Friday, November 5, 2010

back to basics

I'm resolutely one of those annoying 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' type of people....  so, given the challenges to be faced in the coming short while, I'm getting stuck into something positive: - over the summer months, along with dairy-building, studying, arty-making, (and all the usual stuff - gardening,  kiddie and/or cow wrangling and preserving lemonade anyone? )

there's an abundance of lemons at the creek right now....

I'm setting a small, and I hope, distractingly enjoyable task - I'm going to make a collection of booky models showing the different stages and ways of creating handmade books... and I also hope to post the odd 'how-to' of these as I go....

Wheeee won't that be fun? (well it SHOULD take my mind off milk vats and vacuum pumps and heat exchange hot water heaters and all the other things FP is trying to get me to understand.... not to mention all the pressure of Higher Degree Research!)

I'm going to start at the beginning - the basics of bookmaking  - like understanding paper grain, making and using paste, tips and tools....

 (I made this little box model of the steps in making a multi-section paper case binding as part of the bookbinding unit in the Diploma of Western Calligraphy - back in the mid-1990s..... my whole summer project is inspired by this little model)

I hope that all you more experienced booky folk don't enter a yawn-fest as I go over what might be really familiar (and very basic) ground....

 (a snippet of my 'alphabet practice'.... circa 1996)

Like I've said before - I always find reviewing basics really valuable - and I LOVE to sneak a peek at how other people do things - it either reinforces or challenges my current practices... so I consider it a win-win situation.....

I hope everyone feels free (but not obligated) to chime in at any time - and by all means you can question any way that I may do things (particularly if you think my way is TERRRRRIBLE!!!!)

oooo I'm feeling excited and more positive already!



  1. Oh Ronnie, perhaps something stronger than lemonade might be in order! Your models sound like a good way to ground yourself, and I for one will look with keen interest since most of what I've ever learned has come from a Keith Smith volume plus whatever Duck managed to teach me a year or so ago! I certainly won't be yawning. Here's wishing you a highly productive and fabulous weekend, with a big bloggy hug coming your way too. The wonders of the internet or something... Sara x

  2. I look forward to your back to basics Ronnie - I'm sure they will be exquisite and I'm really looking forward to picking up some tips! I'm dead impressed with the lemons - after almost a year of bounty and overflow and sharing with the coffee shop in town in exchange for coffees; we are now using the juice we froze and gingerly approaching the lime/lemon tree asking it kindly if it can share its few remnants with us. Different climates hey?

  3. Ronnie, somehow you make me feel more excited and positive, too. I certainly want to see your back to basics and I know as Fiona says, they'll be exquisite.
    After a great flush of lemons and mandarins, and a few oranges, our citrus orchard is now empty of fruit. Lots of babies though so that looks hopeful for the next season.

  4. great idea!!!! pleae do some calligraphy/writing demos too...or am i just being selfish?

  5. And here's lil ol' me about to take the BIG pruning saw to my Meyer before it demolishes the fence. Maybe I'll make a start tomorrow, while the wisteria puts out a few more shoots so I can see what really IS dead wood?
    Books? Art? Yes, next week.


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