Selected bits I haven’t shared with you earlier. In our previous home the two letterpress drawers were joined together to make a larger coffee table, but I now split them up and added a set of dainty legs to the better half. The other now houses tiny things that don’t fit into the coffee table for one reason or another. I have set my mind on opening another Etsy shop for all sorts of tiny vintage finds I keep dragging home. Maybe later this year, maybe next. Just today my wonderful godparents brought me a bagful of bits and pieces and huge scissors I had put together with the new shop in mind while I was visiting urhem, my original home, earlier this month. I need to sort it all through again in case there’s still items I definitely want to hold on to. I’m sure there is. I’m unfortunately materialistic.
The lampshade in my workspace is some years old already, I don’t really know why I didn’t blog about the making of it back then. Anyway, it’s made of the first part of a massive dictionary set I don’t own the rest of – all the faces in the A section, except for some dictator I didn’t want staring at me.
I uploaded a small set of photos to flickr, so there’s some additional photos there in case someone is interested in taking a closer look.
My parents are book people, most definitely. As a child I didn’t know anyone who had more books, except my grandparents, which doesn’t even really count because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. The older the people the more books. My point here is that it’s no accident I became interested in books as objects instead of just enjoying the contents, and that my parents also know a good thing when they see one. And this time they saw too good things and brought them home to me. Sido itse kirjasi – Lyhyt kirjansidonnan opas (Bind your own books – short guide to bookbinding) is from 1915, the other, Kirjansidonnan opas (Guide to bookbinding) which is actually based on the first book, is from 1933.
I know only a fraction of my readers are Finnish, but I couldn’t skip this opportunity to share the foreword of the older book with you. It says the great advantage bookbinding has (compared to other crafts I assume) is that it’s a clean and tidy job which has no effect on the tidiness and cleanliness of your home. Also, it’s easy and cheap, and it only takes a couple of weeks to get well acquainted with the craft. So not agreeing with any of this so far. But this I agree with most wholeheartedly : Success mainly depends on the care and precision with which the job is done.
What surprised me the most was how even the short guide to bookbinding included things such as paring leather, fine edge decoration and gilding. The general skill level people had a hundred years ago is quite something. Also, the descriptions in these books are pretty amusing at times: for making glaire you need a drinking-glass-like vessel and a whisk-like utensil. Maybe a glass and a whisk are used in the abridged version of this short guide…
Current state of my desk. Still a lot to do and new ideas are anxiously waiting their turn.
My giveaway made me feel almost as popular as I was at school when it was a good day if I was picked second-to-last into a team in gym. Just how awesome is that! I must have asked too difficult a question. Thank you Jen and Laura for playing along and leaving a comment! I’ll be sending both of you some things from the above stacks.
(In case you’re interested, the incomplete list of things to spot in my book: old map of London, hand-drawn map of Great Portland Street area, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge / Houses of Parliament / the River Thames, bits of Parthenon at the British Museum, the glass ceiling and the floor plan of the British Museum, Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon at Tate Modern, and the Frog Princess by Gilbert Bayes at V&A.)
I said I wasn’t going to finish this, but here it is. It only took some four, five years for me to finish it. This is my London book. How many things, places, or references can you recognize? I’ll send something special (haven’t even decided what, but I promise it’ll be something pretty) to the reader who spots most (and leaves me a working email address, too) by Thursday morning (GMT+2). I’m holding tight on to your comments until then, just to make it fair game for everyone taking part.