Thursday, 27 April 2017

Iskandar Jalil. Pots talk among themselves in silent conversations. Soil from Singapore.

 The three images above give some idea as to the 3 sort of grades or sizes of soil particles I am working with.

Some of the fine particles mixed with an acrylic medium. I am pleased with the wonderful reddish richness of the mix.... however we have to wait and see how it dries..... Please find following an a little bit of the back ground of the soil/mud/clay.....
This soil/mud/clay is from a hill in Sigapore. The name of the hill is Bukit Merah, literally translated as Hill Red (or Redhill)
This area is known for the reddish soil, and legends says that it was the blood of a young boy that stained the soil.
Because the king (or sultan) back then, was very jealous of this young boy. The boy helped to solve the problem of sword fishes attacking the fishermen along the shores. So he suggested to have the trunk of the banana trees put up along the shore, so that the sword fishes will get stuck and then die.
So the Sultan was terribly upset of the boy's success, ordered his men to bring the boy up to the hill and beheaded him. The boy's blood flowed down the hill and thus, making the soil red. Therefore, Bukit (Hill) Merah (red) Once again, thank you Adelene.

Singapore Folklore
 When dry the paint/earth mixture deepens in both texture and colour.  I am so pleased with progress.

First steps in mixing some of the coarser grades with the air dried modeling clay.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Iskandar Jalil. Pots talk among themselves in silent conversations. I wonder if books do as well ?

 One of the little seen or even thought about aspect of the sort of work I do is the amount of experimentation I do before I even touch the book. It is not about being different for differences sake, it is more to do with the desire to be honest, to be able to find a solution to the question of design.

 A close up of the fore edge to try to show the textures created by not sanding the edge to a glossy sheen. When sanded, the edge was painted over with titanium white acrylic. The brush lines have been deliberately left.
The front end paper. choosing the correct silks to sew the end band is so crucial. The end bands are one of those "Devil is in the detail" parts of bookbinding.
One of the nice aspects of having students and ex-students dotted around the world is that if I need something......
.... say some soil or clay from Singapore, then I would ask the wonderful Adelene Koh of dddots bookbinding..

Iskandar Jalil. Pots talk among themselves in silent conversations. Mark Cockram. I wonder if books do the same.... or grains of soil.
Soil, stones and Singapore. One of those days in the studio of drying out and sieving soil from Singapore... pretty ordinary really.
 Detail of the Stones and larger grains of sand having had a quick wash. I am just loving the absolute texture and the fanfare of colours. From the humble shard of brick to the multi faceted and coloured grain.
 The soil/clay and the larger material from the 1.3kg package will be used in the final work.  Iskandar Jalil likes to use local clays and materials in his work. I shall do the same. Tomorrow will find me on the banks of the Thames....

Monday, 10 April 2017

Iskandar Jalil. Kembara Tanah Liat ( Clay Travels ) The end papers .... Never throw anything away.

Never throw anything away... All last night I had this thought, something was nagging me about the end papers. In my back eye I kept seeing the end papers but when I looked at what was on the painting surface.  This morning I sat down and looked at the previous days work.

There is nothing wrong with the work but there it was not balanced.  I then looked at what the painting surface had been resting on.

The paper had been one of the papers I had coloured using oil based printing inks. The re-worked with white spirit and left to dry. The results was not what I was looking for... So I used it as a cover to save the work surface from getting paint drips and stuff on it.

I had kept seeing it...... Obvious.

From top left clockwise.... front end paper, back end paper and finally detail.

Exactly what I am looking for.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Iskandar Jalil. Kembara Tanah Liat ( Clay Travels ) The end papers half finished.....

 Layer upon layer... texture and more texture.

Now is the time to let everything rest and dry. Tomorrow will see the near final layering and colours with the endpapers made last thing. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished result. I am particularly pleased with progress so far.

Iskandar Jalil. Kembara Tanah Liat ( Clay Travels ) Work starts.

 I have the idea, the theme if you will. My starting point is usually the end papers. The end papers are the joining element of the binding to the text block. I have decided to combine techniques and mediums to achieve the desired effect.
 Jalil's work continues to delight me. The extremes of textures created with the hand, the tool, the clays and glazes blend beautifully.
 These images show the early stages of the end papers. I tend create by layering colour and papers, collage. 
 The full sheet of paper (above)

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Iskandar Jalil. Kembara Tanah Liat ( Clay Travels ) New commission.

One aspect of my work that I enjoy is the fact that often I find myself either due to self interest or being encouraged by others or situations to discover new ways of manipulating materials to achieve a desired effect or result. To explore new directions... To find out more. This does not mean that every day throws up challenges that I have to tussle with, no, it is more that I enjoy following the journey as much as I do the end result. Having said that.. I do enjoy a good tussle every now and then.

 One new commission I have undertaken is an exhibition record of a ceramic artist. I have to say that unlike many bookbinders I do not undertake every commission I am offered. Nor do I replicate the same style of binding or decorative technique time and time again. I do not like boring. I also have to like or have some feeling for the book, contents.... there has to be elements that I connect with. I realise it sounds a bit Arty Farty but there has to be an understanding. In short it is easy to see when a binder, artist or book artist has just gone through the motions. No thought, no effort. Such a disappointment.
 One couple that have been commissioning me from my early days have always managed to find the right book for me to work with. I will refer to them as S and P.. they know who they are and I have a sneaky suspicion who is the boss ;-)

So to the commission, perhaps it would be easier for me to provide a link or two. Jalil Wikipedia  Short film.

I hope it is easy to understand why I like find so much to like and why there is so much  scope for stuff to happen and directions to go in and explore.

For the last 2 or so months I have been thinking about the book, what I would like to do with it. The overall feeling I want to go with. My initial thoughts are now becoming more and more concrete.

First to print the end papers.......