Greystone Secrets: the album

I don’t often take on commissions. I have done a few custom sketchbooks, wedding albums, and guest books over the years, but the work is often boring (for me) and the remuneration rarely sufficient to pay for the time spent in finding out what the customer really wants.

Greystone Secrets was a different matter entirely.

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Friday Night Flicks

A little late, but here it is anyway!

I have noticed that in discussions of paper Mohawk Superfine is frequently mentioned. Here’s a video on how it is made.

Have a good weekend.

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How to back paper or cloth

My first book on bookbinding was Japanese Bookbinding by Kojiro Ikegami. One of the many useful things I learned from that book was how to back paper and cloth.  I learned to strengthen fragile papers and make my own book cloth.

Over the years, I have modified the process. To back paper I use either plain cooked wheat starch paste or a starch paste/PVA mix. For better adhesion when backing cloth, I use a starch paste/PVA mix, with a PVA content of about 25%.

Step One:

Lay the paper/cloth good side down on a hard smooth surface — I use my kitchen counter — and mist thoroughly with water.

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Friday Night Flicks

As a follow-up to the post on The Elephant’s Child, here’s a video about the restoration and preservation of palm leaf manuscripts in Sri Lanka.


It’s autumn here and quite lovely: I hope you are having as nice weather. If you are, go for a walk or a bike ride this weekend!

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The Elephant’s Child

Although the artist’s books produced by Byopia Press usually contain original images and/or text, occasionally I use material from other sources. The Elephant’s Child is one example of this.

One of the tales from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, The Elephant’s Child is possibly my favourite piece of short prose. It has everything a short story (or a longer one) requires: a sympathetic protagonist, character development, conflict,  retribution, and a happily ever after ending.

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Friday Night Flicks

In my last post I talked about my fascination with maps. Maps don’t have to be about ‘real’ places: some of my favourite maps are of imaginary worlds.

Cartographers spend their working life committed to recording the details of our world. Every once in a while someone shows the same level of diligence in recording an entirely imaginary place. One of the best things about Tolkein’s books is that they come with maps, so that we can imagine ourselves in the exact location that he imagined.

Welcome to Jerry’s World.

He describes it on his website:

In the summer of 1963 I began drawing a map of an imaginary city. The work started as a doodle done in the spare time I had while working at a tedious job. I continued to add to that map through the years until, in 1983, I set it aside to put my free time to other use. The Map was stored in the attic of our home in Cold Spring, New York. It gathered dust. My son, Henry, found it one day while rummaging around. He brought it down to me and asked what it was. Seeing it then triggered me to dust it off and continue the project. It now comprises over 3100 individual eight by ten inch panels. Its execution, in acrylic, marker, colored pencil, ink, collage, and inkjet print on heavy paper, is dictated by the interplay between an elaborate set of rules and randomly generated instructions.       


I hope everyone has an excellent weekend, possibly involving maps.



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Along with my longstanding love of alphabet books and typography, I have had a life-long fascination with maps. When I decided that it would be fun to participate in a book swap on the bookartsforum with the theme of “my town”, a map-based book seemed the obvious choice.

I purchased a copy of a planning and development map for the city of Saskatoon (I live just south of the city) for a nominal fee, and created the kind of map/brochure that one gets in places like national parks and other tourist destinations.

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Friday Night Flicks

More and more stop-motion animation is being used in television advertising around the world. In keeping with this week’s theme of Paper, here’s an ad for Moleskine notebooks by Rogier Wieland,  a creative director and animator based in the Netherlands, that uses paper in a number of different ways.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Handmade Paper

My introduction to the book arts began when I started making paper in the mid-1990s. There was no one locally who could give me instruction in the field, so I learned from books. The one I found most useful for practical help was Helen Hiebert’s Papermaking with Plants. The book has since been re-titled, and is still available here. I also found help and inspiration in The Art of Papermaking by Bernard Toale.


Cattail/Carnation Petal/Clematis Leaf



I used pulped recycled paper as a base and experimented with various plant fibres and other inclusions.



This is a serious pain in the ass and I am p     Peacock Feather

My husband built me a mould with a deckle box. This permitted me to work with small amounts of pulp. I could simply pour a measured amount of pulp into the deckle box while it sat in a shallow vat of water and then form a sheet. It isn’t a process designed for speed, but it allowed me to play with a wide range of plant fibres.

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Friday Night Flicks

In keeping with last Sunday’s theme of flip books, here’s a great stop motion animation.

Have a great weekend.

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