Friday, 4 April 2014

Handmade books

I love books! All sorts of books. When I was young I spent a lot of time in my local library which was a gorgeous house in its own grounds (sadly sold off since then and replaced with a hideous looking building!). I wanted to be a librarian and my sister and I converted our books at home into library books, each with their own sheet at the front for the date stamp, and fold-over for the ticket. Am I showing my age? This was before digital bar codes and 1 plastic library card, then you had a card ticket for each book borrowed!
Anyway my love of books continues and over the past few years my brother, sister and I have explored book-making (not the bookies!). Last autumn we went to an exhibition of artists' books in Sheffield and were incredibly inspired by the innovative and delightful books on display, and especially with the fact you could touch them, handle them, open them. We each decided to make our own book, but not just an empty book. I proposed mine would be a book of some of the poems I write, and theirs will be printing, photography or some other artwork. At Easter we are going to have a show-and-tell so you'll have to wait till after then for the photos. For now here are some photos of books I have made.
Here's a tempting stack of the books. These ones are all quite small, the biggest at the bottom is 14cm tall. They are delightful little hand-sized books.

This is the front cover of one of the first books I made with a hard cover and spine. And it fastens with magnets, a great discovery my brother made in Sheffield.

The inside of the embroidered cover book, plain pages torn to give a rough edge.

These two books are both made to the size of the felt squares I've used previously and again close with magnets. Also featuring some hand embroidery, another love of mine.

And here they are showing the inside. Simple calligraphy. This one features a verse from Thich Nhat Hanh, my Buddhist teacher and one of my favourite  teachings. "I have arrived, I am home, in the here and in the now. I am solid, I am free. In the Ultimate I dwell".

And this one features the words of another favoured teacher, a guru from India called Swami Shyam. "I am not born, I do not die. I am pure space, just like the sky. I do not come, I do not go. I am pure, free forever, the one who knows".
And that's all for now, but you may have spotted there are other books in the pile, so more to follow another day! :)

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