Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Page From My Book...

I have Lesley to thank, really...

It started with a discussion of William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement designer from the UK. He has always been one of my art/design heroes. His creative genius spanned art, illustration, textiles, furniture design, graphics design... A contemporary and friend of the Pre-Raphaelites, he is famous for his philosophy on art, and the place of it in everyday life. He respected the maker, the craftsperson, and sought to recognize them in the increasingly Industrial Age...
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris
Lesley was etching, and using some copyright free Morris images. I thought they were very exciting!  She had a vision and imagined them as book covers. Did I want to collaborate? Uh... is the sky blue?!?!!? She sent me a batch, some Morris designs, some others.
Raw images, etched on copper - William Morris images
I started with this small Day of the Dead skull image, saving the Morris images for now. As the image is close to the edges - I wanted to engineer a closure for the book that wouldn't encroach on the image. In this case its three coiled wires, inserted through the covers, and folded as staples to stay secure. ( Shows clearly on back of book, with text) The book, measuring 1.25" x 1.5" is bound with a Coptic stitch binding. It had been years since I tackled that stitch, but it comes back rather quickly with needle in hand.
Muertos book: "Love is stronger than death"
For the etched hare (well, it is a Hare themed month!) I sawed and riveted an additional piece of copper to the cover. This will form the closure. If these small books are going to be worn... I wanted them to close securely.

Here is the hare book assembled! It has leather "endpapers" that also fold around the text block to create a leather hasp for the closure. There is a toothpick in place now - I plan to fabricate a decorative pin - copper? polymer? and attach it via a small chain. I have left the tails of the waxed linen here, perhaps for an embellishment.
I think my first foray into miniature book binding was a success. I can see myself wearing one of these; would you? I look forward to more mixed media books, and would love to create one with images and text inside... Think that will fill the sketchbook the next few days...

I would love to hear your thoughts on these new test pieces!

And less you forget: the theme this month is hares. I am glazing these as we speak, and will post them next week!  Have a great week, until next time... 


  1. Those books are awesome! SUCH a cool project!

  2. Fabulous work Jenny! So great to see this idea come to fruition and I'm totally inspired now.

  3. Beautiful little cool books! The ways that you constructed them and made closures are fabulous. You done good!

  4. I would definitely wear one of these. I love everything about them!

  5. I love those miniature books, they're fantastic!

  6. I love the miniature books. I think they would make wonderful jewellery components.

  7. Very clever! I adore everything about these! Looking forward to seeing more.


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