Book Swap: Something New

On June 17th a book made by Rachel reached me. We both participated in the swap at the book arts forum. I blogged about my contribution here.

The post bag
The post bag

On said Wednesday the delivery man from a foreign shipping company handed me a grey and red New Zealand Post bag (I always love to look at the foreign packaging, too). I was briefly amused by the notice that it’s forbidden to send prohibited items in this bag and then cut it open. Inside the padded envelope was a huge (10″ x 10″) thing that I – clever as I am – immediately identified as a book wrapped in more protective wrapping. Already unwrapping it was a tactile pleasure. It took me a while to get the plastics off and I could feel interesting bumps underneath my fingertips, getting ever more curious.

Coptic Bound by Rachel
Coptic Bound by Rachel

And when finally uncovered I found this Coptic bound book. As mentioned above the covers are 25cm x 25cm (10″ x 10″) Lego construction boards. Inside are estimated 160 pages from a white paper that feels thicker and heavier than my usual office paper. I can’t identify it as a specific paper, though. It is bound not with a thread but with a white narrow ribbon whose ends are left long and peep out of the book.

She wrote herself about her book here.

BEST swap and my book from Jellygnite

jellygnite 01

BEST stands for Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. It’s a group of etsy sellers that make handbound books. You can see our books that are currently for sale there if you search for the word “bookbindingteam“. We also have a team blog and other forms of joint presentation.

jellygnite 02

Once every two months we are having a swap between those member who like to enter. The photos in this post are from the beautiful book(s) that I received from Jellygnite this time. They/It came in a charming paper bag made from a book page. The accordion is a glossy ivory color and the painted pieces of paper on the booklets have a very vibrant color. And I love the snippets of fish, maps, insects, text and whatnot visible on the backsides of the inside pages.

jellygnite 04

jellygnite 03

New Books

Mini Dalmatiner

Ich  war nicht ganz untätig in der letzten Woche. Aber es ist noch viel zu tun – was Kunst und Handwerk anbelangt, und privat ist auch gerade eine Menge los (ein Familienfest nach dem anderen mit Besuch und was nicht zwischendurch). Deshalb fasse ich heute nur mal zusammen, was ich in der letzen Woche so gemacht habe.

While you were reading rather short posts during the last week, I was busy with making more books. My private life was also demanding that week and will be for at least another week: A confirmation, graduation and other festivities on the weekends and some visits in between. Therefore there is also still a lot left to be done (and another visitor will arrive tomorrow). So today I will just list what I did and made during the past days.

I started to write up how to do the colored headbands with which I experimented recently. I first wrote up how to do the plain two-colored version, enriched with photos taken during making this cute doggie mini book. The headbands look a bit overwhelming on the small version. *Sigh*, maybe I’ll shoot photos again with another book.

Zunächst einmal habe ich angefangen, aufzuschreiben (vor allem erstmal für mich selbst) wie die verschiedenen mehrfarbigen koptischen Kapitalbänder gemacht werden, mit denen ich letztens experimentiert habe. Zur Erklärung gibt’s Photos, die ich geschossen habe, während ich dieses Mini Buch mit Dalmatinernmit Kapitalbändern geschmückt habe. Aber um alles nochmal übersichtlicher zu machen, will ich vielleicht noch einige schematische Zeichnungen hinzufügen. Erste Versuche dazu hatten allerdings eher einen vernebelnden, als einen erhellenden Effekt. – Gute Skizzen sind da wirklich nicht so einfach zu machen!

Furthermore I continued a very old series with the following books. The series was and is called ‘chocolate book and soup volume’:
Suppenbuch

Ich habe außerdem mit diesen Mini Ritter Sport Büchern (10 habe ich jetzt, und damit reicht’s erstmal) und den Thai-Instant-Suppenbüchern oben die uralte Serie “Schokoladenheft und Suppenbuch” weitergeführt. Die Bücher oben gefallen mir jetzt doch ziemlich gut. Das sind die Buchblöcke, die ich noch von meinen ersten Versuchen mit selbstgestochenen Kapitalbändern hatte. Damals hatte ich mich geärgert, dass die Farbe von den Seiten abblättert. Ich habe das also durch ein bisschen Schmirgelpapier verstärkt: Nun sieht es ein wenig gleichmäßiger abgewetzt aus, und ich bin mir ziemlich sicher, dass nichts mehr weiter abblättert. Ritter Sport Mini - New Batch of 10

Außerdem habe ich angefangen, Photoalben zu machen. Das untern ist das erste, dass ich im Laufe des Tages auch auf Etsy einstellen will. Und nicht zuletzt habe ich in der letzten Woche sehr erfreuliche Post bekommen: 2 Bücher aus swaps (und einige für die ich bezahlt habe). Die werde ich aber in einem nächsten Eintrag vorstellen. Ich wünsche einen guten Start in die neue Woche!

