fingerprints - an artists' book

The May theme for the #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge is 'secret', and I decided I wouldn't take it too literally and pour my heart out, at least not too much. My artists' book Fingerprints was born after I went through a mental list of structures that hide and reveal in one way or another. I haven't made one of these magic boxes in almost 15 years, so it took me a moment to remember how it's constructed. I don't think I've ever known a particular name for this box structure, but it's basically a variation of Jacob's ladder.

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I haven't given fingerprints much of a thought apart from when I find dirty fingerprints on my supposedly pristine papers, and, of course, when they're mentioned as forensic evidence. This means, in general, it's not exactly good for you if you leave behind any fingerprints. Some research into the matter revealed a more pleasant side of those little loopy, whorly ridges on our fingertips - they provide us with tons of information crucial to our fine texture perception. The friction ridges are like little amplifiers for the sense of texture. As someone whose work is massively reliant on what I feel with the tips of my fingers, my view of the world is much more texture-oriented than the one of someone who maybe works with their brain alone. And it seems my texture-orientedness also affects how I get to know someone, how I trace their face with the tips of my fingers, over and over again...

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Fingerprints - a unique artists' book by Kaija Rantakari, 2018

(paper, board, glass microscope slides, ink)

the box measures 14,9x9,5x1,9cm / 5.9"x3.7"x0.7"

Check out my Instagram for a view of the box in action!

the first two new vintage lace guest books

I'd love to say I've been a good girl, busy at my desk, but actually I've been an allergy induced mess for a good while already, and this past week has been the most tiring of all spring. So, instead of even attempting to stick to all my deadlines, I've given myself some slack and tried to enjoy it the best I can, even when there's barely any voice coming out when I try to speak. Despite some days spent just lazing around and hanging out with friends, I do have two lovely new books in the Paperiaarre shop. Some is better than none, right? The rest of the lot I'm working on, should be done in the coming few days, or next week latest, so do keep an eye on my Instagram and this blog. As a side note, my little #areyoubookenough project is still nothing more than an idea, but if all goes well, it'll be ready in no time. Keeping it simple!

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I always make the most beautiful vintage finds on my trips to London, and now it's time to put some of the lace into good use! I've paired it with dusty apricot and light sand coloured linen.

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One larger landscape format book and another smaller square-ish. Both stay open and flat with ease, which is naturally my favourite feature of a Coptic binding. I mean, it's pretty and all, but functionality is always my top priority!

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See you soon, I hope!

floral kimono silk books

Something blue, just for you. And so my vintage kimono silk projects return - this gorgeous floral silk stole my heart! This month had an energetic start and I made three Coptic bound guest books/ journals, a long stitch photo album and a small long stitch book suitable for use as an art journal or a tiny scrap book. The weather has been simply delightful, and it's been a challenge to stay in and get work done, but it's also motivated me to work with focus when I'm at my desk (you finish this one thing, and then you get to go out and walk in the sunshine for a good while...). This week I'm focusing on Coptic bond wedding guest books - linen and lace next!

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You can now find these books in the Paperiaarre shop - maybe put together a perfect wedding gift duo of a matching guest book and photo album, or treat yourself to a luxurious journal?

bullet journals and #areyoubookenough gems

My artists' book didn't end up being the only book I bound in April. Yay me! I had started a trio of bullet journals for myself way back in March, but it took me over a month to put the covers together and sew the lot. For all of April I was dependent on notes and to-do lists scribbled on random post-its and backs of envelopes. Normally I rely on my bullet journal routine and get tons of stuff done, so maybe that's why I didn't manage to fit all that much bookbinding into my schedule...

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All that will change now, thanks to these long stitch bindings, with a custom printed dark purple 4 mm dotted grid on recycled kraft paper for pages (a smaller than usual grid as I have a smaller than usual handwriting). The yellow one is the first in line for me - already filled with a few months' worth of calendar markings and plans for new books. Larger kimono books are underway as well as some tiny sketchbooks with watercolour paper covers, which have been sadly out of stock for a long time.

Now that the first days of May have flown by, it's time to share my favourites books of the April #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge. Visit the instagram post below to click through to each book artist's profile and see more of their work!

The May theme for the challenge is 'Secret'. I look forward to seeing what people come up with - will there be writing in code, hidden compartments, or personal secrets revealed? I have a list of possible ideas, but I'm still miles away from actually deciding what to create.