The blog writing has taken a bit of a back seat over the last few weeks, not through choice, rather necessity as I have been so busy with other things. I now have such a build up of photographs and things to write about I don’t know where to start!
Early in July I celebrated my first birthday in France. George bought me an excellent juicer which we have been utilising a lot. We have been going around the (extended) garden inspecting what else we might be able to put through it. We’ve found grapes, lemons, figs, greengages, blackberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, and even a single peach! The first test of the machine was a watermelon and strawberry medley (sadly not from the garden), it produced absolutely delicious juice and it was rather appropriate that one of my other birthday presents was some wonderful watermelon bunting! It was a very fitting way to celebrate our first produce.
The pear and mint also went down a treat…
Later in July I made a trip back to London for the wedding of some friends of mine. For our wedding the year before, I commissioned an ex-colleague at the V&A to knit some figures of George and I to sit on top of our wedding cake. They were greatly admired, especially so by Beatrice, whose wedding I was going back to London for, that I thought this would make a perfect present for her and her now husband Lee. With the inside knowledge of Beatrice’s sister, I was able to find out details of the wedding outfits in advance. The dolls were knitted and posted to me, and all I had to do was add the features and final details…
…including mini silver strappy sandals!.
I had set myself the trip back as a deadline for getting two commission bindings finished so that I could hand-deliver them to my clients. This also meant that I didn’t have to worry about their safety in the hands of the postal system. I planned my trip back with military detail to fit in as much as possible, including taking the opportunity to go down to Brighton for a few hours to show the completed bindings to one of my bookbinding mentors.
I also got a chance to see the Designer Bookbinders InsideOUT exhibition at St Bride for the first time, I especially enjoyed it as I have been posting up the weekly images onto the DB Facebook page but had not seen the bindings in person.
By coincidence, the two bindings commissions I had finished were of texts that featured in the exhibition and I will be doing a separate blog post on each of these bindings in the weeks to come. The first of which was a copy of ‘Britten’s Aldeburgh’ by The Whittington Press.
The second of which was a binding of the, ‘Mayflies of the Driftless Region’ by Midnight Paper Sales.
For this binding, I have also been busy working on an article for the next publication of The Society of Bookbinders, ‘Bookbinder’, on the methods of embroidering onto leather for bookbinding. Over the last few weeks I have been taking hundreds of photos, piecing these together with the text and trying to make sense of my methods! This is now in the editing stages and will be published at the start of 2015.
Alongside that, I have also been drafting up an article for ‘Living Woods’ magazine, on another binding I am working on, ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’. I am nearing completion with this binding now, in fact my deadline is a week today as it is getting whisked back to London by some family members who are visiting this week coming! I have spent a sweltering few hours inside my studio this week doing the gold tooling work on the binding, and I am very pleased to say that the book is now complete, but I am still to finish the box and photograph it.
Finally on the bookbinding front, I have also been working on the design and sample board for my next commission. This board is the thirty second I have worked on, and although a small number of the sample boards have not yet been made into actual bindings, that number is not far off the fine bindings I have made to date.
The deadline for this binding is the beginning of September so no rest for me between now and then!