So after receiving all the art I figured the spine had to be the height of the pages with a little extra and the width of all the pages after being made into signatures which ended up being 4.5" wide. I purchased heavy book board from the art store and as shown in the photo above the total of the book will end up being 9"x4.5"x8.5" totaling 22" all around.
Next I started to prepare the signatures using vellum paper for the transparency factor. Each cover page was personalized in calligraphy with the artists name leaving about 2.5" of the actual art page showing.
To figure out a covering for the book was probably the most challenging part. Because there is so much incredible art inside I decided to do something very plain and simple outside. While brainstorming with my friend and also contributing artist, Lisa Holtzman, I chose plain kraft paper with a simple design of a paw print and heart to gently decorate it. I hope it meets with everyone's approval...
The next step is to work on the title, content, etc. pages which I will attempt to do in calligraphy with the exception of the list of artists and their links to make it authentically an original handmade book. Once all the pages are completed I will hand sew the signatures onto the spine and add the covering. I have a sheet of wrapping paper from England that has dogs printed on it that I may or may not use as the interior paper. It may be too much... but we'll see. The last touch will be the closure which, if I can find a dog collar bigger than 22", I will attach that around the book and add a tag that reads "If found return me to A Place to Bark".
I'm hoping to finish the book in the next few weeks and will post my progress along the way.
This experience so far has been so fulfilling for me. I've wanted to do a project like this for several years now. Being a big old softy for our kindred spirits, I've always done something to support their plight whether it be sponsoring cats and dogs, donating money to every organization that sends me address labels to adopting from the shelter. It has always been the animals and children that send my heart a flutter and can bring tears to my eyes and I suspect I will continue to do so until I can no longer.
My gratitude and appreciation for the artists that have help bring this long awaited project to be realized cannot be expressed with words and will forever remain present in my heart.
Stay tuned...there's more to come.....