Stories in the making
One of my most magical memories of Estonia is visiting a friend's home in the forest by a lake at midsummer. The first time I visited, Kalli's husband, Ove, was busy spinning honey because the beehive had just been trashed by a bear! I spent midsummer night around a bonfire as Kalli played the squeezebox, then everyone piled into the sauna to work up a sweat before jumping into the lake. On my second visit, I encountered a beaver on my morning swim. Kalli has shared her lake with a moose, and her forest is inhabited with lynx, wolves, deer, hare, martins, foxes and all manner of creatures. It is like a fairytale. How could I not make a book about Kalli's place?
Getting into inlays
One of my favourite ways to decorate the covers of my books is using the inlay technique, in which different binding cloths are collaged together to create an image. Each year, I need to make a new example to demonstrate the technique to my students. These are some of the covers I have accumulated over time. Now to just get on and fill them with content....
The birds serenade the Star Bride
This book references a scene in the Estonian classic, Kalevipoeg, in which the beautiful mortal, Salme, marries the Star Prince and returns with him to the clouds. Salme began life as a hen before transforming to a human while her sister, Linda, was hatched from an egg and can speak the language of birds.
In Transit (2018)
This long stitch book responds to the title and cover image of a vintage Estonian book to create a narrative of travelling through the clouds, perhaps between destinations, perhaps between earth and the heavens. The collage elements are taken from redundant encyclopaedias and used business envelopes.
Bay Series (2016)
This collection of stab bound books take their title and theme from the “Bay Series” envelope design, exploiting the interior pattern and inherent curved flap edges of the business envelope to suggest a series of waves. The books also draws on notions of surface mail, which traditionally sees letters and envelopes make their way across the oceans to their destinations.
Book of Clouds (2017)
The clouds made from business envelopes draw upon allusions to air mail, while the birds are the Darebin City logo, cut from rates notices and other council correspondence. They serve to locate the work in the artist’s home municipality.
Aeroplane window books, 2016
These stab bound books play on notions or airmail and surface mail featuring motifs from the skies or the seas. The 'window' books take advantage of the shifting translucence of business envelope windows as they are stacked on top of one another, mimicking the view from an aeroplane window as one travels through the clouds or the shifting opacity of the ocean. The clouds also allude to air mail, while the title alludes to differentiations between first and second class postal services, just as travellers are differentiated into first and economy class passengers.
Pushing the Business Envelope (2018)
This stab bound book teases out the idea of the business envelope, by creating a business suit incorporating vest, shirt and tie and singlet.
Into the (sky) blue (2016)
This little book uses the blue of business envelope interiors to create a sky populated with clouds and aeroplanes, inspired by the idea of air mail.
Corresponding with Von Humboldt (2017)
This post box shaped book follows the journey of a letter as it makes its way through various lands and landscapes to arrive in the letterbox of Von Humboldt, the male figure on the final page. The letter itself is the Candida logo, cut from business envelopes. The collage illustrations have been sourced from a redundant German encyclopaedia, located amongst clouds, landscapes and sea scapes made from business envelopes.
books in progress & artist statements
Find out the stories behind the books including selected documentation of books in progress