Thursday, 12 September 2019

Jaggedart. An exhibition.

As well as the Booker... and Chiswick Literary Festival.....

Friday, 6 September 2019

The Booker award 2019

Once again it is Booker time. This year I will mainly be reading...... Salmon Rushdie's Quichotte.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

The Printer and the Bookbinder

Artists’ Print & Artists’ Book Workshop

A Drum-Leaf Binding using Handmade Woodblock Prints:
hosted by Ralph Kiggell & Mark Cockram

Four days, two workshops combined: ‘East meets West’
Saturday 5th October - Tuesday 8th October 2019
Barnes, London

This workshop was conceived some time ago by these two leading artists, two continents crossed, Mark Cockram visiting Asia and Ralph Kiggell touring Europe, they were destined to share ideas, shape and mould their work into this one off workshop.

The opportunity is here to meet and work with designer bookbinder Mark and printmaker Ralph. A workshop in two stages, with artist-printmaker Ralph leading the first two days, and bookbinder Mark leading the latter two days, with no experience of bookbinding or printmaking needed. This workshop is aimed at all ages and all levels of creative experience.

Stage One. Under the guidance of Ralph, participants are introduced to the classic art and craft of Japanese water-based woodblock printing, commonly known today as mokuhanga. This stage of the workshop covers the basic tools, materials and process of this non-toxic technique from block preparation and cutting, paper choice and preparation, to the fundamentals of printing itself. Students will develop a simple multi-block print in two to three colours, using their own cut blocks, alongside woodblock templates provided.

Stage Two. Under the guidance of Mark, participants use their prints from stage one to create a four-spread drum-leaf bound book. This process combines bookbinding methods from Europe and Asia. The process is simple, it includes folding, adhering the papers and pressing, the final result is a decorated cased in binding with no sewing required. Tips, hacks and joviality provided along the way.

About the tutors:

Ralph Kiggell, a member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers, UK, studied woodblock printing in the early 1990s at the atelier of Toshi Yoshida, son of Hiroshi Yoshida, where he learned the fundamentals of the ukiyo-e technique. He later learned contemporary woodblock methods in Kyoto with Akira Kurosaki, before taking his studies to MFA level at Tama Art University, Tokyo.

Mark Cockram, a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders, Brother of the Art Workers Guild and  Special Researcher of the University of Shanghai Science & Technology and the founder of Studio 5, an educational facility in London. Mark is an award-winning book artist, international exhibitor and Man-Booker prize winning bookbinder, trained in England, France and Japan, who has led workshops in London, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Manila and Shanghai.

Materials available:

For the printmaking: woodblocks, knives, water-based pigments, Japanese papers (washi), printing brushes, registration boards, bench-hooks, traditional baren for hand-printing.

For the bookbinding: acrylics & inks, bookcloth, board, adhesive and brushes.

6 Spaces Available at £400 pp (including all materials).

Location: Wurkshop 9-10, The Mews, 46-52 Church Rd, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ

Email for more information.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Shanghai, Part 2. POP UP

When not teaching, I was what I can only describe as eventing. A lecture, pop up exhibition and a 'hands on' workshop in the fab Sinan Bookstore in the French concession area of Shanghai.

A wonderful crowd. First there was the pop up. I had managed to borrow a number of books I had made or bound from the DeWilde collection. Ten books in total... a unique chance to see 10 books.. 
close up and with the binder.

 Then an illustrated lecture on wider topics including my inspiration, ways of working and variations within the genre of the book. Finally a hands on workshop in foil tooling. All in about 3 hours of non stop stuff. Many thanks to all involved.

After the events, a break in a wonderful little place, a beer or two.... with new friends. All in all a great day.

 A wonder around the French Concession, bits around the corner and on the walls..

Friday, 2 August 2019

Shanghai.A first time for me...

A while ago I was invited to teach in Shanghai by the Purple Heron Cultural and Media Co. Ltd at the University of Shanghai Science and Technology, college of Communication and Art Design. I was pleased to have been asked.. delighted even and with a few days to go, on being asked if I would like to appointed to the position of Special Researcher of the USST Purple Heron Bookbinding Design and Research Center, I was in a different place... A happy place.

Shanghai is many different things to different people, I went with an open mind. Though I have been visiting and working in South East Asia for nearly 30 years this trip would be the first time I had been to main land China. For more information about The Republic of China may I suggest that you may wish to follow this LINK  to the Wikipedia site (Yes, I do contribute)

There were two main reasons for me being there, first to teach at the University and second to give a pop up talk, demo, workshop and exhibition.. all in one place in the matter of 3 hours... cripes..

