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L'Arbre de la Vie - The Tree of Life by MilleCuirs L'Arbre de la Vie - The Tree of Life by MilleCuirs
This is a custom book made as a Christmas gift. The client's siblings wanted to have their animal symbols marked on the spine for their father. Tree design is inspired by a long time family tree symbol. It was a real pleasure and a unique opportunity to create this book for them! I'm told the book will be used as a sketchbook, notebook and photo album! I wish I could see what the inside of the book looks like in a couple of years!

For more books and pictures, feel free to visit me on: www.facebook.com/MilleCuirs

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:iconlstjules:
lstjules Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh! J'adore vraiment celui là. 
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Merci!! J'aime beaucoup également!
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:icondominik1023:
dominik1023 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
what would be your price for this particular book?
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Note sent!
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:icondominik1023:
dominik1023 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
What leather is this? I've seen it before, I just can't place it...
Kangaroo? Sheep?
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Lambskin! 
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:icondominik1023:
dominik1023 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
I heard that lambskin can be very delicate and not durable, is there truth to this?
Is your lambskin vegetable-tanned? or is there another tanning process involved?
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
They are industry tanned! Lambskin is delicate, but as durable as any skin! It can be work into any shape since the hide is so thin. For a book it is more than durable. For an armor, I would not try it! I know that leather for covering chairs, it is suggested that people use Pig skin, since it is thin, but tougher than lamb.
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:icondominik1023:
dominik1023 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
I've bound books in pig skin and cow hide, I prefer the cow, since it's much softer. Unfortunately, it's also thick and mushy on the back side. Where do you get lambskin? I'd love to find a good source.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I get them from CuirsDesrochers www.cuirsdesrochers.com/ You can order online, but the experience of going there is amazing. They have huge storage rooms filled with hides. Biggest leather distributor from eastern Canada. 
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:iconoefremine:
oefremine Featured By Owner May 29, 2014
Ce livre est magnifique, sans rien y connaître, j'imagine que cela a du vous prendre beaucoup de temps. Quelles belles courbes sur cet arbre!
J'aime la symbolique des arbres, les racines profondément ancré au sol et "les cheveux au vent".

Merci d'avoir partagé cela sur DA.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Merci beaucoup! J'adore ce livre! Une pièce unique!! Un symbole intemporel!
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:iconchardwolfarmory:
ChardwolfArmory Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love how you did the tree, it really caught my eye!.....partially because i have been trying to design a tree book for my GF for quite some time.
Did you sculpt the leather like that or did you put something behind it, so that it stretches out? If so what did you use?
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I used something sculpted under the leather, but I got to keep some secrets about it! You can use strings, small cords or shoelaces! :)

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:iconomnivoreart:
OmnivoreArt Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
Nice work. Two questions if you have the time. Is it sewn over cords or are the spine ridges decorative? And what did you use to construct the tree? I do a lot of geometric work with layers of watercolor paper but you clearly had to use something more... malleable.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much! I was looking to find a way to create nice ridges spines, then I did my research and found out that the bookbinders are doing decorative ridges for around 600 years, so yeah, they are decorative. Now I don't feel bad about it! Looks great and is historicaly correct! In a way! ;) 

As for the material used to create the tree, I will have to keep some trade secrets... but seeing what you got in your gallery, I will probably have to trade some trips and tricks with you! You seems like a really ressourceful artist! Hint: it is really malleable, easy to apply and affordable! :P
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:iconchinoise56:
chinoise56 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing work!
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:iconp4t3arb:
P4t3arb Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
magnifique !
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Merci!
Reply
:iconyume-chan05:
yume-chan05 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
yggdrasil? magnifique travail! et très poétique! cela me surprendra toujours de voir de telles créations sur de la peau
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Merci!! Yggdrasil fera un superbe nom pour mon prochain livre! Je n'y avais pas pensé! 
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:iconyume-chan05:
yume-chan05 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
de rien!
je suis sur ce sujet en ce moment, du coup: arbre de vie: Yggrasil! XD Et le style de l'arbre, les détails ajoutés (oiseaux, papillons...), m'y fait encore plus penser
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:iconforthan:
Forthan Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014
Having researched about bookbinding and leatherworking before, I can say that this required a lot of work! I can't imagine how long it to but it's masterfully done.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
It really took some time! And there was a lot of back and forth communications with the customer, so they get the perfect book of their dreams! And in time for Christmas!! :P
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:iconshadowybubbles:
ShadowyBubbles Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Beautiful.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmisticloudz:
misticloudz Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
this is, by far, the most impressive leather bound book i've ever seen. it's fantastic how you've inset the filigree corners into the frame around the tree; i'm in awe. years from now people will see this book and think it contains magic spells and amazing things.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! It is one of my best "Tree book" so far! Can't wait to see what the next book will look like! :)
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:iconmisticloudz:
misticloudz Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
me neither :D
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
:)
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:iconcybelemoon:
cybelemoon Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, that is gorgeous.  I love love LOVE the tree!  :heart:
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you Cybele! :)

