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Golden bird artist’s journal

28 Feb

A short while ago, I was asked to create an artist’s journal that had a vintage feel whilst avoiding looking too traditional. After discussing several different ideas, he chose a Japanese binding with heavy velvety paper with a hand-ripped edge.

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At the start, the client was torn between several papers but I think he made a good choice with the beautiful green paper who’s golden birds give the book a slightly whimsical feel. This journal was made to accommodate the addition of extra photos and other memorabilia – a scrapbook of sorts. This was enabled by adding several spacers along the spine of the binding.

I particularly like the inscription ‘Lee Lee Angels’ – it seems to match the quaint quality of this journal. I experimented with several different fonts before choosing one called ‘Free Booter Script’.

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‘Recognition’ Artist book

4 Dec

I recently made an artist’s book called ‘Recognition’. It deals with themes of self-recognition and how one’s sense of self has changed rapidly since the advent of photography, in particular digital photography.

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This binding is called a drum leaf binding. It is a contemporary binding which allows the book to lie completely flat, allowing images to be read as a whole across two pages. It is ideal for artist’s books and also works well as a portfolio.

It was recently exhibited at the Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin as part of their annual Artist Book Fair. 

Black and white wedding

21 Nov

The colour theme of this wedding was black and white. I found out that the bride’s favourite colour is green so we decided to add green accents to the wedding album set. On each end of the large album’s spine, I hand-stitched headbands using green and black thread. The green thread matched the ribbon perfectly and added another touch of colour to the album.

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The smaller album is a variation of a Japanese stitch. I used a wide green ribbon which gives a luxurious feel to the album.

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.

A customised classic

24 May

I was asked recently to personalise a softback novel as a gift. The novel was of special significance to the client’s friend and she wanted to give him a one-of-a-kind version.

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As this book ‘Heart of Darkness’ is set in the jungle in Congo, I thought that the brown undergrowth coverpaper would suit its theme. I paired this with fern green endpapers, hinting at the green growth of a jungle. I also added lighter endpaper directly to the text block. This handmade cream paper is made from banana leaves.

Baby birthday card book

1 Nov

This book contains a collection of a baby’s birthday cards. A lot of the time, these cards remain in a box or bottom of a drawer, some inevitably getting lost along the way.

I bound these cards together using a medieval style of limp leather binding. This style of binding has been used since the 14th century and was particularly popular with members of the clergy and travelling journeymen.

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I have strengthened each card along its spine to ensure the stability of the book. The end paper – lining the leather and making up the first and last page – is a thick handmade paper from Nepal. It has a beautiful velvety texture with real leaves forming part of the paper.

Blue Bloom album

16 Oct

Here is a wedding album I recently made. I bound it using a basic Japanese Stab stitch. There are many variations on this stitch but I love the simplicity of this style.

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The coverpaper is a handmade and handprinted paper with a delicate flower pattern. As the coverpaper was quite thin and slightly translucent, I glued a sheet of white paper to the cover before glueing the main paper, in order to give it strength.

Funky baby memory book

10 Oct

Here is a baby memory book that I made for a little boy called Gregory. I wanted to avoid the traditional ‘blue for a boy, pink for a girl’ colour coding, so I chose a funky grey floral paper that had an unusual combination of pattern and colour.

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The details about the baby are filled in on the righthand side of the page and a photograph can be stuck in on the lefthand side. This book is a highly personalised gift with the baby’s name used throughout the memory book.

Classic guest book

9 Aug

Here is a wedding guestbook I made recently for a client in England. She was looking for a unique customised guest book that had a classic feel but wanted to avoid the usual white guest book. After looking through my cover papers, she chose the Inky Blue Flowers paper which has a rich and slightly antique quality.

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This guest book is a traditional case bound book. As the colour scheme for their wedding was pale blue with silver and plum accents, I chose complementary end papers and book cloth to suit these colours and the cover paper.

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.