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“i ♥ handmade books: timeless techniques and fresh ideas
for beautiful handmade books” by charlotte rivers
This very pleasing little tome was published in September last year, and I was excited to receive a copy as a gift from friends at Christmas time. It’s full of beautiful & inspiring handmade books by book binders, artists and designers from around the world, and I am delighted to have a little accordion fold book I made featured in it.
sakurasnow, accordion fold book
The projects shown in the first four chapters of the book are wonderfully eclectic and beautifully illustrate the unlimited creative possibilities of book-making. Book ‘types’ covered include folded bindings (such as accordion, flag and carousel books) and many sewn bindings (including pamphlet, long, coptic, japanese stab and french link stitching techniques). There is also a section on interesting page and cover treatments (e.g. suminagashi paper marbling, natural plant dyeing, woven covers etc.) and a chapter entitled “Experimental Packaging” which shows some innovative and fun book cover / packaging projects.
Below are just a handful of the many inspired and inspiring makers featured in the book…
leah buckareff of coldsnap bindery incorporates printing, painting and embroidery to beautiful & atmospheric effect on her books’ (linen) cloth covers
(incidentally, she also produces beautiful, darkly atmospheric music as one half of the band nadja, which you can check out here)
i love these wonderfully structural, experimental stitched (and even knitted!) bindings by luisa gomes cardoso of canteiro de alfaces
lotta helleberg‘s indigo-dyed book covers are quite exquisite!
The fifth and final chapter “Book-Making in Practice” features very practical and comprehensive step-by-step tutorials for a range of different binding / book-making techniques used in the projects featured.
These are complemented by simple, clear illustrations that are completely unintimidating and make even very complex looking methods seem perfectly achievable…
… I’m definitely inspired (and now also better equipped!) to try my hand at some more book-making.
Anyone who has seen the harmoniously rhythmic curves of a Viking longship (as I have now learnt) knows that Nordic craftsmen know a thing or two about working wood! I was very smitten with the elegantly curved Gokstad & Oseberg longships (housed in Oslo’s purpose-built Vikingskipshuset), the handsome 13th Century Gol stave church (at the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo), and the many other fine examples of woody craftsmanship we encountered while in Norway earlier this year. Some of these marvels are pictured here…
gol stave church, dendrochronologically dated to 1212 [originally from gol in hallingdal, now located in the norsk folkemuseum at bygdøy in oslo]
stave church details
oseberg viking longship, built c. 824 AD, excavated from the
oseberg burial mound (where it was interred in 834 AD) in 1904-1905
gokstad viking longship, built c. 850 AD, excavated from a
burial mound on gokstad farm in sandefjord in 1880
goose… very much at home on the comfy turf roof of a beautifully
carved ‘loft’ storehouse from rofshus in telemark, built 1754
weathered wood, sami turf hut, lyngen alps area
[painted spruce cupboard, detail, made in the ‘dragon-style’ by lars kinsarvik, hardanger, c.1899 | saluting cat (?!), carved details on the side of a cart found amongst the oseberg & gokstad burial mound grave goods]
carved pattern details on a ‘loft’ storehouse from vinje in telemark, built 1750-60
gol stave church – looking out from within, and more wonderful carved details
chibi totoro contemplates the wonders of wood
I’ll be at Amsterdam’s Sunday Market at the Westergasfabriek this coming Sunday (3 Nov). It will be my first market experience as a ‘shop keeper’ rather than a ‘shopper/browser’, and I will be sharing the stand with my talented friend, Carmen – the designer and maker behind the unique carhusa range of bags, purses, phone & tablet cases. In addition to some of my ‘Curiosity Cabinet‘ and ‘Specimen‘ prints I will also have lots of new work available – such as this print, as well as the hand-coloured ‘huisje’ (‘little house’) screenprints and various hand-printed & hand-coloured cards shown here…
screenprinted and hand-coloured ‘dragon’ cards in blue…
… and orange
hand-coloured (watercolour) ‘huisje’ screenprints
‘sprig’ cards, hand-printed in two colours with envelope detailing
hand-printed ‘huisje’ cards in a restrained range of colours…
… and some eye-popping colour combinations too
If you’re in the area on Sunday pop by and say hello. The market is open 12 – 6pm, and I have it on good authority that in addition to the art and design that will be available to peruse and purchase there will also be lots of good things to eat and drink, and plenty of reasons to be merry :) Hope to see you Sunday!
The Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg has a series of six magnificent wool and silk tapestries, made between 1593 and 1604 that tell the story of Zeeland’s most important sea battles fought against the Spanish during the Eighty Years’ War (1568 – 1648). The tapestries are vast in size and the sea battles depicted are very epic indeed…
… but as I don’t know much about ships or care much for battles I was most interested in the small, beautiful details at the water’s edge…
… and the flora and fauna depicted in the tapestries’ intricate borders.
There are many other fascinating and beautiful artefacts to be found at the Zeeuws Museum, presented in a fresh & simple manner which works beautifully to enhance the history, the detail, and the (long lost) craftsmanship of the objects.
I usually try to make a note of the things I am inspired by and photograph in museums… but on this trip I was short of time and eager to see as much as I could. Apologies therefore that I cannot provide much information on, or attribution for, several of the objects pictured below.
[top: carved ivory comb ?]
[bottom: mummy of a child (organic material, textile, wood, paint), Egyptian, c.332]
[top: the Egyptian mummy again]
[bottom: more intricately carved ivory… wish I’d made a note of what this thing is! A Chinese puzzle ball, perhaps?]
[top: painting, Dutch, 19th Century ?]
[bottom: ceremonial woman’s blouse or huipil (cotton, silk), K’iche Maya / Quetzaltenago, Guatemala, 1930-1940]
a very beautiful stitch sampler… hard to believe it was made almost 120 years ago – the patterns and colours (especially that almost-fluorescent pink!) seem very contemporary [Netherlands, 1896 ?]
[pig mask worn by a dancer during harvest rituals (wood, rattan, feathers, mirror glass), Dayak / Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia, 1930 – 1960]
[top: Guido Lippens ‘Memento’ (oil on panel, sawn, burnt), Middelburg, 2002-2003]
[bottom: monkey skulls ?]
[top: war hat (rattan, leather, teeth, shells), Lesser Sunda Islands,
Indonesia, 1850 – 1900]
[bottom: shards of ancient green glass ?]
“Bella Coola Indians wearing ceremonial blankets and ‘Crooked Beak of Heaven’ masks”, c.1886, City of Vancouver Archive
I haven’t had much free time to spend on this blogging lark recently… hence my even-more-sporadic-than-normal posting schedule (so thanks to all you fine folk who continue to pop in and say hi despite the almost tangible odour of decay wafting about the place!).
One of my main motivations for maintaining this blog is to have a repository of images of things I’ve encountered out there in the big, wide world and found interesting, inspirational or meaningful in some or other way, a repository that I can (cross-)reference when an injection of inspiration is needed (and which I hope can be a source of inspiration to others). And so, despite the lack of free time, I definitely wanted to make sure I added these masks to the ‘collection’ for future reference! Magnificently crafted and utterly compelling, they’re from an exhibition entitled “The Story of the Totem Pole” currently on (ends 1 April 2013) at the Museum Volkenkunde (which we luckily chanced upon when we were in Leiden in early Feb for the “Spoken en Geesten” exhibit at SieboldHuis).
Wolf Mask, Richard Hunt, Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl), c.1970-1980
Mask, Haida, late 19th century
Dogfish Mask, Robert Davidson, Haida, 1981
[wood, paint, operculum & abalone shell, mixed media]
Life and Death, Perry LaFortune, Coast Salish, 1986
Bukwus Mask, Joe David, Nuu-cha-nulth (Nootka), 1981
[wood, paint, horse hair, mixed media]
Hawk Man Mask, Freda Diesing, Haida, 1975
[wood, paint, abalone shell, cedar bark, mixed media]
Bukwus Mask (Wild Man), Calvin Hunt, Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl), c.1970-1980 [wood, fur, paint, horse hair, mixed media]
Wolf mask, Richard Hunt, Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl), c.1970-1980