Wednesday, July 17, 2013

the making of things

For a long time now, I've had this piece of leather. I would imagine it has been well over two years. The amount of times I have picked it up, placed folded signatures inside it and imagined it as a complete journal, I have lost count. 

Every day I have been staining paper. Filling up the kettle, running up and down the stairs with paper, tearing paper, laying it out and gathering it up again. Although somewhat time consuming, I enjoy the monotonous process which is quite simple as one step in a Bibliographica journal creation. When I started making books I didn't stain the pages. I tried it once on a miniature book & loved it so much. I thought to myself "I'd so love ALL my journals to look like this!!" I couldn't fathom the time it would take to do that, and also I was living on Waiheke Island which is entirely reliant on tank water, so this was almost out of the question.

But I made it happen. It was like my photography when I was constantly in the darkroom. All my prints were black and white on fiber based paper. Then I discovered Agfa brown toner and sepia toners, (and other nasty chemical additions). After that, if my photographs were still black and white, they were deemed incomplete. I made everything brown. My tutor said this to me "you love brown! everything you make ends up brown" which is funny, really. I guess I go for the old nostalgic look of things and have always been drawn to old objects that emanate a history. This is always in my mind as I work, as a goal.

So I have finally found some paper that fits this journal cover, and some delightful thick brocade fabric to fill the natural almond shaped hole. It's a really big thrill for me. The cover is now sleeping in the press, there's going to be an obscene amount of paper inside it for a prolific writer. I'll probably feel arthritic by the time I have finished binding it. I may emboss it some more first.... who knows, these things generally take on a life of their own, and end up directing me, rather than the other way around...

I'll post back with complete images. :)

I hope you are all well and enjoying being crafty. You are all such worldly creative creatures and I'm grateful to have you in this little corner of my world. :) xx


  1. goes to show everything in its own time .. and definitely worth the wait .. perfect match

    your work is .. fabulous

  2. I do bookbinding as a hobby of sorts (which my friends find odd since I craft as a way of life) and I've been dying to try tea staining my paper... If for you things always seem to end up brown, to me they seem to go to bright blues and greens. Which is odd considering I wear black 99% of the time!

    So... I'm always wondering whether brown paper would look good with blues and greens and I just don't know. I guess I'll have to find myself different fabrics to go with the paper? Talk about doing things backwards...

  3. You are an inspiration Louise! I love, Love, LOVE your art!
    ~Diane P., California


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