Tag Archives: Shoe Tales

On Boxes, biscuits and a trip to the Book Arts Bookshop.

23 Jan

Despite having a rather splendid biscuit tin, I sometimes put my digestives in the cupboard. Similarly, all my tea jar contains right now is the final bag of Make Us a Brew mint and chilli tea (I’d HIGHLY recommend you try it!). The new box of tea is living on the table. What I’m saying, is, objects get misplaced – we think we left them in one logical place, when they’re actually in another, equally as obvious home. So I’m delving into the art of making – and breaking – names, categories and ways of ordering that we use to navigate our daily routines.

Above is a book of boxes. Below is a triangle book of numbers. Both are works in progress: click on the picture above to look at further images of this and other books I’ve been making of late…

If you’re into artist and hand-made books then the Book Arts Bookshop in London is definitely worth a visit. It is the Aladdin’s cave of folded, stitched and limited editions, a veritable feast of paper and print. Books range from £1 – £100 and are arranged on shelves, tables and in boxes for all to see. Spend a good amount of time browsing, as they have a lot of stock in the shop! Indeed it is the place where these ideas of multiple classification, and order within disorder, are living and breathing. You can spot different gems each time you look at a shelf, get lots of ideas for what your own books could be about and have a jolly good time along with it. The spherical window in the door is great fun too. I will post some links soon on the links page to some of the artists whose work I particularly admire. And, as luck would have it they also accepted my very own Shoe Tales Book to sell in the shop.

On the subject of organising… this is the cupboard I received for Christmas, handcrafted by the wonderful Matthew Simkins. Inspired by old spice cupboards, it is a place to store all my tools, bits, bobs and making stuff materials. It’s nice to display these things sometimes, such as the richly coloured Icelandic roving, some books in progress and a jar of buttons. And oh! what to put in the drawers? So much choice! I have that box of teabags on the table – perhaps this might be a good place to start…

Postal drawing collaboration

12 Oct

If you want to draw something, but you’re stuck for inspiration, ask yourself a question. What’s your favourite recipe? Weather? Night out? What would you do if there was a fire? What makes you cringe the most? Then answer it with a drawing. A quick drawing. A drawing done by your other hand. Or a detailed illustration.

Jojo Norris and I have set up an illustration exchange. We met by chance through Leaf Books, and being as we don’t know much about each other, thought we’d find out via our drawings. It’s also a great way of generating work, much like the sketchbook project, which we are both taking part in. So I asked Jojo, ‘What do you like to do on Sundays?’ You can see her reply here. Then she asked me, ‘What are you most afraid of?‘ Here is my answer:

It’s true. I fell in a patch when I was two.I have asked Joanne ‘What makes you cringe the most?’ I’m looking forward to getting her answer

Oh, and we’re doing this collaboration through the post, rather than online. I like the idea of the postal routes from Cardiff to Edinburgh carrying, secretly within our envelopes, our visual communications.  My artwork (for example the Shoe tales project) often involves correspondence and infiltrating the postal system as a medium for creative messaging. More importantly, everyone appreciates hand made or hand written letters. Why not send something yourself, today, a mere postcard to say hello to an old friend.

Between then and now – what I’ve been up to this September

16 Sep

In the time between the last blog post and this, I’ve mainly been busy compiling all the material for the Shoe Tales project exhibition, at Milkwood Gallery on Friday 24th September! The production line includes, so far, double sided concertina books which tell the story of the project on one side, and display a small selection of postcards on the other.  My spare room is also brimming with charity shop picture frames, postcard enlargements, donated old shoes, lots of brown paper – all in all, it’s a hive of activity.

So: here’s what’s happening for Shoe Tales:

Friday 24th September – Monday 18th October
Milkwood Gallery, 41 Lochaber Street, Roath, Cardiff.
Important dates for your diary!

– Friday 24th September: Exhibition opening party, 6.00 – 9.00 pm at Milkwood Gallery
The Shoe Tales exhibition opens its doors and kicks off with a bit of a party! View the display of all postcards received by the project in an installation which also gives viewers a chance to tell their own stories and add to the Shoe Tales showcase.
* * *
– Saturday 25th September: Shoe Decoration Workshop, 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm at Milkwood Gallery
Shoe decoration: turning old shoes into works of art!
Bring a pair of your old shoes that you no longer wear (or that are no longer wearable) and revamp them as a work of art!
Materials such as fabric scraps, needles and thread, wire, paper and other odds and ends will be provided to magic your forgotten footwear into something spectacular!
Suitable for all ages.
Under 18s £4.50, adults £8.00 to take part.  Limited places available – to book  a place contact Milkwood Gallery: 029 20473373
* * *
-Saturday 9th October: Shoe Tales at the Book Arts Fayre, Ffotogallery, Turner House, Penarth. 11am – 4pm
Come along to Ffotogallery for a day of zines, artists’ books and handmade pages: the concertina books which will accompany the exhibition will be on display and sale.
More information: http://ffotogallerybookartsfayre.wordpress.com/
* * *
-Sunday 10th October:  Book Making workshop, 3.00 pm – 5.30 pm at Milkwood Gallery
So you’ve written a poem, made a list, found a quote. You’ve doodled something at work or cut something out of a magazine. Want a book to put it in?
Take part in a book making workshop, where you can learn how to make envelope books, scrap books, folded books and books with pockets to hold letters, keepsakes and even postcards!
All materials will be provided, just bring yourself and friends.
Suitable for all ages.
Under 18s £4.50, adults £8.00 to take part. Limited places available, to book a place contact Milkwood Gallery: 029 2047 3373

For further information about the Shoe Tales project, visit http://www.shoetales.co.uk <http://www.shoetales.co.uk&gt;
Shoe Tales is on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?

See you there!

It’s book making time…

18 Aug

As well as designing the odd book cover I love handmade books – folding and filling, cutting, covering and drawing in them. They are great houses for stories and illustrations – and right now, I’m planning a limited edition envelope book to accompany the forthcoming Shoe Tales exhibition, in September.  I’ll put a picture up of the work in progress in a couple of days. Meanwhile, have a look at these:

This book is about an old man who walks up and down his village while he waits for a visitor. It’s a folded book, the pages cut out in the shapes of houses, then a separate strip of card with the text on it threaded through the doors.

More of these little story books coming soon!

The first version of the Shoe Tales postcard book – photocopies of the original postcard stories are fixed in a folded book. It has a very neat finish, but I want the final edition to be more interactive!

A great book I’m reading – Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book – has some great tips for making books by hand, and ideas aplenty!