Thursday 30 October 2008

Back in Japan.

After the rush to finish all the work on the bench in the U K and a flight with B A (coffee in paper cups... how naff is that ?) it was good to be able to sit down and have a beer with friends.

And good food. Sorry, I had started to eat before I took the image.

A short time after these images were taken I was fast asleep, the joy of jet lag is a thing to be-hold.

The last couple of days have been spent preparing kits for 10 work shops. There was some 200 kits to make. I am looking forward to tomorrow as the first work shop begins at 10.30 in the morning, a very civilised time I must say.
With this in mind ............ Time for bed ........... good night.

Friday 24 October 2008

Back to the Binders Block.

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a block with boxes. There is much to be said for the two tray drop back box, but they can be a bit on the dull side.

For Salambo I wanted to make a box that reflected the design and I wanted to use up the paper I had printed.

The result is a posh chocolate box.

A touch of gold tooling to the lid.

The outer lid is removed to to reveal the inner lid. This is removed with a small leather tab.

The inner lid is removed to allow access to the book, which is removed via an other leather tab. I wanted to make a box that had an architectural feel.

Book and box detail.

Thursday 16 October 2008

Recent Bindings.

Recent Bindings.


A hand dyed, full leather binding with gold and black line tooling.

Front end paper and doublure. The paper has been hand coloured using various oil based printers inks. This results in a viscous, heavy looking paper. I wanted it to look like bronze, I think I got close.

Back end paper and doublure.

End band and edge decoration.

Front board detail. Gold tooling and black line tooling.

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Back to normal.

The last month or so has been rather hectic and now that the Man Booker has finished, I can get back to a more normal life and work.

Though I have a number of exhibitions already lined up for next year I have to start work on the various projects now. One of the problems of doing work for exhibitions is the fact that I also have to earn a living. Exhibition work can and does sell but the selection of items to exhibit can be months in advance of the event, so there is a huge period of time when the work is out of the loop, as it were.
This is where commission work is so important, there are a growing number of collectors who realise that they can ask me and of course, other binders, to produce work specifically for their collections. These collectors are very important to the studio as it tis them who keep the wheels turning.
Another aspect to the studio is that I am lucky enough to be able to teach. I find teaching very worth while. It also helps to keep me fresh, working with other creative and for the main gifted people.

The challenge of finding solutions and sharing what I can with the students can be a very humbling experience.

Thursday 9 October 2008

Finishing tools for India.

A week of stuff, so far, good stuff.

A week or so ago, I had the pleasure of working with a new studio guest, a Mr Tom McEwan. A Bookbinder from the wonderful city of Glasgow.

Part of his work is to make hand tools for finishing (brass tools that are used in the decoration of books) during the week we were together the conversation got onto my work in India. To cut a short story even shorter, Tom said that he would let me have some of his tools to take to India. This morning our genial postman gave me a package that contained six superb hand tools from Tom.

The tools are have open designs that are perfect for work with foil, I think that gold leaf is out of our reach at the moment. The work of the hand tool maker requires a lot of skill, I for one am in awe of Toms work and look forward to being able to share his tools with the students in Anandwan.

I would like to thank Tom for his very beautiful and useful donation.

For a more in-depth look at the work of Tom, please visit his web site on . It is under construction at the moment but his contact details are available.

Sunday 5 October 2008

An other Sunday in the studio.

It has been raining.

Thank you Thea for the image.

Thursday 2 October 2008

Boxes and mental blocks part two.

With the Man Booker binding and the studio members work taking up so much of my time, I have had so little time to do my own work. But, after much thought and a few pints of beer I was able to come up with a cunning box. Once it has been made I will tell all.

The days are becoming longer with the studio open longer so that the books for the Designer Bookbinders competition can be completed, I am so cheesed off with the organisers..... why leave everyone in the dark the for the hand in date ?. It is so unprofessional.