Now we are into September I thought I ought to concentrate my mind on making some books as I am giving a book workshop at Fantasia Studios for Norah in October and next year I am running at least two others on the same subject. I have made and covered many books over the last, I suppose, ten years or so - I always cover my sketchbooks, I made about twenty books when working on the EAST project for the Warner Archive in Braintree and prior to that I taught myself the art of Japanese bookbinding and covered a few notepads using machine embroidery.
My latest idea is to cover old books, maybe damaged, second hand books that you can pick up very cheaply or would otherwise be thrown away. I made a collage just using a collection of papers and fabrics and let the collage tell me what the subject for the book would be. I always love the surprise that collage can throw up and the subject that appeared was children's clothing. This brought back a lovely memory of my mother making clothes for my twin sister and myself as tiny tots. Money was tight when we were born and, having waited ten years for children to come along, it was a double surprise when we were twins. So I have now started to fill the pages but I will do this at leisure and enjoy looking through old photographs and looking for old patterns.
Another idea I have for a book - either using an old book or making a book from scratch - is based on the idea of correspondence, letters and postcards - but for the moment I will finish a few unfinished ones and save this idea for later.
Below is a selection of books I have made over the years.
Front and back
of covered book
Above are four books I made from the collection of twenty that I based on the Warner Archive in Braintree.
The three machine embroidered note book covers on the left are based on little jugs that sit on my kitchen windowsill. The handmade book on the right I made using silk noil that I coloured with silk paint, the flower is space dyed silk velvet, the whole thing then applied to greybeard. The pages are smooth cotton rag paper, the thread for the binding is silk and the beads I used to make the flowers for the spine are size 15s. I thought this would make a nice book for a gardener.