Category Archives: New Publications

Magic Trees

I’m starting on the illustrations for ‘The Orchard of Chance’. I tried to find some magical program or Photoshop action that would turn pictures into embroidery, and ended up with a computer-full of trashware. After cleaning that up, I invented my own.

Ymp Trees

Ymp Trees

(Ymp trees are the Eirie version of pleached fruit trees.)

 

Three Rats Have Landed!

If I do say so myself, I’m very pleased. At least, that it’s finished. Naw, I really like it.

Front

Front

Spine

Spine

Title Page

Title Page

Source and Result

Source and Result

Rescued By Mermaids

Rescued By Mermaids

For the rest, go look: Three Rats At Sea

Nightengale’s Catalogue

Nightengale's Catalogue

Nightengale's Catalogue

Here’s the first book of 2015! I’ve been thinking about “Nightengale’s Catalogue” for a while, ever since I started putting their labels on my vampire hunter kits and anything else that seemed a bit spooky. I thought the idea of Jos, Nightengale & Sons, Supernatural and Metaphysical Supplies sounded a bit more in keeping with the mood of the merchandise. So I’ve made a pastische of 19th century printer’s ornaments, with Nightengale’s as the star of the show.

Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a comic opera called “The Sorcerer” in which John Wellington Wells, of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers appears. Tom Holt used J. W. Wells & Company in a series of novels about the modern version of G & S’s magical supply company, and I’ve founded Nightengale’s on the same idea. I have a whole backstory for Nightengale’s:

The history of the Nightengale company began in the late 16th century, when they supplied Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley with ‘shew-stones’ or crystal balls. The company flourished during the European alchemy boom of the late 16th and early 17th century, and expanded into optical tools and occult mathematical devices as alchemy gave way to modern chemistry and the beginnings of Mad Science. In the 19th century, they achieved, if not fame, at least notoriety, as purveyors of a line of monster abatement equipment. They also began courting collectors of antique metaphysical artifacts, and at one point had almost cornered the market in rare editions of C’thuliana.

After the turn of the 20th century, Enoch Nightengale, then president of the company, became so concerned about the advent of modern rationalism that Nightengale’s catalogs became difficult to come by, passing from hand to hand among the adept, with word-of-mouth their only advertising. The 1889 catalog is the last to have achieved a general circulation, and even copies of this edition are increasingly difficult to come by. To have discovered a copy with the laid-in price list is very unusual indeed.

Traces of Nightengale’s continued existence occasionally turn up. Some printed items bearing their name have come to light from the Infernal Regions (see Welcome To Hell!), and their label is sometimes found on the Vampire Hunter Kits of Bo Press Miniature Books. It is to be hoped that a company as old and storied as Nightengale’s is still around in some nearby dimension, ready to supply “. . .the explorer of uncanny places, magimetician, philosopher, alchemist, monster hunter, or wizard.”

Pages

Pages

Front Cover

Front Cover

Price List

Price List

It’s up on the website now, here: Joshua Nightengale & Sons, Supernatural and Metaphysical Supplies (the 1889 Catalogue and Price List)

TROUVÈRE Is Here!

TROUVÈRE, Prue Batten’s beautiful and exciting short story set in the High Middle Ages of France, is finally up on the website!

Binding

Binding

More Binding

More Binding

First Page

First Page

Title Page

Title Page

And here’s the description from the website:

Trouvère   by Prue Batten

68 pages, four illustrations
2 3/4″ x 1 7/8″

A short story by well-known historical novelist Prue Batten set in the High Middle Ages of Northern France. Trouvères were the northern equvilent of the Occitan troubadours, a school of aristocratic poets and singers who celebrated the idea of courtly love that was sweeping through Burgundy, Aquitaine, and Provence at the end of the eleventh century.

In Batten’s romantic and suspenseful tale, trouvère Flori de Mazamet is caught between the beauty embodied in his art and the common brutality beneath the courtly ideal. He attempts to aid a lady whose illicit love forces him to make a choice between  love and pity.

I’ve attempted to bind this little book is a sympathetic style, with the pages bound over cords and into wooden boards in the medieval manner. Cream leather is stretched over the spine leaving some of the cherrywood boards exposed., and the book is held closed with a band of matching leather.

‘Trouvere’ is Almost Ready!

This is the final version of Prue’s ‘Trouvere’.  I’ll bind a few and put it up on the website for sale in a few days, and tell you more about the story. Some craziness at home has slowed down work for a while, but now all is serene-o.

Spine and Label

Spine and Label

Spine and Closure

Spine and Closure

More interior pictures tomorrow or so. . . and news about the lighthouse books!

Just a Little More Astronomy

I guess I had a few orreries left in me (plus a medieval miniature):

A Gold Orrery

A Gold Orrery

A Gold Orrery

A Gold Orrery

Yes, I did drill eight holes in a toothpick.

An Antique Orrery

An Antique Orrery

An Antique Orrery

An Antique Orrery

A Shelf of Alchemical Books

A Shelf of Alchemical Books

A Shelf of Alchemical Books

A Shelf of Alchemical Books

Tomorrow, back to book making!

One Alchemy, To Go!

The new little alchemy trunk is finished and up on the website:

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Alchemy Trunk

Go look!

My Name Is Captain Spaulding. . .

Look what I made today (and yesterday, and the day before) A lovely Victorian Tropical Explorer’s Traveling Library and Desk:

A Library In  Your Hand

A Library In Your Hand

The Open Trunk

The Open Trunk

Exploded View

Exploded View

It’s up on the website now. Go look!

Holmes Books, Cleaned Up

It’s up on the website now here:

Pamphlets

Pamphlets

Books

Books

Shagreen

Shagreen

Shagreen From the Top

Shagreen From the Top

More Pamphlets

More Pamphlets

More Books

More Books

I’m so delighted with how this came out. I always thought this about fabrics: that some of them were more well-behaved than others. I’m not so sure now. There are so many things I try to get stingray to do (like go around corners) that it just won’t do. But filling in a shape? Genius. Wool will do what silk won’t, but give them their proper job to do, and nothing will do it better. I learned a lot about stingray doing this that will help me understand its potential better.

What I Made Today

Another little orrery-in-a-book:

Book Block and Central Page Insert

Book Block and Central Page Insert

Binding the Base

Binding the Base

Back (Bottom) of Book

Back (Bottom) of Book

Block to Case

Block to Case

I thought I was so clever, putting little bars to elevate the curve of the opened pages. This would turn out to be a mistake.

 

Planets Corraled by Scissors

Planets Corralled by Scissors

Beginning the Solar System

Beginning the Solar System

Solar System Base in Book

Solar System Base in Book

Almost Finished

Almost Finished

It still is a couple of bubbles off true in several directions. I’ll straighten it up when the glue dries.