Monday 16 January 2023

Bookbinding for Valentines on marvellous Mersea Island

Come and cut and fold paper to make a unique heart shaped book, that you can fill with love, friendship and kindness, for that special someone in your life; your partner, a best friend, a new grandchild.

We will make a heart shape book in this workshop, filled with paper, cut to shape. There is a lot of cutting of the paper to shape, but as with all binding, satisfying to make.

The book will be sewn, lined and finished in red of course. The hard part will be deciding if you will keep it for yourself or give it away!

In this season of chocolates and red hearts, I wondered how and when did the heart become associated with romance in Western culture? The early Egyptians believed the heart was the seat of the soul, the Greeks, the seat of both reason and emotion.

By the Medieval era heart-shaped books were composed of hand written love poetry, often illuminated, folios stitched together, and when the book is opened it blossoms, so to speak, into a heart. The oldest surviving example is Danish, made in the 1500’s. 

Includes all materials and use of tools. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.

To book

Google medieval heart books to see more.

Thursday 4 August 2016

re-firing the press

No blogs for over a year . . . now I feel as if I've just woken from a very long sleep.

This week I've done some printmaking, the first since we moved to Oxford nearly a year ago. I haven't had a studio for a while, although I'm lucky enough to have a space in the garage. However, it's on the damp side . . . so I'm in the process of oiling my beautiful big Albion which did get a bit rusty.

My trusty Adana has been patiently waiting, and showing no sign of rust whatsoever! Fantastic little machines. I was thrilled to get printing making again. Starting with some greeting cards.

Checking out colours. I have various bits of wooden type, most old and somewhat used . . . I think the unevenness has a certain charm.

This will be my last post at Mavina Baker Printmaker. And, it would be rude not to say goodbye on this blog, although I do plan to continue at Teacup Press.

I didn't realise until very recently that this blog had come to its natural end. We moved house last year, quite disruptive on its own, but not only that.

Mr B was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer - a bit of a worry! Please encourage the men in your life to have PSA checks (even in their 40's & 50's) just a simple blood test, each year. And, my darling Dad died, suddenly and unexpectedly. It was for him that this blog came into being (the official line as an adjunct to my MA was an untruth) and he is no longer around to see it, so time to move on.

I've thoroughly enjoyed writing it, loved you following me and will start afresh at Teacup Press.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Print and Bind with Emily Martin

To think that only last week I was on the Print and Bind workshop with Emily Martin. Three days of printmaking, then using a Drumleaf binding turning said prints into books. This binding is particularly useful for binding prints (or any other double page spread images) as there is no need to consider matching up images or text and the pages open nice and flat.
Gelatine mono-printing is a process that is new to me, but one I'd highly recommend - it's very satisfying, and so simple and quick, and if you want to, it's possible to achieve some very subtle and fine marks.

Water soluble inks are rolled over a 'plate' made of firm gelatine, with soft sponge rollers. You will need to make it as much as three times stronger than you normally would, then press items onto the surface. Lightly pressing onto the back of the paper with your hand will transfer the image.
Water based inks dry quickly, making it very easy to draw back into with oil based mono-printing.
Gluing pages together along the fore-edge (after the spine has been glued) to create small sample books.
New supplies! Soft rollers and half a kilo of gelatine . . . eBay has a lot to answer for!
For further information on workshops contact Lori Sauer

Friday 15 May 2015

H is for . . .

I've been toying with the idea of a series of alphabet prints for a while, small British mammals . . . but what starts with an i, or a x for that matter?

Okay, so not only mammals but birds, fish and insects as well.

Q may be quail, as I've just read (in an old observer book of British birds, date unknown) that this plump little brown bird is a summer visitor. The book also goes on to mention that in winter these birds are shipped into the country for food, under most cruel conditions . . . plus ├ža change.

Still, u, x and z elude me, any ideas gratefully accepted.

Anyhow, to make a start. H is for hedgehog
First cut and colours printed,
adding further cuts and colour,
and the decision is made to remove some of the text. 

I have not mastered the art of planning a print on paper in its entirety. I draw directly onto the lino, and cut, print and change things as I go along. Had I drawn it out fully beforehand I might well have placed the H elsewhere. 

As it is, I may well remove the letter and replace it with a more carefully placed letterpress initial.
I'm happy with the colour choice, and now wait for the first colours to dry before adding the detail which will bring the image together.
And finally, the clear-up (my least favourite part).

Friday 8 May 2015

Norwich sculpture . . . oh! and artists' books

Last weekend I persuaded Mr B to visit an artists' book fair in Norwich, after all, I said, we're almost on the doorstep as we're in Mersea . . . two hours and almost 60 miles later it was beginning to feel like a bit of a long way!

Wanting to park close to the forum we headed for the city centre and found a car park on waste ground behind the old Eastern Electricity building, lucky because a football match in the town meant the parking spaces where hard to find. 

And lucky too, because we could see that the walls are completely covered in text, an artwork no less! Commissioned by Sculpture for Norwich

And a very helpful parking attendant let us know that Moore's Utopia was written on the building by artist Rory Macbeth, and that the building is scheduled for demolition some time in the near future.
The reason for our visit was to see Turn the Page at the Forum. Turn the Page is an artists' book fair and exhibition, showing work by artists that are inspired by the conceptual and structural properties of the book form. In its fourth year, this book fair although small is perfectly formed, with a good selection of exhibitors, exhibits and the ongoing Norfolk Longbook project which invites submissions from artists and poets of all abilities.

Live music and stories provided by Two Coats Colder, an acoustic band from North Essex, who played beautiful new and traditional folk music. 

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Notes from BABE 2015

The hurly-burly of the weekend is over, and BABE is done and dusted once again. After what seems like a fairly long time to prepare, it felt like the weekend was over in an instant . . .

Checking my display,
and looking out, in the quiet time, before the doors open to the public.
(Is a Press the plural noun for a mass of book lovers?)
Perched behind a table for a couple of days is surprisingly tiring. Possibly because I spent a lot of time bobbing up and down like a demented cork, as I couldn't decide whether it appears more welcoming to sit or stand. 

And, to talk or not to talk! 

Working out which of your visitors wants to talk, and then keeping on topic, is not straightforward. And, I'm astonished by the more personal revelations visitors disclose. However, I guess that means my work has struck a chord, which must be a good thing . . . 

I think this may be specific to BABE - but I'd like to mention the terrific tea trolley and cool cake brought by lovely (tea) ladies Beryl and Violet, it do keep a girl going when she's alone on a stand, and is very much appreciated.
Back in the studio, books still in bags . . . ready to tidy away and organise myself for the next project. Allowing all the ideas that are invariably generated by a show to develop in my sketchbooks (to be filtered, distilled), always a favourite time. 

I'm anticipating getting some ink on my fingers!