Sunday, January 31, 2010

Artist Portfolio

These photos are of a custom piece that turned out very very well. It's a sort of monotone (silk, leather and brads are all in a very rich chocolate brown) steampunk book with a few extra features. The back page has leather loops that fit most small to medium size pencils/brushes, and there extra pockets and the front, and one at the back that fits more full size pages.

This has got me to thinking about my own portfolio, lost somewhere in planning stages. I'm not actually a bookbinder by trade or training, my BA is in visual arts, and more specifically oil painting. I've been wanting to make myself some sort of book that's really an easy to carry around portfolio. Oils are a bit of a pain in the ass to travel with so it would be watercolour and pen. It's going have a section for displaying the finished paintings, a large pocket to hold the new pages, a board with elastics or somesuch to act as an easel while I'm painting, and room for brushes and my mini travel paint set. And it's going to happen... sometime... soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I may have a problem

I love paper. I really really adore it. Not the crappy computer print out stuff at scrapbook stores, I mean the wonderful handprinted and made and marbled and antiqued stuff. These are photos of just a little of what I have. And these are just the full sheets, never mind the smalled stuff. And it's getting worse because I'll buy a 22 x 30 sheet of paper and only make a 4 x 6 book out of it. Oh well!

So how should I display my fabulous collection? Some of them are really pieces of art in and of themselves and I would like to enjoy them rather than having them stuck in a supply drawer somewhere. And what do I do with the rest of it? The etsy bookbinding team (BEST) does book swaps once in a while, but now I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in doing a paper swap. I must not be the only one with this type of problem. I want to get rid of some of it simply because I won't be able to use it all and because at the same time I want more! I also want to start making my own and make books with watercolour paintings or printed covers, so I'll be making more for my collection by the sound of it. Oh, and I got my first letterpress stamps in the mail and have to figure out how to use those too.

Here are some of the places I get my favourite paper:

Papers by Pepperberry
My Marbled Papers
Pebblestone Papery

Local in Regina Sk:
The Paper Umbrella

Fair Trade (but seriously, check this store out for much much more than paper. Gorgeous furniture, wonderful coffee, beautiful linens, and all kinds of house stuff, and all fair trade):
Ten Thousand Villages

Also try Loomis for nice paper and bookbinding supplies, if you live in a big city... which Regina isn't.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Art Deco Sunburst (a day at work well spent)

I work in a swanky jewellery store. Not many people come in because everything is very expensive. I spend most of my time waiting around for people to come in (no really) and checking my email. Please God, somebody send me something! So I brought my paper and paper cement (best invention ever. I'll never go back to glue. Ever) and sat around all afternoon making the cover for this book. I finished it off when I got home. A couple of Doctor Whos later I had added the leather and all the different papers jumped right off the page!

I have a pack of bits of Japanese paper I got from Paper Umbrella (of course) and this, I think, is just the perfect way to show it all off. I used a whole bunch of scraps for this one. I don't know why, I've got enough stuff to make 100 books without doing the same thing twice, and here I am getting every last bit of scrap paper gathered up and made into something useful. It's the Mennonite in me.

I love Art Deco design. And I mean actually Art Deco, not the Art Nouveau stuff that's always labelled that way (I love Art Nouveau too - and the Arts and Crafts movement for that matter - but I intensely dislike people smushing it all together under the same labels. Ones curvy and one's straight, seriously). So that's where the sunburst design came from. I've been watching the BBC's Art Deco Icons series and really loving it (someday I'm going to take a trip on the Orient Express, wow!) so I imagine there will be more of these sort of designs coming up in the future.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I thought I would try some teensey books, ones that are small enough to mail as a letter rather than a parcel, to save on shipping. Also, the average sale on Etsy is about $15, so for $12 I'm checking to see how these sell. Added bonus, they only take about an hour or so to make so I can try a whole bunch of different things in less time than normal.