In the last few years, the amate makers have added a new wrinkle to their manufacture, layering the softened and pounded bark into patterns that are sculptural and three-dimensional. There are some standard patterns but no two are ever exactly alike. I bought several pieces of this the other day, but I daresay I'll head back to the artisans' market to get some more before I head for home. It's just too yummy to pass up.
I used one of these sculptural pieces for the cover of this journal. It's a bit hard to see the texture int he photos, but the cover is quite three-dimensional. Since there are holes in the pattern, I needed to back it with something. I chose a tomato-red recycled paper, which I also used for the front and back liners and as a narrow wrapping for the spine folds of the signatures. This gives a nice decorative look to the spine and gives the book a cohesiveness. The visible stitching is done with dark brown waxed linen thread.
There are 7signatures of 6 sheets each of hand-torn white text paper, for a total of 84 leaves in the book (168 pages both sides). This is just a gorgeous journal. For its size -- approx 7 1/2" square -- it would make a nice guest book.