Tuesday 21 May 2024

Réarrangement de Poupée.

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
Réarrangement de Poupée.
A minimalist flat tight back artist's book in remboîtage boards.
A sneak peek of the finished book.
 
I have two distinct memories of things that scared me as a child. One was clowns, the other was dolls. I was always disconcerted by them, perhaps the eyes or the thought that they came alive at night.... 
Work progresses on OBLIQUE a........
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.
 



 Work progresses on OBLIQUE a........
 

 

Friday 17 May 2024

Week 1 of the Buried/Decayed Book Project on the patio outside Studio 5.

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
Buried/Decayed book project. Week one of the buried books on the patio outside Studio 5.
Now, please forgive, there really is not much to see. Yes the grass is greener and is growing. Ants have visited, I think there may be a small colony taking up residence along with numerous other wee beasties.
But what about the books? I hear you ask... To be honest I have no idea what is happening with /to them. And that is the rub my chums, if I want to see what is happening I may well disturb what is happening.... It is just a waiting game.
I have included a few images of a previously buried book... just to add a little colour and drama.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.








 

Friday 10 May 2024

Planting Books.

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
A short film about why I bury books. There will be follow-up videos, going through the various processes. Nothing is guaranteed, the final results are always unpredictable. Believe it or not, the curious passerby section is totally unscripted, perfect timing with the passerby asking astute questions on what must appear to be a rather odd thing to be doing. I thank the Red Lion Pub (my local) in Barnes, SW13, for the huge gherkin cans. Film and audio - Nikon Coolpix A1000.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Last Nights' Mertz

My biblionautic chums and friends.
Last evening was the first evening of the Printwurk Club. An introduction to type and block printing on the Adana 8x5. A free form evening, just have a go, the rule book left on the shelf. Two color printing with the idea of Mertz in the background.
Now, I have to be honest, I had every intention of taking images, work in progress, finished work and the like. Perhaps a short film. But, as it happened, we were so busy doing stuff and having a fun time that I completely forgot. Concentrating on the students, ensuring that what they had in mind would end up on the paper, I suppose that is what the tutor should be doing... not concentrating on taking images to boost their amour propre.
This morning I raided the bins in the studio to see what was left, the first pulls etc. What struck me was how little material had found its' way into the bins. I am sure we did far more. Then I remembered that the students wanted to take everything with them, the first pulls, the mistakes (is there such a thing as a mistake when one is free form learning?) etc etc as they are akin to the preliminary sketches that any artist makes.
So, the image below is the rather poor collection of the residue of the evening. However, looking at the residue, I am quite pleased with the Man in the Moon and Charles Atlas.... "Charles Atlas?" I hear you ask... Yes, Charles Atlas.... it is a long story, perhaps another time.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 

 

Monday 6 May 2024

Homage to Mertz tonight....

My biblionautic chums and friends.
All set for this evening's ... well.....evening class... Introduction to print and stuff.
Just the waiting..... for the 18.30 kick off!
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.




 

Sunday 5 May 2024

Homage to MERTZ

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.Tomorrow evening (6th May 2024) will be the first (of many I hope) evening of the Printwurk Club. So a little prep work is required. Make sure the Adana's are oiled and ready to go, type suused out, blocks waiting etc etc etc.
The evening is intended to introduce students to typeset printing using the fantastic Adana 8x5.... to maximise the printing potential of the Adana. In addition we explore the fluidity of type.
Now it just so happens that a certain Kurt Schwitters lived a stones throw away from Studio 5 while he was in London.... Yes, he of MERTZ. So in a humble sort of way the theme of the evening will look towards MERTZ for initial inspiration.... and why not.
A few practise prints to get me in the mood....
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.



 



On Edge.

My biblionautic chums and friends.
Yesterday was been cool. Teaching on the Studio 5 'Introduction to Bookbinding and Book Arts' - The Bradel Binding module. Today we did edge ploughing with a touch of decoration. Great fun and a little messy... and why not.

 
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 

Thursday 2 May 2024

A little gold goes a long way.

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
Yesterday was one of those days in Studio 5 when stuff of a creative nature was being done.
Little Gems. A mini workshop in one aspect of 'Cold Gold' decorative techniques. A technique that can be both directional in the finished product and as spontaneous as anything and any degree between the two, if you get my meaning.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 

Monday 29 April 2024

Studio 5 Bookarts on Youtube

My biblionautic chums and friends.
This morning I was just looking back at some of the vids I have posted on youtube. It came as something as a shock to me to realise that I have been posting for 9 or 10 years. Needless to say I am not what you would call prolific in my output! Usually about bookbinding, book arts, printing and the like with the odd one thrown in because , well... why not?, always makes me smile. Now, I will be the first to say that I would no way say I can make films... It feels as if it takes me days just to make a minute or so of something that may be of use. That is, of course, not the case with the 'Going Live From Studio 5' shorts. Those do tend to be reliant on connection etc etc. However I do enjoy doing this sort of stuff.
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.

 


Sunday 28 April 2024

Songs and Poems of John Dryden.

A new book on the bench, Songs and Poems of John Dryden. London Golden Cockerel Press 1957 Chosen by Gwyn Jones. 8 full page colour illustrations and reproductions of 10 drawings by Leslie Blanch as Lavinia Blythe. Limited edition of 500, this copy un-numbered.

