Monday, 22 April 2013


I posted about DEATHMASK when I was working on it back in January and again when it was a finalist in the 2013 Manly Artist Book Awards without, I now realise, actually giving any details of the piece. It's a concertina binding with Geltex covered boards and gros grain ribbon hinges that features multiple images of the death mask of Ned Kelly.  There's something about the apparent serenity Kelly has reached in death that appealed to me when I found a bunch of postcards of the death mask a couple of years ago. The work arrived back from the Manly exhibition last week and has now been posted off to Artspace Mackay where it will be a finalist in this year's Libris Awards.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Bind Date 2

Instructions for the the second of my Bind Challenge tasks arrived a few days ago. The task is to select a song that defined GOOD from a list of the top 100 singles released during the year in which I turned 21 and use this as the starting point for a book/object for the first of my four compartments. The song I've settled on is Riders on the Storm by The Doors. I still feel good every time I hear it. It brings back memories of an exciting time in my life, a time in which we all felt like riders on the storm. Not much else settled yet but I have been having fun with a bit of digital manipulation of a photograph of Jim Morrison, taken shortly before his death in July 1971.

Thursday, 11 April 2013


I'm signed up to do a four day refresher course on French traditional laced-in (Franzband) bindings in a couple of weeks and, in preparation for the workshop, have needed to source and pull a commercially published book - something I've not done for a while. The book's technical details (size, number and thickness of sections, margin widths, paper grain direction etc) were important but nothing out of the ordinary for any publisher for whom getting the technical criteria right was as important as content and graphic design. That it's proved extremely difficult to find a book that met my specification is, for me, a reflection on the extent to which commercial pressures continue to contribute to the decline in quality of published works. Nothing surprising here of course but nonetheless disappointing.