Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

What kind of paper to incorporate into silver clay book pendant?

I’m interested in making a spiral book pendant with silver clay like these two examples:
Book1
Spiral Book Pendant from Silver Metal Clay


Another book pendant

The how-to video is no longer available so I need to reverse engineer this. I can see that it’s literally like a book: Two silver clay book covers are created, drilled, and fired. Then some kind of paper is chosen and cut for the leaves. The leaves are glued together in a stack, neat or uneven to taste, then drilled and possibly sanded (if a neat even stack is desired). Then a 20GA or so silver wire is wound around a thin dowel to create a corkscrew shape and screwed into the book covers and leaves, bending the ends to lock in place just like a real spiral book.

The questions I have are, what kind of paper, paper like product, or paper treatment, can be used for this that would be durable enough? I’m guessing card stock or that thick craft paper could be used but seems like it could decay over time unless treated. I wonder if there is a durable synthetic, like vinyl wall paper, that looks like paper but be more durable.

Also, how would you attach the silver clay book covers to the paper stack to keep the book from opening? What adhesive would work best for that to glue silver to paper?

I appreciate any ideas!

2 Likes

Check out waterproof field notebooks. Should be perfect.

Thanks!

  • Wendy

Vellum might work, but need more info about what you’re intending.

I also thought that vellum might be a good choice; the small pieces we occasionally use in our framing and gilding operations in London are in excellent condition after thirty years or so.

There are two other types of suitable paper that are difficult to find: onion skin and bible paper.

Onion skin is the lightest weight paper, which might be important if the book is going to hang like a pendant on a necklace. I don’t think it yellows any faster than vellum. Although I’m not sure if the onion skin you can find now is made the same as it was 50 years ago. As I recall from back then, onion skin does not hold creases like other types of paper, which seems like a useful quality for your purpose.

Bible paper is even more difficult to find, but it withstands a lot more abuse than other types of paper.

The abuse factor might be important if this book will be worn like a pendant. Being caught in the rain comes to mind. Many types of paper will stick together when wet and remain stuck together after drying, but I think bible paper, onion skin and vellum are resistant.

1 Like

I suggest not using paper at all; at least, not wood or cotton pulp paper. Tyvek or a similar flashspun paper would be a better choice.
Whichever you use, make certain that it is in acid-free paper. This will keep it from yellowing and becoming brittle over the years.

There are a lot of different acid free watercolor papers that should work

Hollander’s is a well known supplier of materials for handmade books. You might contact them for suggestions for paper. https://hollanders.com/collections/bookbinding-supplies

I would get a FedEx mailer, they’re made of Tyvek, which is fused synthetic fiber, and very durable. It won’t tear out with repeated handling. Aside from Tyvek, which is synthetic, you might consider mulberry paper (Japanese handmade paper) which has very long staples, and is also very durable.

Tyvek is an interesting possibility. I get mailers all the time. Thank you!

I’ve made several miniature books and the pages can be a challenge. After a whole lot of trial and error, my best pages are high quality matte paper such as 67lb Bristol. I used to build models and miniaturizing anything can significantly change the appearance of color and texture. Paper that might look fine as a full size sheet of paper will look very different when reduced to an inch or two in size. I would suggest cutting a hole the size of your book pages in the center of in a larger piece of opaque paper, then hold the cut-out against the paper you are considering so you can see it in perspective. Texture will jump out out. Off-white and parchment colors will appear whiter. The smaller the book, the lighter weight your paper will need to be to keep it in proportion. Once I settled on the paper, I cut the pages then treated them with an archival product called Bookkeeper. There are several other products that also work well.

The closure was another challenge. It had to keep the book closed while wearing, accept any number of pages and still allow it to be easily opened. I used a very small pair of clover shaped flat brass filigree stampings with openings in the filigree that would accept 18g wire. I glued them onto the front and back with two part epoxy, leaving matching sections overhanging to create a decorative extension. I made a u-shaped wire bail, slightly balled one end and spiraled the other end. The balled end easily slips in and out through the filigree design while the spiral prevents it from working through in the other direction. The U shape keeps it in place. It looks fancier than it really is and works quite well. I hope this is helpful.