A very mixed bag of recent things I've been working on...
The latest rubber stamp illustration in my collaboration with Eva Hejdstrom, exchanging Swedish and English words. J is for jordnära, meaning close to nature.
The latest rubber stamp illustration in my collaboration with Eva Hejdstrom, exchanging Swedish and English words. I is for illumine, meaning to light up. Inspired by my early evening dark dog walks now the clocks have gone back.
Working on a new range of wrapping paper using rubber stamped patterns. Bit of a learning curve working out the repeat tiling, but it's amazing to see what patterns can be made with some really simple carved stamps (and the help of Photoshop!)
Sad to report that the wonderful five week PaperLove e-course with Rachel Hazell is now over. It's been a lot of fun, and a great excuse to make new things that otherwise would never have progressed beyond endless pondering. The final week's projects involved making an origami heart box (which turned into a, less romantic, bird) and a collage on a book cover using stamps, labels, books and ephemera from previous weeks. I really enjoyed working on this collage - like a jigsaw puzzle where you make your own pieces - and I'd like to make more of these in future.
A bit more in my comfort zone this week with the e-course PaperLove's theme of 'book'. Starting with making single sheet 'trouser books' from envelope patterned papers (combined with last week's folded cover to make them more robust). Quite addictive once you get folding. Then moving onto a mobile of tiny map books (photographed on a particularly gloomy day)… not totally happy with the end result of this one so I may re-visit it at a later date. I like the idea, just not my execution. The larger project this week was making a multi-section book. I'd done this before so I wanted to use it as an opportunity to try a few new techniques: using deckle edged paper (cut with a clip point knife), embroidering bookcloth, leaving longer knot ties on the outside of the book, and also bringing the stitching over the top and bottom of the spine. Really pleased with how this one turned out, and I'm using it as a sketchbook already - hurray!
The latest rubber stamp illustration in my collaboration with Swedish artist Eva Hejdström: H is for Hovra (Swedish 'to float'). The orange is stamped with neon ink, but unfortunately looks very flat when photographed.
The latest rubber stamp illustration in my collaboration with Swedish artist Eva Hejdström: G is for Gluttony (the act or habit of eating too much or being greedy).
Little bit out of my comfort zone in week three of the PaperLove e-course. All about words. Pictures are really my thing, but I had fun finding patterns in letters, and also learning a new way to create a folded book cover to contain a concertina book. Really enjoying creating new work that's taking me in a different direction to my usual, well-trodden, path.
In my element with the second week of the PaperLove e-course - collage is one of my very favourite things in life. My studio is currently covered in snippets of paper, most of which I can't bear to throw away because they might just come in useful!
A very inspiring first week on Rachel Hazell's PaperLove e-course. The first theme is 'paper' - a good excuse to use up some of my hoarded stash of papers in my plan chest.
The second book structure from 'Woven and Interlocking Book Structures' by Claire Van Vliet and Elizabeth Steiner - this one is called 'Moeraki Boulders'. Six individual pages are held together with binding strips and a series of slots and tabs. It took me a while to work out the correct sequence for the binding, but after a bit of trial and error I finally got there. The original version of this book was apparently made with circular pages and circular tabs, hence the name.
A really great day on Saturday at the first Cardiff Artists' Book event at The Printhaus (amazing screen printing workshop in Cardiff). Lovely to catch up with other book artists and to meet new people interested in handmade books. Hope this will be the first of many!
Looking forward to taking part in the first Cardiff Artists' Books event this coming Saturday at The Printhaus in Cardiff. Working out my table layout in advance because I won't have long to set up!
Starting to work my way through 'Woven and Interlocking Book Structures' by Claire Van Vliet and Elizabeth Steiner. I'm keen to learn some different book structures to get me out of my concertina book comfort zone. These first three are variations on a format called 'Aunt Sallie's Lament'… linking individual pages with a long woven strip. A perfect opportunity for some rubber stamping too, to bring some pattern into the proceedings.
My entry for the Bodleian Library 'Redesigning the Medieval Book' competition – a real labour of love. The planning and thinking for this book have taken almost as long as the actual making, and I feel slightly bereft now it's finally completed.
I attended a workshop at the Bodleian back in March, and was inspired by a discussion about the prestige of book ownership in Medieval times – the time and expense of commissioning an illustrated book made the final product into a status symbol. I usually create small editions of cheap and cheerful books, but I saw this brief as an opportunity to create a one-off, handmade artefact with an unrushed, methodical production process.
I was interested in addressing the challenges of Medieval craftspeople in designing a book, and –influenced by their love of ornamentation – I decided to hand embroider my illustrations. I chose to work with natural materials such as cotton, wool felt and hemp cord which could have been available in centuries past. My nods to the 21st century were the digitising of the Carolingian Miniscule alphabet to create a typeface for the text, and digitally printing this and my original hand-drawn illustrations onto fabric (thanks to excellent fabric digital printers Contrado).
It's been a very enjoyable, and challenging, project to work on, and I'm definitely keen to find ways to combine stitch and books in the future. Just have to wait and see now if it makes the final selection for an exhibition at the Bodleian Library in December - fingers crossed!
The latest rubber stamp illustration in my collaboration with Swedish artist Eva Hejdström: F is for Farggläd (Swedish for colourful).