On Saturday, Lola, Karen, Chris and Gwen all enjoyed a fabulous paper making workshop with paper maker and book artist Mandy Brennan (http://www.mandybrannan.co.uk/). Mandy creates bespoke papers for printmakers and artists. Her book art focusses on "creating a structural visual language that explores personal experiences while situated in specific enviroments". She brought some of her work along; her hand made papers are exquisite and her architectural books were very interesting.
With the use of a blender we made pulp from cotton and sisal fibres. Throughout the day we explored embossing, colour and adding materials to the pulp. Mandy was on hand providing expert guidance, refining our skills and knowledge. We were truly amazed at how fine we could make the paper. For most of us, our previous experience of making paper was fairly "crude," with unstable outcomes. On this occaision though we were all delighted with our results - especially knowing these results can be achieved with very little equipment most of which is easily found in the home such as old towels, J cloths, and drawing boards.
The day passed all to quickly,- teas and coffees went cold as everyone was so engrossed in thier work!
We all went home with a stack of beatuiful handmade paper, and busy minds deliberating our next step.
Once home, the way to create a wonderful smooth surface on the paper is to place them on a window, gently roller them, and leave to dry!
The Workshop took place on Saturday 16th March. The day passed very quickly.We all enjoyed the day, and judging from the comments left, the participants also enjoyed themselves.
We covered three basic structures, then created a final book in which all the techniques could be combined. It was great to observe people, heads down and engrossed in the process of making their own books.
By the end of the day some adventurous participants were already adapting and considering new combinations, adding their own personal touches to the structures. This kind of exchange is both stimulating and inspiring to us all.
From the feedback at the end of the day people said they had gained enough knowledge to confidently have a go at their own projects.
A selection of your comments :
"Really enjoyable, with nice results I don't mind showing my family! Nice to have the instructions to take home - ingenious to put them on the first book we made! Would recomend this course - it doesn't need expensive equipment either. Thank you!"
"Good morning. Very enjoyable easy going class tutors. Very interesting ideas. Thank you."
"I have never tried anything like this before and enjoyed every moment"
"Enjoyed this course.'Bookbinding' was misleading as I expected more stitched techniques but this was not a disappiontment. I enjoyed looking at the finished books as these were inspirational"
"Really fun. Definitely excited for the next course and attempting more"
Faye and Nic
" Really interesting. Just right for beginners Four books in 3 hours great!"
"Reasonably simple techiniques which produced a variety of interesting results although I am not very artisitic but I manged to produce 4 books! Amazing!"
"I am so glad my friend Sallyann persuaded me to come, really enjoyable, quite addictive"
"Thouroughly enjoyable. It's given me lots of ideas for my art work and poetry"
" I was so pleased I came - a little anxious in the beginning when I felt it was slightly fast. It made me thoughtful about how I could use this in my own work. It was basic enough to be able to think laterally about how you could use it- so it was obivously stimulating to me at a deeper level. Thanks so much"
We are grateful for all your comments, which will be used to guide us in any future workshops,- we will certainly pay close attention when describing the title and content of the course. In hindsight "Bookmaking" rather than bookbinding may have been a more appropriate title.Thank you Sandie for this comment.
Janet Bradley Under One Moon 2012
Margaret Cooter, Reading Rooms for Al-Mutanabbi Street, 2012
To mark anniversary of the bombing of Al- Mutanabbi Street a poetry reading will take place at the Iraqi Centre, London. A selection of artists books will also be on show.
The Guardian Newspaper has just published a thoughtful and supportive article about the John Rylands Exhibit, and the project in general.
the full article can be found at
The exhibition An Inventory of al-Mutanbbi Street - Building with Books, is at Manchester until 29 July, Books will continue to be added until eventually 260 artists books will be on show. It will then move on to San Francisco and New York later in the year, then to Swizterland, Canada, Eygpt, and eventually Baghdad.
Sarah Bodman told Martin Wainright (Guardian) "one set wll go to the national library in Baghdad within the next few years but we have no idea when the international tour by the others will finish. Probably never. Because this attack, part of a long history of attacking the printed word, was an attack on us all"
A large selection of books can be viewed at www,bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/mainmut12/gallery3.htm
Gwen Simpson Smell the Coffee
Karen Apps A Nation will fall into ruin if its people do not read books. 2012
Chris Ruston Pages of Time. 2012
If you get the chance there is an exhibition in Colchester which is part of the 2013 Essex Book Festival - it includes the work of MA students past and present and the details are as follows:
Two beautiful books by Miranda Campbell.
You can see more on her website here
Keep out (detail)
Stretch your boundaries
There are still a couple of places left for the workshop on Saturday16th March at Hadleigh Old Fire Station, Hadleigh.
You will learn several simple structures both folded and sewn.. (a few blank examples are shown below) You will also see how these can be adapted and combined to suit your own ideas. The workshop is suitable for beginners and there will be plenty of support on hand. Materials are provided.