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:iconda-vinch:
Da-Vinch Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
This will be a family treasure and yes it would be great to pass through my time portal and see what is inside in maybe 50 years.....?
Great job.......I  love the tree on the front. well done.
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Oh that famous time portal!  Thank you! :)
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:iconsolosword:
SoloSword Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's amazing!!!!!!' What did u make that out of?
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! Cardboard, leather, woodburning tool for the details.
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:icontempestwings:
TempestWings Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014
This is amazing how did you make it?
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
It's an ongoing creation process, using various materials. I want to keep some materials secret for a while. I might put up a tutorial or two sooner or later! :)
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:iconomnivoreart:
OmnivoreArt Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
Sorry to speak out of turn here but that is a remarkably large question. I am a book binder and I will just say that there is more to this book than it looks. It takes a long time to get to the level this guy is at.
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:icontempestwings:
TempestWings Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
Sorry if i wasn't clear i was just curious to the process. I wanted to look into new forms of art to to expand my portfolio and this looked like a lot of fun. I understand that it takes a while it shows by how wonderful and amazing this book looks.
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:iconomnivoreart:
OmnivoreArt Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
No No NO, I was just kinda trying to be funny about it... sometimes text doesn't carry your meaning well. I strongly suggest you pursue it. Even if you don't take it very far, you will thank yourself a thousand times over with the sketchbooks you will make yourself. To be able to have an affordable leather bound book with your favorite paper, in exactly the size you want is amazing for any artist. I have around 15 leather books with all my half baked ideas in them (which I have programed to burn themselves upon my death).

If you have any questions along the way feel free to drop me a note.

Enjoy.
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:icontempestwings:
TempestWings Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
hahaha im sorry i hate messaging these things to people. I never know lol i dont blame you for wanting to burn them i would do the same. Any idea on were to start besides sketches ^^ i have ideas 
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:iconomnivoreart:
OmnivoreArt Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtSxGu…

This woman has a great series of clear tutorials on a basic hard cover book. You'll be able to take it from there I'm sure.

As to getting your stuff. You can get everything but the leather at Dick Blick (a tad expensive but it's a one stop shop so you save on shipping and they are fast/reliable). As to leather (if you choose to go there) ebay is the best. Just make sure what ever you buy is .6mm-1.0 in thickness. 0.6mm is easier to work with if you can find it. 1.0mm is best for larger books. Any thicker requires strange and expensive leather working tools that I don't even use.

One note, the glue (PVA, poly vinyl acetate) can't be frozen so no responsible vendor will ship it right now. You'll have to get it at you local art store. It's often with the archival photo materials. DON"T use Elmer's. It dries brittle and is acidic (will fall apart over time). PVA is the only way to go (unless you want to cook rabbit skin crystals like the monks (not a pleasant smell)). You can also use wheat paste glue but it's a pain in the ass because it's not sticky, so everything needs to be clamped down while it dries.

So I would watch the tutorials to help you with your ideas and go from there.

Minimum tool requirements:


Bone folder. You can use the back of a spoon but you can also chop down a tree with an axe (Bone folder = chain saw)
Something to poke small holes (a compass point will do in a pinch)
a good box cutter (get an olfa with the break away blades or equivalent. Bit more $ than the standard knife but it is well worth it down the road.
A good 18" metal ruler, worth spending some cash on if you don't already have one (I prefer one with metric on one side because millimeters are just easier to deal with when adding and subtracting)
a good embroidery needle (a needle with a bigish eye and a rounded tip. A rounded tip will only go through the hole you made where a sharp one will just forge it's own path, not good.

As to materials, I'm sure she will go over all that but one note on thread, if you don't want to buy linen thread and wax it you can get buy with dental floss. Normal unwaxed thread will make you want to shoot yourself as it knots so easily. You will be dealing with long pieces of thread so knots are your enemy.

Also, a crappy shirt to wear is a good thing. You will get glue on your fingers and you need a quick and easy way to wipe it off.

OK, all for now.

P.S don't hesitate to ask me questions. Teaching bookbinding was the most fulfilling job I have ever had, and I wish I had had this kind of on-line community when I was starting to learn. I'm enjoying this conversation and genuinely look forward to your first photos. If you don't show me your fist book I will hunt you down!
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:iconmillecuirs:
MilleCuirs Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Haha! This is a great comments! Thanks! 
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