Sunday, 31 March 2013

Bind Date

New week, new project!
The Bind Challenge has been set by Canberra-based book artist and printmaker Lee Bratt. Designed to be completed in five parts, it is a challenge about opposites, about starting at the end and working backwards. The first part of the challenge has been to make a container with four compartments, which I've now done (left). Instructions for the second part of the challenge (which I'm assuming will be to make something to fit in one (or more) of the compartments) will arrive in a couple of weeks. The project is certainly a change from my usual way of working in which most, if not all, of the details are resolved in my mind before I begin and I can't help wondering if I'm going to come horribly unstuck along the way.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Manly Library Artist Book Collection

A couple of years ago, the Manly Library quietly began building a small collection of artist books.  Works are added to the collection through a biennial acquisitive Artists Book Award, donations and occasional purchases outside the award program. A changing selection of works from the collection is on display at the library and the entire  collection can be viewed online.
Despite its short life, the Award has acquired a certain prestige and attracts entries from established Australian and international book artists as well as from young and aspiring practitioners. The 2013 Award was judged by Noreen Grahame (Director of the Centre for the Artist Book) and Monica Oppen (writer, printmaker, photographer and bookbinder) and I was thrilled to have one of my recent works, DEATHMASK (above), included in the Award exhibition.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Affordable Bookbinding Equipment

For years I’ve struggled with traditional tapered backing boards, never having enough hands to hold the boards and book block steady while I accurately positioned them in the backing press and tightened its screws. I recently resolved to do something about this and searched online for a set of lipped straight boards that I hoped would make aligning the boards just that much easier. After a bit of effort, I happened upon Jim Poelstra – a Californian cabinetmaker who runs Affordable Bookbinding Equipment as a sideline to his regular business as a cabinetmaker. His website is a delight. It includes short videos that demonstrate how to use his equipment and is worth visiting even if you’re not in the market for anything at the moment. I particularly liked Jim’s small plough (held in the palm of one hand) and a simple nipping press that converts to a sewing frame. I finished up ordering a set of backing boards and they arrived within a few days. Well made, good value for money and they work.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Back in the bindery

It's been a long time between posts. Somehow January's good intentions dissolved in a mid-summer heatwave that was followed by an invasion of more than twenty house guests over a two week period.
Since then I've been travelling in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia but have now returned with a brain bulging with ideas for new projects and a suitcase bulging with materials that I intend to use in some of these projects. First up will hopefully be a work incorporating some images of socialist posters collected during my travels, including (above) Determined to harvest a great Winter-Spring crop, Militia women exterminate the USAF. Watch this space!