Sunday, April 30, 2006

Val gets crafty

I have never been good at arts and crafts, but I have long wanted to do the weekend course on "simple oriental bookbinding" offered by the Council of Adult Education. The inclusion of the word "simple" gave me a bit of hope that I'd at least be able to make some of the books.

Well, it was the most fabulous class: lovely people, great teacher, and I was actually able to produce beautiful books over the two days. I can't wait to visit the specialty paper shops that import the most exquisite paper from Japan and elsewhere. Apparently I'll have to take out a loan to afford them, but I actually already have a supply of oriental handmade paper. A few years ago when the Man Who Cooks was still travelling to Asia, he bought large sheets of handmade paper to cover parts of the walls in our studies. We wound up using shojii blinds instead, and just stored the paper and forgot about it. Turns out that stuff is a mini goldmine for bookbinding. I can see a new obsession coming up. Hope I'll remember to blog now and then.

Tortoise shell sewn binding



Embossed paper, accordion book (see photo in next row)






















Two signature ledger book with origami figure

12 comments:

Lucy Tartan said...

Beautiful work, Val. I really like the accordion book.

Alice said...

They look lovely, Val - but I have to confess that I don't know what you do with them. Please can you enlighten me? I know they're the covers you made, but if you were a bookbinder by profession, what would you actually do?

Val said...

I made a few little books when I was at Library School (in the sixites, God I am old!) and as a treat they sent us to do bookbinding at a nearby college that still had a bookbinder in situ. But they were plain things compared to your glories. Wonderful Val. Stunning!

Takoma Gardener said...

This is off-topic but I can't find your email address.
I haven't forgotten that you've asked me two questions I haven't answered yet - the size of my garden, which I'll measure soon - it's on my list of things to do - and how to reduce the size of the euphorbia so it doesn't flop. That's a puzzle to me, too and I'll let you know when I get an answer from someone. susan

Meow said...

Hey, Val ... they are gorgeous. Those CAE classes are great, although I find them a bit pricey. Are they still held in the city ??
What and interesting craft ... haven't tried this one, maybe I need to !!
Take care, meow

Val said...

Meow, the CAE classes are mainly held in Melbourne, but ours was held in East Melbourne in the Olga Cohn Centre. I thought the $220 dollars for 2 days (10-4) plus $30 for materials was worth the skills acquired plus the fact that we all went home with 7 completed books (well, some stitching still to do on one). I'm quite prepared to spend that amount again on the book box making workshop coming up in August. However, that will be the extent of classes for my arts and crafts career, I think!

Lucy, I happend to pick out the most expensive paper to cover the accordian book with, plus I was lucky enough to get the text pages with a watermark on it (apparently that makes it more valuable). I think I'll just display it as is: it looks too perfect and I wouldn't want to spoil it! The embossed paper really looks and feels like reptile skin. Amazing stuff.

Val, we used to have a bindery in the library. That was phased out years ago, unfortunately. I could have picked up some tips.

Wendy A said...

Val those are beautiful. They would make nice personal phone books which I happen to be needing at the moment. I would certainly buy one of yours. I love the papaer.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Val, those are just lovely. I'm afraid if I made them I couldn't part with them...Of course, unless I made a lot of them and made it my hobby.

Sonia said...

Val, those are just gorgeous! Well done!

Val said...

Gah. the Man Who Cooks picked up my typo (accordion, not accordian). I've corrected it in the post but will leave the comment otherwise I lose the comment altogether.

Kerri said...

Beautiful work Val. Looks like an interesting hobby. I'm glad you enjoyed the classes so much. Such pretty papers!

Ampersand Duck said...

Hooray! I'm glad the classes worked out so well. See what I mean? A little bit of tuition and now you can fly out on your own. Happy making!