simple leather kit 01 kleiner
A simple binding kit by H. Kurzke

It has been long since I wrote the last blogpost and a lot of things have piled up. Of course the longer I postponed writing, and the longer my list of topics to blog about grew, the more likely it got that the task was pushed to the end of my ever growing to-do lists.

To break free of the dilemma, I decided to give you just brief summaries and bulletpoints instead of giving full reports and posts to each item. If you are interested to hear more about a topic, let me know. I’ll be pleased. And maybe (maybe!) I will indeed write more about it later 🙂

  • As mentioned in a longish post (towards the end) I made 5 testing kits for a company to decide whether they want to produce the kits. I had a lot of thoughts about whether I would want to do that in the first place. Then decided to have a go. But after fighting for several weeks to either get paid or the kits returned, they finally returned them (phew, I actually already contacted the lawyer in our family to get some legal advice and was prepared to go the next steps). To my surprise they had not even opened the box. In 8 weeks. Their interest can’t have been too keen. Well, since then I changed the instructions that go with it ever so slightly (so that this company’s name no longer is part of it), and re-did it so that it is now printed in this A5 sattle stitched version. Currently the instructions are only available in German. A photo of the finished book can be seen above.
    I am undecided whether I want to continue this kind of kit. If I do, I will also include English instructions. For now I am selling just these first kits in my Etsy-Shop.
Erased, artist book by H. Kurzke and Zoran Vodakovic
Erased, poem by H. Kurzke, binding by Zoran Vidakovic
  • Last year I was lucky to be invited to a joint project with Zoran: I sent him two copies of the poem, he bound a first copy which he exhibited as part of his travelling, collaborative show of books. He made another copy for me to keep which has reached me by now. – I really should make some photos, above you see one that he send me before sending the actual book.
Leather Binding Kit - No. 16
Leather Binding Kit by H. Kurzke
lbk fail 01 kleiner
Leather binding kit – failed experiment
  •  You probably know that I have this other series of leather binding kits that I sell. It is much more high end, and somewhere on the division line between a finished journal and a kit. I actually prefer to call it journal in single signatures, rather than a real kit. Each cover is handmade one of a kind with a lot of attention to detail. I made a couple more of them before Christmas (currently working on some more) but didn’t manage to get them photographed until a couple of days ago. On one of them, which is not for sale for reasons that will become obvious in a minute, I experimented with a magnetic closure. It looks nice and kind of sleak as magnatic closures usually do (it always feels like magic to me, using a book with a magnatic lock). But when I photographed the inside lining, I noticed a round brownish speck, and a closer inspection showed that indeed this was rust. Grrr! Fail. That’s how things go. On to a different method.
lbk fail 02 kleiner
Leather binding kit – failed experiment
  • I enlisted in a 6-week long print workshop. Very much looking forward to learning many different printing techniques in a professional setting, will start in April.
  • Bought a lot of books
  • Finished another draft of 346, like it was meant to be printed on the postcards that were meant to go into a box which would then make my first non-handmade artist book. Not sure what to think of it at this stage. I just feel so close to my heart that it is hard to judge. I gave it to read to M. who said he found it interesting and engaging – but then, he is not neutral at all either. I still have some things I would like to work on, and we both agreed that the format does not really suit the form, and some things that I thought central just don’t work. So I am back at the drafting table but at least with some clearer ideas about the project – but now with new bucket full of doubts.
  • Ordered and just got delivered some beautiful new fabrics. Oh, I really would like to make some new books with them. Who knows, maybe I might 🙂
  • Working on Coptic Headbands 3.2 (digital version) that then can get sold via Etsy’s Direct Download. Other than first announced, the Simple Coptic Binding Ebook is still available because Etsy accepted responsibility for the VAT for their direct downloads. The Coptic Headbands is too large at its current state to be included, but I could break it up to up to 5 pieces which then easily should suffice their size limits. Working on that.
  • Working on Coptic Headbands 4 (print version). too.
  • Updated my Homepage. Doesn’t look much shinier than before. This is kind of frustrating: I am proud that I am able to open a text editor and write a page like that. But then, this is really old fashioned and after all the time I put into it, it doesn’t have this “ah, beautiful!” look that it ought to have after putting in so much effort. I really ought to go with a CMS…

I guess that’s it for now. Have a nice and pleasant weekend!

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