Saturday, 30 May 2015

Japanese Stab Binding Workshop

Three different styles of books were on offer to explore by the participants.

The first one was a Chinese Accounts book.  I like this structure as it gives an introduction into a few bookbinding techniques.

-   exploring the grain of the paper
-   how to fold paper the correct way
-   making folios
-   how to make a template for 
    stitching positions
-   what makes up a signature
-   how to stitch together the pages 
    of a signature
-   trimming up the edges
-   stitching the spine and finishing

Each person finished their first book and as you can see the result of each was very different styling depending on how much thread they used in stitching the covers on.

One thing I found very strange was that six needles broke.  That is something I have never experienced as a needlewoman or during binding books.  I don't know whether people hadn't made their holes big enough for sewing or it was a bad batch of needles.  However, when I contacted the company I bought them from were very apologetic and sent me a replacement pack which has now been received.

Book number one complete and it was time for lunch.  It had been a heady morning with plenty of concentration; choosing paper patterns, cutting by hand, piercing paper and sewing.

After lunch, we moved on to larger books. The group were given a choice of books either the basic or hemp stitch.  I went very much by the pace things had gone in the morning and felt that there was a good chance that only one book would be completed by each person in the afternoon.

Most were keen to start on the hemp book, but a few wanted to do the basic binding first.  Each person  had a handout, but despite the practical morning sessions without handouts, some of the group found it difficult to follow the written instructions.  It was a bit disappointing since I had looked high and low for a hand-out that made sense and was easy to follow.

There are not many books about on the subject and certainly not many links online.  The book I like to refer to is Japanese Bookbinding:  Instructions form a Master Craftsman by Kojiro Ikegami

Note to self: Developing my own set of binding instructions. 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

View From Here Project: Threads and Chatter presents sewing a bookmark

I even managed to get Carole involved!

It looks like we are back on track with regards numbers.  It was a worry as it is always better to have a healthy group to bounce ideas amongst rather than a small number.

The power of twitter allowed Carole and I connect to a couple of the parents at Kettering Buccleuch School who had attended previous sessions with their children.

Feedback from them
had been very positive and both parents and children always seemed to leave happy.  They kindly spread the word and we had a full and lively group, just the way we like it.

I decided to give the group the challenge of sewing a bookmark.  Which is no mean feat when you think that I have a few 6 year olds in attendance.

Never the less they all rose to my challenge and within the one and a half hours we are afforded at the school, they all finished their projects.

Feedback for the session as always was very positive.

And a big thank you to artist Carole Miles for taking photos during the session.

If you would like to read more about the View From Here Project please click on the following links:-

View From Here Project starts here
View From Here Project : Taking Threads and Chatter to the Green Patch
View From Here Project: Threads and Chatter wrapping threads at the Green Patch
View From Here Project:  Threads and Chatter wrapping threads at KBA
View From Here Project:  Threads and Chatter threaded Mandalas at KBA
View From Here Project:  Threads and Chatter gathering papers stitching handmade books
View From Here Project:  Preparing for World Book Night at KBA and The Green Patch

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Just a box of old bricks

I love this time of year when all the car boots start up again.  I'm at my best when I am treasure hunting, looking for the mundane, bartering or hoping that the tin or box of random stuff will be a reasonable price.

Yesterday's finds reaped it's own rewards; an old button tin and a box of old bricks.  I spotted a few vintage

bricks at the top of the pile which I thought would be perfect on my stand alongside a few old books serving as display but also complimenting my work.  I am amazed at the variety of wooden bricks from different eras that I found in this box when I got it home.

These are the very vintage brick I spotted first.  I love the illustrations and the typeface that is used for the alphabet.

Wooden Bobbins what a nice find.  You don't find too many of these to the pound now.

BSA Bicycles, gosh that's going back some.

These are cute, possible 50's or 60's I'm thinking.

No idea of the date of these but love how they are embossed.  I wonder whether you could use them for printing or embossing onto surfaces.

Now these bricks have me really puzzled.  Austrian infantry, British Hussar, doesn't that relate to the Crimean War?

And finally a collection of bricks I used to play with as a child.

All in all this was a good find and I hope to find lots of ways of using some of these in my work.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Folding Magic Workshop

It seems such a long time ago since I completed my Foundation in Art and Design and although I have tried to keep a track on what everyone is up to that was on the course you inevitably loose track.

My foundation was not an experience that I particularly enjoyed, it felt very much like boot camp to me and at one point I very much doubted that I had a scrap of artistic ability.  I very much enjoyed meeting and working with the other students and we were a very strong year, it became a community where we helped each other and moved forward to a common goal.

Recently, I linked up with Steff Lee who was on my course.  She is now a wicked illustrator/ animator and if you click on the link it will take you to her shop.  I love the styling of her work which seems to be very much influenced by her cultural roots.  Just before Christmas last year we had an online chat about doing a skills swap but due to our commitments as freelance artists this is the first opportunity we have had to get together.  At this point I won't share what I wanted as part of the exchange but Steff on her part wanted to learn how to fold some flowers.

I advised her what she would need and I went armed a selection of paper, wire, green tape and other bits and bobs we would need for the day.

The day started off with discussing what she wanted to learn and why ('cause I'm nosey that way). I took her through the basic folds keeping out the names of bases etc.  When you first learn origami I feel you just want to know a few basic folds and bases, get the feel for repetitive folds then your knowledge will grown from there.

We worked steadily through the day taking in nibbles and recording our progress as we went.  By
lunchtime we had two Kusudama structures ready to finish.

It's amazing how the time goes, as they say, when you are enjoying yourself and our day was no exception, it fair whizzed by.

After lunch, I finished off the day by showing Steff how to fold some random shapes using the techniques she had learnt earlier; a heart, a butterfly and a tulip.

It was a lovely day and I hope we repeat it again sometime.

Steff Lee and Phiona Richards