An illuminated souvenir

Last year I had the chance to visit Barcelona, which of course translated into a pilgrimage to as many of Antonio Gaudi’s projects as possible.  I expected to admire his Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, but I underestimated just how moved I would be by the experience.

As is typical, I have no mementos of this trip.  I made a few souvenirs during that trip, and gave them all away.  I did want something to commemorate my favorite experience, so I made an illuminated art book.

sagrada familia_art book_cover 2


gaudi nativity facade

My books on Gaudi’s oeuvre all had outdated pictures of the basilica.  I’m glad I had reference photos, and was equally grateful for the excellent virtual tour on the basilica’s website.

sagrada familia_title plate

I experimented with a title formed from metal leaf, but the embossed paper seemed more suitable.  To get this effect, I first carved the title into a wood matrix.  Then I dampened some Canson Mi-Teintes paper and pressed it into the matrix.  A metal stylus let me get crisp corners, though I advice being careful with this step.  (The paper is weak when damp, and the metal stylus can tear a hole in it.)

sagrada familia_art book underside

That ribbon on the bottom lets you remove the LED insert for maintenance.

sagrada familia_book_peephole


sagrada familia_unbound_light on 2

sagrada familia_art book_tunnel 2

One response to “An illuminated souvenir”

  1. Oh my gosh, that’s really beautiful and what a lovely momento! I remember the first time I saw Gaudi architecture (in print only, I have yet to see them in real life but am sure I would moved also!), I could hardly believe such fantastical buildings existed!

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: