Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Arte y Pico Award

Barbara at Moonbindery has been kind enough to give me this very striking award, which I really do appreciate. Thanks Barbara.

The rules for this award are:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributing to the blogger community, no matter what language.
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.

It really is hard to choose 5 blogs from the 20 or so I regularly read but these are some of the wonderful bloggers who invariably enrich my day:

Amy at Nature Morph, whose delicate paintings combine plants and animals in a most beautiful way;
Judy at judyinthedyes, a dyer, quilter, artist and a good listener;
Cheryl at Scrappy Cat, an artist in fabric, paper, photography, and a journaler;
Rhonda at My Handbound Books, a prolific and generous bookbinder;
Amanda at amandawatson-will, an Australian ceramicist and bookbinder.

Others like Astrid and Dana already have this award and there are so many more who deserve it. Thanks again Barbara.

If my image of this award is way bigger than it should be then that's because I've given up trying to make it smaller. If by some miracle it is smaller than I think, then that's all right then, but I have my doubts. Sometimes I think I'm computer literate and then other times I just realise I'm not... If anyone would like to give me instructions on getting that image smaller, please do.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Cross structure bindings

While in New Zealand recently I was able to attend part of a workshop held by Elizabeth Steiner at the ABC bindery at MOTAT (Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology). The workshop made two Crossed Structure Bindings (CSB) using paper bags and because I only flew in on the evening of the first day, Elizabeth and the participants kindly allowed me to join them for the remainder of the class. I had brought my bone folder and a knife but apart from that I was empty handed so instead of paper bags I cut and folded old calendars into sections, and for my covers used an interestingly patterned piece of cardboard from an old avocado box.

I didn't manage to finish in the remaining time because we had to pack up for the ABC (Association of Book Crafts) Annual General Meeting, which I think was only the second I've managed to be in NZ for in my 15 years of being a member. It was wonderful to see old friends and I really appreciate the ABC for the great support they give their members, even those overseas, like me.

I did finish the book with Elizabeth's help and while it's not exactly a glamorous item, it is a good example of this particular style of CSB.

I think I first came across crossed structure bindings when staying with Barbara Schmelzer, a very experienced book binder, then based in Wellington New Zealand, and now in Sydney Australia. Barbara had made some very desirable paper bag books, and was only too happy to share this with me.

Through Barbara, I also became aware of Carmencho Arregui, who developed the crossed structure binding (CSB), and I recommend her website for more information and instruction. I made this book from some glitzy paper bags I'd been hoarding with the odd heavy quality plastic bag thrown in, one in this case used as part of the binding.

Some time later I decided to try the CSB on a book of photographs taken in New Zealand's beautiful Marlborough Sounds at the Portage Resort and combined them with examples of my marbling. I called this Blue as the Marlborough Sounds and did some tricky placement of wording to almost get the name on the inside front binding strips. This book is mainly useful as an example of what I hope to master some day when I devote some serious time to CSB but at the moment I'm still dabbling.

I think CSB is a great structure for the artist's book and I have my head full of plans as always. So many books and so little time...

Sunday, 13 July 2008

My Coptic swap

There's been an enormous gap in my blog posts but I hope from today I'm back on track. Over the past few months I've gone back to work cataloguing rare books, I've spent a month in New Zealand and - well, that's enough for excuses. My last post was about the book sent to me by Astrid in the Book Arts Forum swap so I thought I'd show you the book I made and sent to Jackie at tjbookarts. The theme of the swap was My Town so I decided to produce a coptic bound book of my own photos of Sydney and Coogee - my city and my town. Each photograph had a description on the facing page and there were two or three pages of information about Sydney and Coogee.

I used my own paste paper for covering with the title inset into the front board, and did an eight needle coptic stitch using waxed linen thread. I love the challenge of using multiple needles but eight is probably enough. I've used twelve in the past and decided I didn't really need to put myself through that more than once. I had (foolishly, as I soon realised) printed the photographs on single sheets so had to do a complicated matching and pasting to join each two pages to make a single section.

I intend to make this book again but will give a lot more thought to the way I print it and will have sections with more pages, which will give the book extra strength. Not that I didn't give it a lot of thought to start with but I seem to need to learn from experience and I certainly learned a lot from this one. I hope Jackie liked it. I found it quite daunting sending my book out into the world in a swap - quite different from selling or giving a book as a gift or donation. Daunting but very enjoyable and I certainly hope to take part in more swaps.