I could make paper out of that.

I entered the field of book arts via paper making. I thought learning to make my own paper would be interesting so I began to teach myself from books. My husband built me some basic tools and I started to make paper. I had to learn to choose plants that produced suitable raw materials. Daylily leaves, asparagus stalks, cattails, and grasses all work well. They contain enough cellulose to stand upright without support, and the fibres are difficult to tear. Other sources were less obvious: onion and garlic skins, or the leftovers from eating an artichoke. I was constantly on the lookout for new materials, and people around me began to get a little tired of the phrase “I could make paper out of that.”

One day when my husband and I went for a walk in the pasture, I looked down at the pile of aging, crumbling horse manure at my feet and said “I could make paper … ”

Plant fibres must go through a number of processes before reaching the pulp stage needed for paper-making. First they must be collected: it can take a surprisingly long time to gather enough to be useful. They must be chopped up, then rotted and/or cooked in a caustic solution. The chopping is hard on the hands, and both the rotting and cooking processes can be slow and unpleasantly smelly. The resulting pulp must be thoroughly rinsed, then beaten to separate the individual fibres.

Relatively fresh horse manure.

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Friday Night Flicks: Dot and Gulp.

Two really short stop motion videos this week: both were shot using the Nokia N8, a camera that you can apparently also use as a smartphone. The videos were directed by Sumo Science and produced by Aardman Animations, the people who brought you Wallace and Grommet, Chicken Run, and most recently, Shaun the Sheep. Here they are: Dot, the world record holder for the smallest stop motion animation, and Gulp, the world record holder for the world’s largest stop motion animation.



Since these didn’t take long, you should still have plenty of time to enjoy your weekend. Though if you have another six minutes to spare, you might want to watch Gulp. The making of.

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Conceptual Notebooks

I entered the field of book arts via paper making. It wasn’t long before I wanted to do something with my stacks of handmade paper. David gave me a copy of Kojiro Ikegami’s Japanese Bookbinding  and I began producing a variety of notebooks. My favourite structure was the multi-section binding.

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Friday Night Flicks: Type Reinvented

This week I have three very short videos for you. Produced as promotions for Monotype Pro, they show experimental uses of type in installations.




Have a wonderful weekend!

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I have had two pieces of good news in the past week or so: The Interconnection of Time and Tide was accepted into ebb and flow —this year’s online exhibition by we love your books— and my dealers, Vamp and Tramp, sold a couple of my books to Emory University. I will post a link to the online ebb and flow exhibition when it goes up in August, and today’s post is about one of the books that sold.

Datura started when I took some photographs of the spectacular flowers in my garden.

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Friday Night Flicks: Much Better Now

There hasn’t been a stop motion animation on Friday Night Flicks for quite a while, so here’s a lovely one with a summery theme (and books).

If you are interested in learning about how the video was made, you can see more here, here, and here.

Perhaps you will get to the seaside this weekend, or at least a lake!

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Tower of Babel

I spent the better part of the last three days making an 8 second stop motion video — well, sort of. It would have been quicker if I had started with the program I ended up using, and if that program hadn’t been booby-trapped with the Ken Burns effect. At any rate, there is a tiny video at the end of this post.

I will start with still pictures first.

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Friday Night Flicks: The Galaxy Song

In keeping with this week’s star theme, here are two versions of The Galaxy Song from Monty Python’s The first was put together by William Davis for his undergraduate astronomy class at Suffolk County Community College, Long Island, New York.

The second is from the official Monty Python Youtube channel and features Stephen Hawking doing the lyrics.


You can spend the weekend deciding which one you like better.

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Post #100: The Wishing Star Project update and A Tanabata Gift

Today is another date to celebrate: it is a year since I started folding stars for the Wishing Star Project. This is what 10 Imperial gallons of stars —approximately 20,000— look like. (Those are my toes at the bottom of the picture. I wear size 37 [7.5] shoes.)

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The Interconnection of Time and Tide 2

Last Sunday, I posted about the book I was working on: The Interconnection of Time and Tide. As promised, this week you get to see the rest of the process and the final product.

Here’s some of the finished stitching on the main accordion (the lines of stitching stop at the slit on the inner fold of the accordion)

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