Lets just say that in a world where someone would like to fund me this is the book I would love to make. Mauch Books would become a leader in sustainable notebooks, and possibly even print on demand books. It needs work yes, but it’s a start. Even if I don’t get funded (ehem…) look to see some of these advances coming into normal book production.
Sad to see the pap-leather cover go? well then find me a viable gelatin that isn’t animal based! (not that I’m vegan, it’s just that using animal gelatin uses a food source. Also animals take a remarkable amount more energy than plants use up to produce a product. Better to save the gelatin for gravy, sitting on a nice pile of potatoes, atop a slice of roast beef, perched on a thick slice of sourdough bread)
Iowa State University has a program called the Focus Grant Exhibition. I applied and was accepted. My proposal is a monument to Louis Kahn and Jorge Borges. For me, Kahn evokes the words of Borges while Borges evokes the spaces of Kahn. The monument would also be a chance to study the nature of a memorial and the the monumental. It would be a sculpture made of concrete, paper, and text. A small object with a presence.
Books would be the point of entry. So, to get the feel of the project I made this poster.
Today we were giving presentations in a Sustainable Communities class. One group presented on bio plastic, specifically stuff being developed at the Iowa State Bio Renewables Lab on campus. They passed around some samples and you know what? It is identical to the stuff I’ve been using to cover my books. Maybe I should go talk to them, we could share a piece of knowledge or two.
Sebastian Alvarez over at Recycled Krafts (http://recycledkrafts.blogspot.com/) creates some pretty sweet books. Each one is a work in its self. I have been tempted to buy a few myself. He sells them through his Etsy shop. Still not the perfect book, but getting closer than Moleskines that’s for sure.
So here they are. The books made from the material from the previous post.
Kind of sexy huh? The gelatin coating not only gives a nice texture, but also protects the cover from water damage. I am usually against materials imitating one another. But this material seems to stand on its own. It isn’t quite paper and it isn’t quite trying to be leather.
So there it is. Mauch 2.0. You can check out this book and another smaller version at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MauchBooks
Today I was developing a cover material for a new set of notebooks. I was just planning on painting a brown paper bag with some tempura and then giving it a nice gloss coat with my gelatin glue I’ve been working on.
The Result -
The roller and the gelatin created a nice texture that resembles leather. I had a good time manipulating the texture and learning about the gelatin as it rolled and bubbled. At first, while the paper was still wet, it was floppy and very much resembled leather, but as it dried it stiffened quite a lot.
I am really pleased with the new material. I will be uploading some books made with it soon.
Why Paper Leather? Because the processes used to make leather use a lot of chemicals, the industry is getting better but not soon enough. Faux leather isn’t much better. Some companies have made steps to make environmentally conscious faux leather but again, the industry is not quite there. Many faux leathers use solvents and chemicals, but also the material is made from petroleum products. So they will “degrade” into a fine powder, but that powder is still faux leather (really Polyurethane) and will remain so for many, many years.
This material will biodegrade completely under the right conditions (the ground) and is non toxic. It is made of tempura, gelatin, glycerin, water, and paper.