Covers and Content

Bookbinding, writings, general creativity

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Exhibition(ist) books

I just realised that I never showed you the books I made for our college’s exhibition this spring (the one that I made the paper flowers for).

The exhibition was called Nakenchock, one of those made-up-for-headlines words, translating as Naked chock (I don’t know what the headline word would be in English). I made two books for it.

With the first book, I interpreted the title literally. I made a book where the cover could be flipped back to reveal the spine. I stitched it using coptic stitch (I think) and let the chain stitching be like embroidery on the spine. So the picture of the naked woman is made just by placing the holes of the stitching right.

But we also talked about other interpretations of the theme. Nakedness in a more metaphorical sense, showing yourself as you really are. I got the picture in my head of how I tore myself open (just metaphorically, okay) and let all feelings and thoughts show, turning myself inside out. When translated into book form, it became a book where the pages consisted of traditional cover materials – leather and marbled paper – and the boards were covered with printed excerpts from my diary. I printed it in 4 points or something so that it would still look like text, but would be really hard to read. Even so, the secrets were old by then and wouldn’t make sense to anyone that weren’t there at the time, and since none of them lived in Leksand and would see the book, I felt pretty safe about exhibiting it.

Cake! More cake!

So, these are the cakes my friend and I made for our housewarming party last weekend:

Rainbow cake with small marshmallows.

“Fancycake” invented by me: Sponge cake covered with saffron meringue covered with white chocolate truffle covered with dark chocolate and decorated with gold leaf just because I could. My mother’s a vegan, so I made her a fruit salad, but I knew she’d be disappointed if she didn’t get a chance to eat gold, so I put some on top.

Carrot cake with lime and ginger frosting and small marzipan carrots.

Then my flatmate panicked because she thought we wouldn’t have enough cake, and made an apple cake and two kinds of biscuits. It was a nice party.

I am not what I make

As a bookbinder and as a creative person in general, I identify very much with the things I make. They are what gives me my sense of self-worth. In some ways, this is very useful. When the anxiety starts creeping closer, I can usually drive it off by creating something, anything. Writing a poem, sketching a dress, knitting or needlebinding something, anything that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

But it’s an advantage that comes with a rather too high price. As my sense of self is connected to the things that I make, I feel bad as a handicrafter and as a person when I see someone making better books (or any else of “my” crafts) than me. I nearly started crying when the cake I made  for a party yesterday got burned. I didn’t, but not because I realised that it would be a silly and not very productive thing to do, but because the cake turned out awesome in the end. Which was… good, of course, but I really need to start telling myself (and listening to it) : I am not what I make.

Just talking here

Okay, so something really great might have happened/be happening. I don’t want to write about it on facebook or talk to my friends at home yet, because it feels like that might jinx it, but I had to write about it somewhere.

I’m moving together with a friend this week. We’ve got an apartment in a part of outer Stockholm where neither of us have really been before. This morning, as we were moving some of her stuff here, she told me that the ugly orange building we pass on our way from the train is in fact a bindery. So that’s already sort of really awesome, and I definitely have to look for work there.

Remember I talked about the bindery I worked at four years ago, the one that got closed this year, where one of my father’s friends worked? Well, I talked to my father today, and he told me that this bindery actually bought one of their machines, and are thinking about hiring my father’s friend. One guy that I sort-of-know from the closed bindery already works there.

So, without knowing it I have moved withing five minutes to a bindery where I already have a small opening for conversation and possibility of getting work. This is so good it’s scary. Now I have to pretend to have good self-confidence, so I can go there (possibly bringing chocolate) and make them like me…

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