First a few links ...



草鹭工坊 | 跟着Mark Cockram定制烫金笔记本

上观 | 让书变得“好看”,就是设计一个好看的封面?图书设计,是时候改变思路了!

Purple Heron

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Mayfly endbands...

 End banding and end banding silks. Part of the palette.

 End banding... the start. A simple, single core end band.

End banding. Unlike the more traditional approach to the sewn end band... 3 white 3 red 3white etc the contemporary end band can form part of design narrative. With the colour palette I have for this book I am looking for a multi coloured or banded look. The colours will jump and flow across the end band. Threads are added and taken away, grouped and spread. I work from the front of the book with the view of the finished end band in my eye and I tie down at each section. Please note, I am aware of other end band techniques and methods of working. I am using this particular technique because it is in keeping with my current approach to contemporary bookbinding. Please also note, I am aware of other contemporary methods etc.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

BookArts. Lincolnshire College of Art and Design.

Back to college. Back to the beginning of many things. NOW and other books by the wonderful students on the foundation course (Arts) Lincolnshire College of Art and Design. For all but one of the students (the average age was about 18 with one mature student) this was the first book they made. All miniatures, all complete books and all done in an afternoon. We started the day with an introduction, then an illustrated lecture about the book.. past, now and possible futures. Just before lunch I showed some of my books to the students... all employing the same or similar techniques to the ones we were to explore in the afternoon... Enjoy. Please note, not all the students work is shown and there is no particular order to the work.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

A new commission... Mayflies of the Driftless Region.

A new commission... Mayflies of the Driftless Region.

Mayflies of the Driftless Region. Wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec. Identifications by Clarke Garry.   Midnight Paper Sales 2005.

Limited edition of 400. This being number 3 of 13 in sheets.

A wonderful book.

After a lot of thought of the design and colours, work begins on the endpapers. The endpapers are produced using a Flottage technique, colours are floated on water and transferred to paper. Similar to marbled paper, however the Flottage technique uses oil based inks and is far looser in the patterns formed.

Front end paper and possible Doubler

Back end paper and possible Doubler.

The end papers are "Made" and will be leather jointed. I have chosen to use these for a number of reason.  I think they work well with the theme, the colours being spring, light and full of undulations, waves and rivulets. the tiny spots a reflection of the myriad, the clouds of Mayflies that dance and delight the eye with a cacophony of colour.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Set of six miniature artists books.

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that the set of six miniatures will remain a set. They have been acquired by a private collector in London.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Flatford Mill, Constable and bookbinding.

 Last week I embarked on a new aspect of my teaching and sharing bookbinding and book arts. A good friend of mine and a very nice chap, who we shall call Mr X (that is not George's real name, I have made up the Mr X bit) decided to see other pastures afresh. In doing so he vacated an Associate - Residential Teaching Post in beginners and improver's bookbinding. It came as a surprise to be asked if I would be interested in the post. I was reluctant but decided to go and see the place.....

 After traversing the transport hell that is London I found myself on a train... countryside bound.. destination Suffolk. In more detail, perhaps one of the most recognisable of all English countryside tea towels, jigsaws, cake tin lids and the like.
 I of course mean ... the Hay Wain.  Constable's painting is based on a site in Suffolk, near Flatford on the River Stour. the Hay Wain, a type of horse-drawn cart, stands in the water in the foreground.

No Bull !!!
 Behind the camera view finder is Flatford Mill, charming. That is the venue. In short, I agreed to take the post, to carry on the work of Mr X.
My usual journey to work, though inspirational, usually involves the bus and walking with the usual orchestra of police and other emergency vehicles, the irate and the frustrated worker or flustered self-important road user whilst dodging  the pavement mafia... Cyclists  - Lycra bullies who constantly break the law and endanger not only pedestrians lives but their own... why?,  because unlike other road users they do not have to pass a test or have a license, in other words.. untraceable. Please note, I used to cycle a lot, both in the countryside and in London, I still have a cycle which I still use, not all cyclists are F**************************ds, only the ones who feel they are above the petty nature of the highway code, politeness and safety. I also have a driving license.

I digress...

 Peace and calm, the walk to breakfast...
 The breakfast... please note other breakfasts are available, some with cereal and fruit !!!????

 The view once again...
 And with a mini finishing press by the very gifted Louis Kwok of Singapore.

The calm before the storm, the Constable Room. Though there is not much in the way of equipment... yet.. much is done by hand. A refreshing change. For those interested.. there are 4 courses a year.