For more information please email Lola at firstname.lastname@example.org
turn the page artists book fair 2013
'turn the page' returns in spectacular form to the stunning glass atrium of
the 'Forum' in Norwich city centre
Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th May 2013
A showcase of 50 of the most innovative book artists from the UK and abroad
a must see event that is FREE to visit
turn a page or two at this unique, inspiring, wonderful world of artists books.
Books............. but not as you know them, Ltd editions, sculptural books, altered books, multiples, book art installations
all this will be on display to browse, wonder at and buy...
We have an exciting programme of events including Poetry Readings, Demonstrations, Storytelling, Drop-in Workshops and the fabulous 1950's French Citreon van 'Dolores' which has been beautifully converted into a mobile artists library by book artist Lucy-May Schofield
...and we are very proud to announce that ttp2013 will be part of the
Writers Centre Norwich 'Summer Reads' program
'turn the page artists book fair'
have also organised events and displays in the beautiful interactive space of The Millenium Library,
PLUS the first ever appearance of the Norfolk Longbook - a community project for people who live in or are inspired by our beautiful county
Exhibitors @ turn the page 2013
michael abrahams karen apps les bicknell bookartbookshop glyn brewerton janet bradley margaret cooter richard berry lucy baxandall amaranth borsuk threefold miranda campbell gloria ceballos nicola dale rebecca dawsonannette disslin jeremy dixon theresa easton joseph field jen fox chris gibsonjoanna holden david howe jo howe heather hunter kalopsia collective orson kartt andrew law gemma lacey jean mould-hart susan mackervoy kate marsdenstef mitchell karen reilly tjasa rener chris ruston pyramid atlantic rosie sherwoodcatherine laura ward jacqueline thomas debra thompson carolyn trant emma lloyd
Student groups from NUA and Camberwell MA book arts
For more information go to http://turnthepage.org.u_k/index.htm
photo: 'an object of my own making' Karen Apps
St Brides held a workshop using the Adana Press on Saturday 2nd March. Lola and Gwen both attended, and report having had a great day.
The St Brides Foundation was opened in 1895 as a social, educational and cultural centre. It housed both a technical library and printing school, providing tution for local printers and students. St Bride Foundation aims to keep the tradition and heritage of printing alive through a diverse selection of workshops, lectures and conferences. They are situated in Bride Lane, a small street leading off Fleet Street, London. For a full list of events visit printworkshop.stbride.org/
The course took Gwen and Lola through a brief history of the Adana Press, how to set up, and use the press, followed by an opportunity to print from their extensive collection of antique blocks.
The course was run by friendly knowledgable staff who helped create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Aside from the chance to do some printing, infomation was shared regarding the British Printing Society. They regularly hold open days through out the year. More infomation can be found at http://www.bpsnet.org.uk. It is worth looking at the site, particuarly if you are interested in finding secondhand letterpress equipment and printing papers.
Finally some print related trivia!
Did you know: "getting the wrong end of the stick" derives from the compositers stick where the printer lays out a line of type back to front?
While "mind your P's and Q's" comes from these two letters being easily muddled when laying out type/ Lastly the expression "out of sorts" comes from running out of a certain type face and having to get more!
Following an invitation from Andy Ward (Essex Arts Coordinator) Artbookart were pleased to attend todays launch of the Essex Book Festival at Chelmsford library.The festival is organised by Belinda Farrell and events are taking place throughout March. Visit www.essexbookfestival.org.uk for full details.
Artbookart featured a selection of works; Lola Swain presented her traditional hand marbled/stitched journals alongside her Monarch book. Utilising her skills as a potter, beatuiful clay tiles form the cover of this book, enclosing a poem about the butterfly.
Another artist, Louise Swain, also draws inspiration from nature with her own version of a butterfly book where the butterflies emerge and float above the pages. Louise also presented several delicately hand drawn works.
Combining the traditional with her passion to re-use objects Gwen Simpson creates coptic stitched books. These include one, made from coffee filters, which is her response to the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi street. Another is made from various papers, ranging from personal notes to the everyday papers we accumulate: '365' has a page for each day of the year.
In contrast, Karen Apps work has a sculptural quality. Peer closer and you notice the delicate pair of child shoes is infact made from the pages of a 1968 'Bunty' annual. Her altered books generate conversation, challenging our ideas of making our own 'mark' on a book. Taking old books, she breathes life into the neglected stories of our childhood.
Different yet again, Chris Ruston's painted books recall wide open landscapes, whether the frozen Artic or explosive volcanoes. Her work explores the duel nature of these extreme enviroments, giving an almost organic feel to her books.
We are grateful to all those who took time to view the work, and engage in stimulating conversations. The atmosphere was lively. It was a pleasure to meet familiar faces, and to make new aquantances.
Dianne Taylor took time to inform us of her role in the Conservation studio at the Essex Record Office, keeping alive all those traditional bookbinding skills, while Joanne Thain, from Strawberryrose Studios kindly photographed the occasion.
Don't forget to get involved and check out all the other events at the Essex Book Festival site. An exhibition of Photographs of our work will remain on display throughout March.
We are a small group of contemporary artists in Essex (UK) who share a passion for art and books.