Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
This is writer Marina Warner's space. The untidiness of her workspace looks all to familiar to me, I'm afraid. Although I like to think of it as organized chaos.
One thing that struck me about the rooms featured was how many of them have white walls. Don't know whether the writers find white to be less distracting, or whether they just can't be bothered to think about paint colors....
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
"The moon upon her fluent route defiant of a road --"
Here's what it looks like:
I used turquoise moroccan goatskin for the cover. The reverse side of the leather has a lovely mottled look. I had decided to use a 19th century Japanese print of the moon to go along with the quote, and when I was rummaging around in my leather collection, I realized that the colors of this leather matched the print. I was unreasonably excited to discover this :) To me, the colours of the leather, together with the print and quote, create a sort of otherworldly effect that I think Emily would approve of...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
One of the challenges of doing craft shows is that you never know exactly what conditions you will be working in (in terms of lighting, space, temperature, etc.). There are invariably surprises. One of the first Christmas craft shows I ever did was, as it turned out, set up in a hockey rink, with only a thin layer of plywood put down to cover the ice. I almost froze to death--ah, the glamorous life of the artisan! :)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
It's 15.24 cm x 22.86 cm (6" x 9"), with 240 pages of sketch paper. Plenty of room for big ideas :)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I've been wanting to create a book that has the medieval binding stitch on the spine that I love and use for my leather books, but expands the possibilites for this kind of binding.
I decided to make a book that was non-leather (for my vegetarian and vegan friends out there :) and that had at least partially recycled materials. I'm really happy with how these books turned out. They still have sketch paper for the pages, and the covers are made of a really thick, sturdy handmade paper that is made from recycled cotton cloth.
I handbraided the wrap-around strap. Haven't done this much braiding since I was a kid--I used to spend hours in the barn on my father's ranch, braiding twine for jump ropes, bridles, etc.
The inside covers of these books have turn-ins, and endpapers made from handmade paper. Part of my inspiration for these books came from looking at photos of books with similar designs made in Estonia in the 1500s.
Here is a photo of the inside of the orange book:
I have some other colors in my Etsy store, and will be adding more in the days ahead.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here, you can leaf through a Kelmscott Press edition of Chaucer's works, reading by the light of a chandelier formerly used in a James Bond film, or browse the stacks as a Sputnik satellite and other shiny items dangle overhead. Would LOVE to see this place....
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I joined the Alcuin Society last year, and they sent me beautifully printed materials about the society, which has a really interesting history, and about book arts in general. I always look forward to the journal, Amphora, because each issue comes with an original letterpress print (which is worth the price of subscribing by itself). I have one of the letterpress prints hanging in my dining room, and here is a photo of another that arrived recently (it looks crooked in the photo, but isn't in real life):
This print has a picture of a book, surrounded by illustrations of all the things that are bad news for books (rain, bugs, floods, and fire), and the words "tuere me" (take care of me). I will be hanging this one in my bookbinding studio.
This print was designed and created by Gary Sim of Entropy Press. You can find more of his artwork on his website http://www.sim-publishing.com/.
Friday, September 19, 2008
You can find the video here on YouTube
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I've also been reading more books on bookbinding. The one I'm reading right now is Pictorial Bookbindings, by Mirjam Foot. It's an interesting little book. It briefly covers a variety of bindings that have (as you might guess) pictures on the covers. Has lots of photos of different bindings, which is good, and illustrations of a variety of ways bookbinders have decorated bindings--pen and ink drawings, paintings, leather inlays, carved ivory, and hammered metal, to name a few. One of my favourite sections is on embroidered bindings--here you can see an example on the front cover of an embroidered book cover created in 1633:
The spine is even embroidered with flowers and bees, and the book had its own storage bag, which was also lavishly embroidered. Wish I had time to make such wonderfully intricate covers, but not in this lifetime, alas... however, I am working on a design for an artist's book that involves embroidery, although not in quite the same way. But more on that later...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Loads of inspiration here--I spent a happy evening just drinking tea and leafing through the pages, looking at all the beautiful work by other bookmakers.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wish I had taken a photo of the class, but I was too working out stitch patterns!
