The lure of artist books.

Don’t get too excited, this isn’t an all encompassing post about the history of and current practices of every artist book maker ever. Actually a happy trawl of the internet will reveal a fair few, and there are several very good books about too, available from a bookseller of your choice, obviously.

I have made five artist’s books so far, one a hanging book, and I’m just making my sixth. They are all quite large, and I want to make more books, but they must be smaller, due to storage and transportation problems; none of them would sit happily on a shelf, not without potential damage to the shelf, at least.

Trouble is, small isn’t me, but I have achieved an A3 sized book, so won’t make myself get smaller than that, just yet.

Last Saturday I went to Volume,  at the Library of Birmingham. This was an art, book and print fair, featuring a large amount work, some of a more esoteric nature, including zines, artist books, prints, cards and much interesting stuff. I really needed to spend all day there, and hope it happens again next year, if not sooner. I was attracted, not surprisingly, by one artist using  Khadi paper in his work, but also by the astonishing creativity of so many of the artists. I suspect sales weren’t buoyant, particularly at this time of year when people are spending their money on objects of a more tinselly, or electronic, nature.

I have plans to start a new book soon, and of course the fair has really made me impatient to try new ideas and formats too.



I seem to get out and about more in the winter, as it’s my quieter period work wise. I spent a lovely day in Worcester with a friend on Friday, having my annual look at the cathedral and enjoying the great range of small and independent shops there, and the lights and decorations, and of course the wonderful river and flocks of swans.

On Sunday it was another trip to a local National Trust property, before it closed for the winter. Packwood House has had a large new restaurant built, and there was a Christmas fair, where we were forced to buy some beer, and the house was decorated beautifully. I like to get my fill of Christmas before the day. Here is a view of the house from the gardens, which are quite spectacular in summer, but quietly beautiful in winter too.



Part of the topiary garden. I’d love to see it on a moonlit night.


I wish our garden was as tidy as their vegetable garden is; we have two nearby oak trees that empty themselves into our garden, so much leaf removal awaits.


A very chic auricula theatre, waiting for its auriculas.


Decoration and bird feeder making.


And a creepy decorated gourd.

I have nearly finished the pieces of From the Bright Sky, a largish piece I’m making for the Festival of Quilts next year. Below are a couple of the stitched and beaded pieces, and a close up of a third piece too. Next job will be to mount them on Khadi paper, and add some text, and then at some point to move some of my work along so we can actually use the table for Christmas lunch.




If you are very keen most of the images will appear larger should you wish to click on ’em.

4 thoughts on “The lure of artist books.

  1. I love the Christmas pudding gourd! It seems very funny to think of a winter Christmas, but then I suppose it is strange for you to think of a summer one. We are in Wellington staying with two of our daughters at the moment, and I have to admit that it is colder here than at home in Hastings…where 155 bales of hay have been produced and stored for winter feed. Our girls must be acclimatised to the weather down here because they are wearing short sleeved tops…or maybe they are only in them based on the supposed to be summer ideal? Unbelievable that a few hundred kilometres can have such a difference in temperature…from 27 at home to 20 here. Brrrrr.

    1. A summer Christmas would be strange but interesting. Some of our relatives who moved to Australia years ago were always talking about Christmas by the pool, and I quite like the sound of that, but the temperatures they had to endure at times seemed a bit too much!
      20 degrees is lovely, although it’s mild here at the moment at 9. We had snow and ice last year before Christmas and that was a pest for travel [ we can’t deal with snow here, it’s as if it’s never happened before every time it snows ] but was special in other ways, especially the giant icicles hanging from the houses, and people sledging on a daily basis.

  2. You would have loved the last week here then Bonnie. Gales, storms, so much rain you couldn’t describe it, followed by one still, cold, gloriously sunny day, then a real freeze for one night only, and back to ‘mild’ and gales and storms. No wonder we’re all loony here.
    Have a lovely Christmasx

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