A Leather Labyrinth – Bowie beyond music and into a notebook cover

Sarah: You don’t by any chance know the way through this labyrinth, do you?
The Worm: Who, me? No, I’m just a worm. Say, come inside, and meet the missus.

I think I spent as much time on the concept sketches for this leather midori style notebook cover as I did in the execution of it. The commission came only a few days before Bowie’s death with the instructions “Remember how much you loved the movie Labryinth? Put it on this notebook cover.” Does Chris Barrett know me or what? So that’s what prompted me to spend time in getting the concept sketches nailed down, I wanted it to be memorable.

Want a custom piece of leather artwork? Head on over to altguild.com 

Lab Sketch Plan Notebook
After several rounds we have our concept sketch in place and a go ahead to burn it to leather. This is when I realized I was in for a long burn.
Bowie 1
Start with the eyes. Those have to be perfect or it’s not worth continuing the artwork.
Bowie 2
Filling in maze detail, shading and hair on Bowie.






Bowie 3

It’s at this stage that I send the piece back to Chris and we talk about tooling the piece. Ok, to be fair, I mainly listen as he tells me what’s going to happen with tooling and dye work. He knows how the leather takes colour and tooling, plus he’s done extensive testing with dye and burned leather, so he know what works and won’t hide the details on a burn like this.

Complete Notebook
Final artwork/cover. Chris has deeply tooled the leather for depth to make edges stand out, dyed the edges to frame it out, waxed and buffed it out, and used natural finishes for a nice sepia tonal range. And for a finishing touch, the eyelets have one different colour in a nod to Bowie’s eyes. Nice touch.
Completed Notebook Back
Outside back cover with the elastics in place.
Completed Notebook Front
And it’s a fully functional notebook cover. This will last for years and years, aging beautifully and only getting more precious with time.

Head on over to altguild.com to see other great leather midori style notebook covers and order your gift of a lifetime.

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