We focused on making northern European medieval-style bindings, which have more rigid supports on the spine area than the medieval Italian-style bindings I have been making. Elsi gave us about ten patterns to choose from for the decorative stitching on the spine. I made this book in class, which is based on a 14th century German account binding:
Monday, July 28, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award-winner, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winners and the one who has given the prize should to show the link to the "Arte y pico"blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) To show these rules.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
And this one, with a grey suede cover, has 336 pages of 50 lb writing/sketch paper:
Enough, I think, for a good, solid year's worth of journaling, accounting, of course, for those few odd days when you don't get anything, including journaling, done at all....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Recently the Gallery at Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, Massachusetts, did an exhibition of Cuban books and Prints. If you'd like to see more, check out this link for some photos from the exhibition. Wonderful stuff, especially when you consider the conditions in which the artists are doing their work (well, they do have rum and cigars, which maybe is all you need to get inspired :)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
the miracle of a single
our whole life would change."
is to discover your work
and then with all your heart
to give yourself to it."
I'll show the rest of them in more detail in upcoming posts.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I've been reading about them--apparently the whirlwind book (xuanfeng zhuang) was invented in China. Not a lot is known about this binding structure, but it may have been used for rhyming dictionaries in the Tang Dynasty (CE 618-907). It seems to have been a transitional binding between the scroll and more modern book structures.
And here it is unrolled:
I wanted it to have creativity as a theme, so I included two quotes. Here is a photo of the first one, by Henry David Thoreau:
The reason it's called a whirlwind book (I think) is because the papers curl when it is open. Here is a photo of the book when it is open flat:
I had thought I'd put this little book in my Etsy shop, but I've gotten quite attached to it. I might put it in the store in a few days. Or maybe I'll make another one, and keep this one.
Friday, June 20, 2008
This book is another one of my favorites. It is clearly written, with lots of solid, sensible advice from the author, who has run his own craft business since 1976. This book covers a range of topics, including setting prices, doing wholesale v.s. retail sales, and record-keeping. It also includes a CD-ROM with useful forms to help you plan how to start your business and keep it running smoothly.
One of the biggest strengths of this book is that it goes into the various aspects of planning a business in much more depth than many other books on this subject. For example, one of the forms on the CD-ROM, called "Forecasting the Future," walks you through a series of questions designed to get you thinking about factors that might affect your business. For example, what if that fabulous printmaking paper you've been using, and completely depend upon, is suddenly discontinued? What if your usual supplier for that really-hard-to-get-ahold-of supply goes out of business? By thinking ahead about issues like that, you can be prepared for whatever comes up.
All in all, a very useful book for us artsy-type people who are looking for ways to get our work out into the world.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
One, when you buy price stickers that are supposed to be removable, test them out on a piece of scrap paper. Otherwise, you will have an otherwise perfectly nice book that has a little spot of sticky residue if you take the price sticker off. :/
Monday, June 9, 2008
This book was so much fun to design! I wanted to make a book that had a wide range of women's quotes--funny, thoughtful, crazy, inspiring... spent a lot of time going through books of quotes, and searching the internet to find them. Here are a couple of examples:
"Inside every older lady is a younger lady--wondering what the hell happened."
--Cora Harvey Armstrong
"What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner."
This is what it looks like on the inside:
For both this quote book and the Wise Words Quote book, I used Thai handmade paper for the cover, and bound it using a stab binding. I used a hemp cord to bind it with. The cover illustration is adapted from a 19th century illustration from Punch Magazine.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Took me a while to create this book, as I wanted to include lots of good quotes, so I had to hunt to find them. Here are a couple of sample quotes:
"What most people consider as
virtue, after the age of 40 is
simply a loss of energy. "
"To know you have
enough is to be rich. "
I made the cover from handmade Thai paper that has pieces of fern in it, and used a stab binding with hemp cord. The illustration on the cover is adapted from a 19th century drawing from Punch, a British humor magazine. I'm very fond of pre-20th-century illustrations (as you can probably guess from looking at my banner), so most of the books I design have something of a Victorian/Arts & Crafts vibe.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Here's what it looks like when "unwrapped":
Monday, May 26, 2008
And the back cover:
Of course now I'm wishing I'd bought more books, but my travel bag was the size of a teaspoon (well, it seemed like it anyway), so I resisted temptation. Sigh.