Tag Archives: one-of-a-kind books

Wedding card book

23 Mar

This book contains a collection of wedding cards bound together as a keepsake. The highly-customised book is packed with special wishes from friends and family and is an original way of keeping these precious memories together.

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My client had saved many memorabilia from their wedding day – from the bridesmaid dress material, wedding ribbon to the wedding invite. Each of these details provided inspiration for me and were incorporated into the design of this unique book.

The red material which I used to line the inside of the white leather was spare material saved from the bridesmaid dresses. The vivid red creates a beautiful contrast against the white leather and other hints of this red are used throughout the binding.

This wedding was a winter wedding and the motif of a snowflake was used on the invitations. I embroidered this motif on the front of the cover tying in the winter theme once again.

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Purple themed album

28 Jan

This traditional casebound wedding album was custom-made to match the vibrant purple bridesmaid dresses that were worn at this couple’s wedding. The coverpaper is a Nepalese handmade paper that has a distinctive textured surface.

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In order to make this wedding album extra special, I handstitched matching headbands at the top and bottom of the album’s spine. These headbands will serve to protect the album whilst adding an extra hint of colour. I also added a secret message to the spine – hidden away forever!

The slipcase acts as a protector for the album, keeping the wedding photos protected inside the album, away from light and other possible damage. As always this wedding album is made from archival materials which are completely acid-free.

‘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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.