A Wizard’s Journal

Custom Leather Book

A Wizard’s Journal

About the Project

This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.

I am always thrilled to get work like this because I have always felt that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.


project-Wizard Journal-logo


This type of design is best expressed through gold-tooling, by way of a custom cast stamp. Working with a local engraver, we had to create a few different stamps to get the right size.

The dangers of working with designs that are highly detailed are that sometimes those details don’t transfer well to the leather. With any kind of heated-foil application, the metal tool/stamp needs to achieve full-contact with the leather. Any breaks in the line will translate into an incomplete design.

Working a fine Morocco leather, this little journal feels great in the hand. Soft and supple, it is certain to inspire thoughts of creativity!

One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is.

While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out.  The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.

The final product turned out wonderfully and the client was very happy. As a gift for her son’s birthday, it proved to be a magical experience. Thankfully, the family shared the video of him receiving his gift and it filled my heart with joy; a poignant reminder of why I became a bookbinder in the first place.


Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.