My first tests on the laser cutter used a Canson drawing paper that I happened to have lying around. I bought a heavyweight watercolor paper to test, and noticed two unforeseen problems with the result. First, the laser cuts caused a more significant yellowing of the watercolor paper. Second, the paper has a distinct texture on each side, which is visible as it alternates from page to page due to my book's structure. I found the alternating texture distracting and I wasn't happy with the yellow staining.
|Testing laser cuts on a Strathmore cold press heavyweight watercolor paper|
Leaving those paper tests aside, I returned to the hard-cover prototype to try some new materials for the cover. The previous iteration of the prototype was simply covered in plain brown paper and had no lining.
I chose a grey linen cloth to cover the book. After actually trying this, I felt that the rough texture of the linen clashed with the sleek laser cuts. While I want my book cloth to have a varied texture, the linen wasn't quite right.
It was progress, though not in the way that I had hoped. Instead of finalizing some of my materials, I learned a bit more about what I really want, and I realized that selecting materials will be a significant challenge as I move forward.