Tag Archives: book art

‘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. 


Architecture Portfolio

25 Feb

This side-bound book was made to showcase an architect’s portfolio. I worked in close conjunction with the architect to produce a minimalistic cover that complemented the portfolio’s subtle design.

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The cross on the cover mirrors the crosshairs featured throughout the text block’s design. I also fitted two extra spacer lengths along the spine of the book. When the architect wishes to add more pages to his portfolio, he can remove the spacers, thus creating extra space for pages.

Walking journal

4 Jan

Recently I was asked to make a book that would be used as a diary to record walks taken. The person is an avid walker who wished to keep a journal of routes taken and points of interest on the walks after he has finished his journey.

I decided to make a ‘bible-style’ book and to include a map of the West of Ireland, where pretty much all the walks were taken. The book is quite large and hopefully will record all his walks for a long time to come!

The two circular images on the cover are maps of star constellations; one for the Northern Hemisphere and one for the Southern Hemisphere – handy if he ever gets lost on a walk at night…


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I was originally going to include a series of Ordance Survey maps that had detailed sections of the area but I figured that he probably had these maps already and that a map covering a larger area would work better. I found a map of the whole west of Ireland area which was much more suited to the journal’s function.

I re-folded the map to suit the size of the book. It folds out to twice the width shown in this photograph. The inscription on the first page reads ‘I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me’.

Red Fox Press

22 Sep

Last week, I visited Francis Van Maele from the Red Fox Studios on Achill Island. It was a typical day weatherwise for the west of Ireland – damp, misty and windy – the perfect weather for going to Achill!  After a two-hour drive dodging sheep, I reached the cottage studio which is situated on the northern tip of the island, looking out onto the Altantic.

Here Francis and his friend Anticham have a bookshop selling the many artist books that they produce together. Themes of these books range from photos of salt & pepper mills to homages to Fluxus artists, from found childhood photos of car registation plates to visual poetry books.

Most of the books are screenprinted using oil-based inks which results in beautifully rich colours and others are digitally printed. All of the books are skilfully bound, experimenting with unusual bindings and materials.

I could have spent a week there looking through all the amazing books on display! Their bookshop is also online but if you happen to be passing through Achill Island, I’d definitely recommend calling in.

Crazy accordion book

10 Apr

Here are instructions on how to make an irregular ‘crazy’ accordion book. This book is really simple to make – I’ve made it with 4-year-olds and 56-year-olds! For young children, it can be simplified more – see diagram 2b – by making ‘half’ the book. This half version looks like a pair of trousers which kids get a kick out off.

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Materials: 1 large piece of paper, card or wood cover, scissors, glue, pencil.


Step 1

Fold in half, then in quarters, length-ways and width-ways.

Step 2

Cut until last fold on each of the 3 creases. For children, get them to mark an X where they have to stop cutting.

Step 3

Fold book using over & under technique.

Step 4

Measure the front and back of book. Add 1cm to the length and width of book. Make cover out of cardboard or thin wood. Glue onto book using appropriate glue e.g. PVA glue for card cover and wood glue for wooden cover.

If you are making a wooden cover, I would advise you to glue a piece of thick card to the end & beginning bookpage and then glue the card & book to the heavier piece of wood.