I am a bit unfocused at the moment, being without a long-term goal like an exhibition. (It’s also Spring —at least some days—which doesn’t help.) I am contemplating doing one of those #100daychallenge art things on Instagram, but so far that has mostly involved staring morosely into drawers of coloured paper.

I have also been thinking about these patterns

and these pencils.

I am trying to come up with something I could do every day that wouldn’t take too much time, but still be worth doing. There are a few ideas floating around in my head, but nothing definite yet.


I have decided to participate in this month’s #areyoubookenough challenge on Instagram.

My intention is to interpret the theme by making a discarded (water-damaged) book into some sort of body ornament .

I may also include some papers leftover from other projects.

The piece will be made from folded paper ‘beads’. I played with this structure for a bit.

The units are the ones you can use to make this wreath.

I thought of making an arc-shaped section from units that gradually increase in size. The assembly of the units works well, but the final unit of the assembly is difficult to deal with as it doesn’t stay closed on its own. There is also no easy way to attach the  arc to other things, so I discarded the idea.

I will be making some menko beads like these.

I will also make some triangular beads based on the structure below.

The vertical points —visible under the cicada on the left— can be tucked down inside the larger bottom triangle to make the shape on the right. The folds create a channel that a thread can go through.


Because of Benjamin Elbel, I have also been using part of my brain to think about slipcases that change dimensions.

From the website:

We are pleased to announce our first Research Competition.

The goal of this competition is to contribute to the advancement of bookbinding by encouraging the development of new designs and making them available to all.
There will be two prizes to reward the winners: the out of the box prize, and the public prize.

The subject of this first research competition is to come up with a design for a slipcase capable of expanding and contracting in the width. We believe that the resulting product could have real applications for things like magazine collections, sample presentation, or any collection of items of the same size whose number is likely to increase or decrease over time.

Of course, we can all easily conceptualise such a slipcase, it is another thing to actually make one, hence the idea to tap into the collective to achieve it.

The prototype slipcase will have an inner capacity of 150 x 235mm (the format of our tutorials) and should be able to expand in width from 30mm (6 volumes, the current amount of tutorials) to 60mm (12 volumes). In short:

  • Inner depth of slipcase: 150mm
  • Inner height of slipcase: 235mm
  • Inner width expansion range: 30-60mm


The slipcase can be made of any material, using any available processes.
The prototype can be made entirely by the candidate, only partly (fabrication partly outsourced), or not at all (fully outsourced). This is primarily an ideas competition.

If you want to take up part of your brain with this problem, you can find more information and a registration link here.

In other book arts news:

Apparently sheepskin parchment can function as an anti-fraud device.

You can read the full article here.


You can download the latest issue of the Book Arts Newsletter by clicking the big red bar at the top of this page.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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2 Responses to Scatterbrained

  1. Marie says:

    Where did you find the cicada paper weight that I have been seeing in your photos past few weeks?


    • Byopia Press says:

      It’s a carved jadeite pendant that I bought on ebay. Try searching “carved jadeite cicada pendant”. There are lots of different ones. Also, I find the “antique” designation suspect. “Based on antique design” is probably more accurate for the cheaper ones.


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