Saturday, August 14, 2010

'I think therefore.... I bind'

Back in June I began a project to bind another colourful loooooong book - this time created from an entire (15 volume) set of childcraft annuals....

and yesterday I finished all 2.7m (or 8ft 10 inches) of it....

(this is not the best piccie.... but at least it gives you a bit of an idea of its length...)

This is the third, and now longest, of these 'serpent books' that I've completed since last winter (here's where you can read more about the construction of the first and second 'serpent book') - this one is also the most colourful in the bunch....

and like the others, it can be arranged in a variety of ways... as a loooooooong book, or a spiral, circle, figure-of-eight, free-form or something in between....

(I like to drape them over my shoulders, like a boa constrictor,
to move them from one place to another.....
they are very fluid creatures and rather heavy!)

and of course like the others, this one took a loooooong time to complete - but I found the process of binding all of these both relaxing and meditative.... and while I was binding, something else was going on.....

Over the past few months I've been neck-deep in heavy-duty reading and writing as part of my Higher Degree Research (MFA/PhD) project.... (this past week I submitted the draft plan of my exegesis..... eeeek). I'm one of those people who needs a fair amount of time to digest written material - especially the heavy-duty philosophical stuff I've been TRYING to wade through lately (Pragmatism, Neo-Pragmatism, Pragmatic Zen and their ramifications for arts practice... for those who like to know this sort of stuff.....)


I find I often need to take a break - to take a walk or work in the garden to help work out the meaning of texts (or more importantly, the ramifications of various texts to my research project and art-making). I've also discovered, that binding these long books (an activity most would describe as kraaaazy, obsessive making) does the same thing ---- somehow all the 'metaphysical' this and 'existential' that from the heavy-duty texts start to work their way into my understanding (just please don't ask me to explain any of it!).

So from here on, when I have something to work out I'm going to go for a walk, or work in the garden, or BIND SOMETHING.....

(and the way my reading/writing/research is going, I'll either end up hellishly fit, with a weed-free garden, or the lady with the largest collection of strange looooooong books this side of sams creek!)



  1. All I can say is "bloody hell!" What an amazing effort! I don't know where you get your energy.

  2. well done on getting to the end of both this ridiculously long coptic and your essay thingee for your phd. no wonder you don't want to come into the factory at the moment. you put me to shame...i'm just glad they didn't have ritalin when you were a kid!!! what we would be missing out on. well done again!

  3. Ronnie - such beautiful and consistent binding - the stitching is really wonderful. I think interacting with handstitched/made books is one of the best parts - they invite you to play! Congratulations on your meditation.

  4. Well, Amanda & Ida said it all! Great photos, especially the one you said wasn't a good piccie - such a loooong book, and you can do such arty &/or funny things with it. It's hilarious and beautiful at the same time. What an achievement!

  5. Wow! I do love the fact that you're very open about all the "heavy duty stuff" taking a long time to sink in; I know what you mean!!! I'd read a paragraph and then have to go and do something before I could face the next one... It's a beautiful book, Ronnie, well done!

  6. Hi Ronnie.
    Nice to meet you.
    This book is completely lovely. From one who hand sews to another, all I can say is wow. Beautiful work, I also love the infinity books.


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx