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Get the bunting out

11 Nov

For a recent commission I was asked to make a guest book, using the wedding invitation as inspiration. The invitations were quirky, giving me plenty to work with. The invitations – wrapped with a cream ribbon with a bunting pattern – had a lovely vintage feel, using letterpress-style type with an image of an old bicycle saying ‘We do’.

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I decided to use the patterned ribbon on the cover of the book as it really captures the playful nature of the invitation. I repeated the pattern of the bunting on the inside page, using brown paper cutouts. This introduced an element where the hand of the artist could be seen.

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Pigna guestbook

30 Sep

This couple were getting married in an Italian village called Pigna – which translates as pine. As a result, they decided to theme their invites around the symbol of a pine cone. They used an orange-brown colour for the text and the pine cone motif was dotted throughout.

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I originally tried blind embossing the pages with a pine shape but it was a little too subtle and unclear what it actually was. Instead I drew a pine cone on the inner page, mimicking the one found on the invitation. The autumnal colours of the guestbook worked well with this motif.

Lovebirds guest book

28 Mar

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This guestbook is bound using a Secret Belgian binding – one of my favourite styles. The cover is bound together first and then the text block is sewn to the cover. This is quite different from the regular method of binding.

The paper inside the book is an Italian paper – Fabriano Tiepolo. This is a beautiful, heavyweight, velvety paper which gives the guestbook a luxurious feel.

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.

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!

Art Deco wedding album set

19 Aug

I was asked to make this wedding set (guest book and 2 albums) for a couple who like a minimalistic style. When I heard that their wedding colours were black and white, I instantly thought of using this paper.

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The guest book is a Secret Belgian binding – my new favourite! I thought that this style would really compliment the paper pattern. I have included some photos of this book in progress, to give you an idea of how it is made.

The large album is a Japanese Stab stitch album. It also has an inscription on the front page ‘I am convinced that to live is to travel to the world’s end’. This quote was chosen because the couple meet while working in a bar called ‘World’s End’. The smaller album is a traditional case bound book. I used the black book cloth in a way that mimics the paper pattern. Each of the albums have black paper inside, making a nice contrast with the coverpaper.

Secret Belgian binding

26 Jul

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I finally have figured out how to make a Secret Belgian binding using a mixture of these instructions and these useful tips. Thank you fellow binders for sharing them!

If you would like to make this book using these online instructions but with different measurements, here are the ones I used:

Coverboards = height of textblock + 0.4 cms, width of textblock + 0.2 cms;

Spine = height of textblock + 0.4 cms, width of spine pressed down tight + 1 bookboard width (0.3 cms?)

This binding dates from the 14th – 16th centuries and was rediscovered by Hedi Kyle, who figured out how it was done. This book is for sale in my online shop – Milis Books on Dawanda.

Memory book

27 Jan

This is a book I made as a 30th birthday present for my friend Clare. A call was put out amongst her friends for any old photos, memorabilia or stories about her. There was a great response and soon I had a wonderful collection of stories, old postcards, photos, ticket stubs, school yearbook clippings and lots more.

 

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I bound the book using a Coptic stitch and used extra boards parallel to the spine to compensate for the thickness of the photos and other things being stuck in on the pages.

For the collage cover, I used a mixture of colours that I associate with Clare, contrasted with red faux leather. I typed her name using an old typewriter, giving it a nostalgic feel.