And I also started to make photo albums. The one below will be the first I’ll also list on Etsy in the next hours. And last but not least: I received pleasant mail: 2 books that I got from different swaps. I’ll show them off in the next post. I wish you a pleasant start into the new week!

Blue Photoalbum with Dogs

Makeshift Tracing Table

makeshift tracing table
makeshift tracing table

Das ist mein neuestes provisorisches Werkzeug. Zwei der fünf Projekte, die ich gerade mache, erfordern zumindest teilweise ein Nachziehen und Abpausen von vorher Gezeichnetem. Als ich heute mal wieder immerzu mein Papier Richtung Fenster gehalten habe, habe ich also das hier gebaut.
Ich bin ganz stolz, dass ich dafür alle möglichen Dinge wiederverwende und fast alles auch anders gebraucht wird: Die Glasplatte benutzte ich auch beim Drucken und zum Leder schneiden, wenn ich Kleisterpapier mache oder Stoff mit Papier hinterklebe. Und die in Papier eingewickelten Steine benutze ich sonst als Beschwerer für gefaltete Lagen.

This is my newest makeshift tool – a tracing table.

The glass is one of two left over boards from a cupboard. I use it frequently when printing and/or cutting leather. Now I have found yet another use. The light bulbs and the sockets are ripped off a lamp that I wasn’t using anymore, and are fitted into a cardboard box in which I received my latest order from Talas.

The table is resting on bricks  that I got out of the trash where they tore down an old building:

brick
brick
bricks wrapped in construction paperbricks wrapped in construction paper



I cleaned it from most of the mortar, first with a hammer and then with some sand paper. Then I first wrapped it into Kraft paper (that’s supposed to keep the dirt inside and to cushion the remaining hubs and bumps) and then into the construction paper for a nicer look and feel.

Books

I am reading “The Century of Artists’ Books” by Johanna Drucker at the moment. Or rather I have been reading it for almost 4 months now and still I have not reached the 100th page yet. It’s not boring, but it’s a difficult read. And I don’t want to write about the book as a whole today anyway. Only on page 41 I found a paragraph that I really liked and want to share with you today. Don’t be scared by her first sentence – the meaning of what she says will become clearer in the following sentences:

bibel offen

The book after all is as essential in its many functional and vernacular aspects and as inspiring in its many serviceable forms and formats as it is in its more poetic evocations. The efficient density of the telephone book, for example, which provides a tactile and visual satisfaction through the thin quality of its paper, a paper which amounts in the bound form to a flexible dense object makes a striking contrast to the pleasures provided by a new notebook, its blank sheets full of promise and opportunity. In its familiar form the paperback novel, impressed with the tacky curve of an outrageously molded form, die-cut, foil stamped, and turning brittle on the same trip on which it is purchased announces its ephemerality without shame, eschewing all commitment from the very first, while the heavy pages of a traditional photo album absorb memory into their dense field and hold it safe, still, silent and waiting. The inexpensive dimestore diary is of another form altogether, making believe there is a life worth noting as a series of secrets whose value derives form the tiny key which locks them in nightly more than from the childish scribblings in which they are generally, briefly recorded; while the crossed and criss-crossed palimpsest of the pocket-sized address bock provides a whole history of a real life, though none of its narrative fullness. Every book is a metaphor, an object of associations and history, cultural meanings and production values, spiritual possibilities and poetic spaces, and all of these are a part of the field from which the artist’s book derives its identity, its shared connections and distinguishing features as a book whose realized forms and thematic intentions are only the most evident aspects of its totality as an idea.


Text cited from:

Johanna Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books, Granary Books, New York City