FACT 68 – a few notes on NERdage

i recently found myself giving a lecture on NERdage, specifically, the NERdage i recently produced in the form of a full-on replica Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Grail Dairy. it was ordered by a guy who saw my previous efforts, and it took me about three weeks. to be perfectly frank, i undercharged him a little, but, as stated above, i was compensated in other ways. (^_^) my mother blurted out at our church choir meeting last week about my project, so i decided to bring the finish product with me this week. when our singing was over, i announced my show and tell, and was soon surrounded by the entire choir – admitedly only about 10 people, but we’ll overlook that little detail in the interest of storytelling – eager to hear me explain every little detail of my newest creation, up to and including the small points on which my version differs from the several prop versions – the cover material, page order, and hitler’s signature – and the many NERdages in which my sister and i were forced to engage – christ, that sound porny – in order to produce the coolest possible diary – sooo many clips from YouTube watched, sooo many sites visited

the pictures of this NERd quest can be found at flickr, there are 12 shots, including some of the pages, and most of the inserts i made. for those of you already sick with the NERdage in this post, i urge you to bail now. for the rest of you, notes on my creation process follow:

i started by dunking each page in coffee – specifically a french roast – to get that nice aged look and color, and then i divided them up into signatures – sections of pages folded together for those of you not up on your bookbinding parlance. i printed out the pictures from the above-mentioned web sources, traced them all onto the pages using a uniball pen that’s out of ink – luff that thing, i do – and graphite paper – i swear i looked like a coal miner for a few days there – and then used a couple of different sizes of pilot V pen to ink them all. i then moved on to writing all the text in, altering my handwriting slightly to get a closer match with henry jones’s – not like that required much work, my handwriting and his are surprisingly similar in the sloppy category. then it was time for binding, and the question that i had been avoiding for days: what material to bind with. i don’t have any leather, so i had first intended to go with some dark ultrasuede i have lying around, but i also have some lighter suede-textured contact paper, and it struck me that this contact paper was similar in color to the way the diary must have looked when it was new. so i covered the journal in that stuff and pressed the heck out of it on my pretty handmade book press. then i aged it fastwind style with some olive oil and some elbow grease.

then it was out to the porch for a little aging of the inserts! my customer – whose NERdness i am not worthy to contemplate (^_^) – found me an unmutilated photo of the grail rubbing, so i printed out the grail rubbing and then rubbed it on the concrete of my porch to give it a stone texture. i would say this is the least perfect part of the diary, but it still looks alright. the inserts were a super blast! i got to exploit my paper fetish, as many inserts needed to be crafted from different types of paper. there was the light typewriter paper for the letters – and yes, i did use an actual typewriter for those, i have three – the newsprint for the newspaper articles – complete with fake ads on the back – the cardstock for the tickets, the photo paper for the old portrait, and even a funeral card from indiana’s mother’s funeral.

all in all, a good day’s three weeks’ work for a NERd…

edit: one more picture for the masses:


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