Some library materials come to you and you’re just not sure what your treatment will be.  There might be a lot of staring, thinking, drawing, prototypes, and conversing with co-workers to get ideas as what to do.

THE GRAY NOTEBOOK by Alexander Vvedensky is one of those library items that I won’t forget because of its uniqueness.  It’s a nice little pamphlet with gray, zigzag stitching offset by a half-inch inside to the right from the spine with two unattached, folded papers that, when they are unfolded, are larger than the pamphlet.

Mylar pockets sewn in along the fold.

I first humidified and flattened the two papers to take the crease out.   I wanted to preserve these pages flat and house them separately from the pamphlet, so I encased them in two Mylar pockets welded onto a single, folded sheet of Mylar.  The pockets were both left open along the gutter edge so the pages could be removed later if needed.

Pamphlet stitched into the binder in five spots, following the same zig-zag stitch of the original sewing.

The thread used to stitch the pamphlet into the binder was first dyed gray.

The pamphlet was sewn into the binder off-set from the Mylar pocket folio.

Next I used acrylic paints to dye white book thread to gray, as I wanted something that would match the gray thread originally used on the pamphlet.  After the thread was dry, I decided to sew the Mylar pockets into the pamphlet binder first along the main back crease.  Then I sewed five zigzag stitches in through original holes in the pamphlet to attach it to the binder in an offset fashion in front of the Mylar encapsulations.  I had to make a new crease in the binder to accommodate the pamphlet and then trimmed the pamphlet binder and rounded the corners.    The finished product came out nicely, very useable, and I’m proud to say I did it.  And yes, Virginia, there are five shades of gray in the completed product.

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