Thursday, 22 May 2008

A swap and a gift

I recently took part in a book swap on the Book & Paper Arts Forum and yesterday received a wonderful package from Bookarat from Germany. The theme for the swap was My Town and while I knew that this book was coming from Germany, I had no idea of how Bookarat was going to interpret that. As I opened the parcel I first came to a big surprise - 3 pages of German scraps (see my earlier post to know how generous and kind a gift that was) - then the beautifully wrapped parcel with a hand painted card - and finally the book itself! This is a very clever book, beautifully made and photographed, of signposts from the city of Kaiserlautern, with maps for endpapers, and an explanation in English of the names of the signs. I'm absolutely delighted with this book - thank you so much Bookarat.

I received another book last week for my birthday from my dear friend Vi. In 2002 Vi & I went to the Marblers' Gathering at Arrowmont and while in the US we had three meetings with the bookbinder Dan Essig. I had been very interested in Dan's books for some time so was thrilled to be able to buy two examples of his bindings. I bought the larger and the smaller of the three pictured and Vi bought the middle sized one.

The large book is 5 x 3 x 2" [12.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 cm.], has wooden boards with a mica window in the front cover, containing an arrowhead. The binding on all these books is a 4th century Ethiopian coptic style which perfectly suits the materials Dan uses. The small book is 1.25 x 1 x .75" [3.5 x 2.5 x 1.75 cm.] and the mica window contains a tiny fossil shell.

My present from Vi was the middle sized book - an absolutely stunning gift and so generous I really can't express my appreciation. What an amazing friend! Thanks Vi...
This little book (which looks quite large compared to the tiny one) measures 3 x 2 x 1.5" [7.5 x 5.5 x 3 cm.] and has a fossilised shark's tooth behind the mica window.

I have quite a collection of other binders' books (and now have added my lovely new German book to the shelves). I feel very fortunate to have 3 Dan Essig books and while I am a long way from achieving it, I think my aim is to someday make books that make me feel something of the satisfaction I get from handling Dan's books.

BookGirl had some wonderful posts when she did a week of binding at BookWorks with Dan. I felt I was vicariously attending the classes through her blog.

Happy birthday Judy
I have some tagging to do so that will be next post.