much better camera than my Sony Cybershot, the last pic is of my books on a miniature handwoven carpet that Win gave me.


  1. Those books just look sooooo amazing. I think I'm going to have a go at making one tonight. Stay tuned!

  2. I hadn't seen this post until now....Yes, I'm looking through all your amazing pictures! And came across your books! WOW! These are really neat! Just wanted to tell ya that:)

  3. Your books are wonderful! So clever making the pages.