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January 29, 2010


Lovely! I used to do quite a lot of bookbinding and bookmaking... I found it a great combination of precision, craft, and creativity. Coptic was always my favorite, but this seems like a neat technique.

I've never done exactly this type of work. Fascinating. It looks to me that it would be very satisfying to perform.

Very cool, Beth.

Love this! Yum yum!

This is lovely. And I give you a lot of credit for taking the time to do this again--it certainly makes a difference that it was made by your own hand. One of those things that makes you feel so good at the end of the day. Might be a good spot for your haikus...

Looks beautiful ... and how satisfying it must have been to do this!


Coincidentally (and in a different part of that same forest) I spent five hours yesterday evening and will spend all day at a workshop/teaching by a trainer in the Progoff Intensive Journal method. We work in silence, entering our lives quietly and then noting down different kinds of content (live events, images of various periods, dialogues with individuals and events and works). I can imagine you having a dialogue with this binding work. The man seated next to me, when I said I was a writer, said "so I guess this is easy for you," and as I have told other people before, I told him... that the writing might be easy but what's hard is to read what one has written. To really absorb what it means and says. Today we will be the same fifty or sixty people in the same big high ceilinged and possibly still frigid room. No one was writing on computers, each two of us was given a big stack of three-ring lined paper. (Today I am going to take some punched unlined paper and a few coloured pencils, just in case). And a lap robe, ditto. But I digress. I love the little blue squares that illuminate the painting on the cover of your journal. I wonder whether you are framing each year (or whatever time the journal covers) in a painted image of how that period feels to you now?

Beautiful handiwork, Beth. Very impressive!

Gorgeous, Beth! It's quite meditative work, isn't it, especially if you are already skilled as you seem to be. Another skill I've often wished to learn so I can't help thinking I wish I could have been next to you as you made this!

Beautiful, Beth. Simply beautiful.

Oh, this is just gorgeous - the color is just the thing needed in the heart of winter!

So beautiful, Beth! What a joy it must be to make.

I've tried the secret Belgian once, it was fun. I should try it again. Your painting (paste paper?) is beautiful and sings of springtime!

Pica, thanks. Actually the paper is painted with acrylics. In the building-up of the layers I use stamps that I've make out of various materials - white eraser substrate, inner-tubes glued to cardboard, lino blocks, wood - that's the part that looks like paste paper. And there's a lot of messing around with the acrylic while it's still wet - scratching through, removing glazes, etc. The one I'm working on now has calligraphy "embedded" in it. Thomas Ingmire, Denis Brown, Arie Trum were the calligraphers who inspired me -- quite a while ago now -- and I'm excited to take off from there now and go in my own direction!

Thanks, everyone, for the positive comments!

What a gorgeous object Beth. Bookbinding to me is a little bit like alchemy. While I know the ingredients I can't figure out how they can result in something corporeal, useful and beautiful too. (Except in alchemy of course they don't, unless someone has finally figure a way to conjure gold, which I suspect they haven't!) Lovely too to see the stages of work. And that green is an eye-catcher. Fantastic!!! Well done!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.