A week or so ago I was at the Designer Bookbinders AGM. Trust me when I say it was a good day... it was. And, as it happened, on the Bring and Buy Stall there was this text block (in sheets) begging me to buy. Who am I to refuse?

The illustrations are lovely, the text wonderful.....











Wednesday 17 April 2024

A new book.... How do I start...

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.

Today has found me doing a little lino cutting and printing for a new book. I was recently asked how I start one of my complete or artist's books. To be honest it starts by indulging my likes. For example... I have a modest collection of Tart Cards, you know.. those post card adverts for services that one finds in telephone boxes. It is a long story as to how I have a modest collection, let us just say I have a modest collection. I have always had a serious like for Pop Art, so important for me as it is the first art genre that I understood and felt related to the way I work and appreciate things. Finally, I have always enjoyed the art work and characters of the early comic book super heroes.


So by combining the 3 I have my subject material for my next book...... No title as yet and only the first pull done but I am happy and I feel that the book will be funny and tongue in cheek!


Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts




And there you have the first pull/proof of my P.V.C. Super Man

Monday 15 April 2024

BOOK ¾ AIR

 

My biblionautic chums and friends.
Film time!.
A book, hand bound in Studio 5 in 2015. Hung in a Spruce tree in Norway for some 2 and a half years, open to the elements. Honey applied to some of the pages. Nature creating. Please follow the link..........
 
 
A book, hand bound in Studio 5 in 2015. Hung in a Spruce tree in Norway for some 2 and a half years, open to the elements. Honey applied to some of the pages. Nature creating. I feel that bookbinding is about control, precision, and deliberation. It can take many hours to make a book, let alone the content. In most cultures it is still considered abhorrent to destroy books. In the last century regimes actively encouraged the destruction of certain books as a form of control and as part of a systematic and deliberate prelude to ethnic cleansing. However, some books are not wanted, or are considered out of date, so what does one do? .... Perhaps a very famous example would be the Dead Sea Scrolls... Left or abandoned in a cave only to be found centuries later. Most, if not all, of the materials to make a book are derived from the natural world. So, what has this to do with books?.... As a bookbinder/printer and artist I cherish the book. And, with my book arts hat on, I consider the possibilities of what the book is and could be. As mentioned, the book is made from materials found in the in the natural world, so how does burying the book or books form part of my oeuvre? First I have to say that I only bury books I have made, therefore it could be said that they are mine to do with as I wish and as a book artist I want to explore the book in full. In 2009 I was invited to participate in 'Pestival' a celebration of the Insect. I collaborated with forensic entomologist Amoret Whitaker, then working in the Natural History Museum, London. Instead of making books to be cherished, I produced a series of books to be returned to nature (buried) and to be eaten by insects! This was an exercise in the interaction of the natural world (insects and larvae) and the book. The control I had in the making of the books was given over to the non control of nature. After being buried and eaten the books were isolated and treated to ensure that the books were/are stable, then going on to be exhibited. I have continued the exercise with books being buried in different parts of the world, exploring different soils and climates. The amount of time in the ground or exposed to the elements can vary. The outcomes are unpredictable, however, my collaboration with nature can result in creating, for me at least, the beautiful and intriguing. I consider myself to be a very deliberate artist/maker and embracing the loss of control continues to be a cathartic and inspiring experience. Indeed one of my books was buried in New Zealand, surviving two earth quakes, only to be dug up with a garden fork! The Buried Book series is ongoing with examples being in public and private collections and libraries. One buried book forming part of an installation piece Through the Looking Glass now in the collection of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In short the Buried Book series is an exploration, collaboration and realisation of one aspect of book art that I embrace along with my more formal work, design binding, restoration etc. 
 
Please note.... there are other studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts

Sunday 14 April 2024

Bookbinding for Beginners and Improvers.

My biblionautic chums and friends.
A very busy week at Flatford Mill teaching beginners and Improvers.
 
It is that time of year, Spring. Last week found me teaching at the beautiful Flatford Mill, yes, the home of Constable, the Hay Wain and Bookbinding for beginners and improvers. A 4 day residential course.

For the beginners we start with the Multi sectional Flat Back Case bound book. I know there will be those who say that it is best to start with the simpler stuff.... Zig Zag, single section and the like.... However my thinking is this...... By learning how to make the flat back, understanding paper; how it is made, grain direction and other stuff. Folding sections, pressing, sewing, threads, spine linings, paper decoration (Paste Paper and Flottage). How to measure and cut board (by hand) accurately. Case making and casing in, the student is able to make simpler books with confidence. In addition to understanding how other book structures etc are made. And, if I am honest, zig zag, single section and the like can be learnt from a book! The Improvers worked on their own projects, leather work, rounding and backing, foil work etc etc etc.
 
Along the way we had a quick look into the delights of Paste Paper (inspired by the country side) and Flottage (images to follow) inspired by the Surrealists.... and why not?... 
Dear Reader, there now follows a series of images, finished work, work in progress and stuff. It may be of interest to realise that the Flat Backs in the images are the first books the students had made...ever! They went on to make more....
Please note.... there are other residential courses available (but not with me teaching!), studios/binderies/ doing stuff, spelling and grammar. Please further note, the opinion of the author may change at any moment. This is due to having an open mind of sorts.