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Something borrowed, something blue…

29 Jul

Here is a wedding album set I made for a summer wedding. I had been saving this beautiful indigo blue coverpaper for a special album and when I saw this couple’s wedding invite, I knew it would match perfectly!

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The paper has a slightly waxy feel to it as it is created using batik – a process where parts of the paper are blocked out using wax before dying the paper. When the dye has dried, the wax is removed, revealing the original paper colour – as the wax prevents the dye from penetrating the paper.

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NIVAL Collection

27 Jan

I recently found out that two of my artist’s books are part of the NIVAL collection in NCAD, Dublin. The National Irish Visual Arts Library was set up in the 1990s with the aim of documenting all aspects of 20th century and contemporary Irish art and design and providing public access to the collection.

The library has a large collection of artist’s books and often exhibit them at fairs. It was at this year’s Dublin Art Book Fair that I came across one of my artist’s books on their stand!

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There are many definitions of what an artist’s book is but simply put, it is a work of art realised in the form of a book. They are usually published in small editions and sometimes are one-of-a-kind books.

Above are photos of ‘Roll call’, an artist’s book containing an alphabetical list of Ghost Estates in Ireland and ‘Invisible Lines’, an artist’s book based on a participatory art project I organised.

Retirement album

8 Dec

Here’s an album I made as a retirement present. I was given a selection of photos that I could use for the cover – the only instructions were to do something a little different than just putting a plain photo on the cover.

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I photographed the photos on a wooden background – something that added a little bit of texture but wasn’t too distracting at the same time.

This album is an accordion album which means that it has no spine and is made using a series of folds. This album can be displayed standing on a mantelpiece or used as a traditional album.

Nostalgic accordion album

27 Sep

I made this album as a present for my parents-in-law. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and had a party to celebrate. My partner was taking the photographs for the day, so I thought it would be nice if I made an album for the photos.

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The image on the cover is a photograph I took of their old wedding album which they had on display. I printed the image using sepia and grainy effects. Then I drew onto the image with silver pen and reprinted it. This process gave it a vintage look that suits a 50th wedding anniversary!

Slate pink wedding set

11 Sep

Here is a wedding set that I made recently. It consists of a medium accordion album, an extra large Japanese bound album and a Secret Belgian bound guest book. The colour theme of the wedding was pink and slate grey so I thought that this modern polka-dotted paper contrasted with the grey bookcloth would suit.

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I also found a polka-dotted grey ribbon that I couldn’t resist using on one of the albums – making a very polka-polka dotted album!

Large Leporello albums

8 May

I have recently starting making Leporello albums using huge pieces of heavy-weight Fabriano paper. These albums have no spine, folding out like an accordion.

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Photos can be glued to both sides of the page and it can also be used as a photo display case, on top of a shelf or mantelpiece. For the covers, I used pages from an old 1930s logbook and a 1970s book on mapping.

President Michael D. Higgins presented with one of my books

16 Dec

President Michael D. Higgins visited the F2 Centre in Fatima, Dublin 8 to launch ‘A Local Imagine Nation – An Arts Plan for Rialto’ on 8th of December 2011. During his visit, he was presented with one of the series of books I made for the F2 centre – I was really delighted!

This book is a twisted accordion book made with 300 gsm white paper. The butterfly on the cover is Fatima’s symbol for its regeneration.

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It was suggested that, as he is a poet, he could use this blank book to write his poetry in. I hope he gets good use out of it!

If you would like to see a video of this visit, check out this website.

Enclosed Accordion book workshop

7 Dec

The other day I did a skillshare workshop as part of a weekly art club I attend. For the workshop, I showed a variety of books I have made and then we each made an enclosed accordion book.

This is a simple book to make as it does not require any binding with thread. Nevertheless it is nice and sturdy because of its hardback cover.

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I have included instructions on how to make this book – feel free to ask me any questions if anything is unclear!

Floral wedding album set

26 Sep

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This is a wedding album set that I made for a couple this summer. Their colour theme was salmon pink so I chose a coverpaper that reflected this colour without the book becoming a sea of salmon pink!

The smallest album is an Accordion or Leporello book. This was the first time I have made one of these as part of a wedding album set. This album can be opened up and put standing on display, showing different photos on the front and back pages.

The leporello book has an interesting origin. The name Leporello comes from the opera Don Giovanni, an opera that contains music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Leporello was a manservant who kept a record of Don Giovanni’s female conquests in a book. At the end of the play, Leporello spreads this infamous book across the stage.

DIY Accordion book workshop

2 Aug

In July 2011, I gave a workshop in ‘Binding without thread’. This workshop focused on simple, sewing-free methods of book binding. The particpants made beautiful books with an emphasis on using recycled materials and figuring out alternative ways of making this style of book.

As it was such a sunny day, we did the workshop outside in my back garden – so everybody got a book and a tan that day! Below are the instructions for this complete book, along with a few pictures of the workshop.

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The group were really creative and some used drawings that they had made for the covers. Another participant used cassette tape to fasten the book, tying in with the image on his cover of a cinema and TV.