joy + joy + some more

Sometimes life simply refuses to go as expected. This week my book Koko meren laajuus won probably the biggest literature award a poetry book can win in this country (some awards are for novels only). The Kalevi Jäntti award has been handed out annually (since 1942!) to the best young authors - this year four authors were awarded and I’m so honoured to be in some amazingly talented company. I’ve never even dared to dream of achieving things like this even though I take writing very seriously, but all of a sudden all that hard work has been noticed and awarded and it’ll take me a little while to wrap my head around it. For the time being I just focus on being happy and extremely grateful to everyone who has ever supported me (in everything I do).

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This week has been a week of wrapping things up in many ways. I finished the last books for the holiday season - most likely I’ll focus on mixed media and artists’ book project for the rest of the month. Today is the last day for North American customers to place their holiday orders, European customers have until the 13th, Finns until the 18th, so take a look at the Paperiaarre shop and see if you could give someone something made by hand with lots and lots of love. Something like a notebook with vintage bunnies, perhaps? I made another lot in new colours after the first ones were almost sold out in a day.

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Now I’m off to think new papery poetry things to do.

Love,
K

untitled - artists' book

Some last minute magic happened last night and I finished my #areyoubookenough project in time. The November theme was ‘Translation’ and this time the theme was something I wanted to take very literally since I work with text all the time as a poet. My poems are usually very long and fragmented, so I chose to work with the one new text I have that is neither, and is in a quite different style all in all. The poem is a love poem for a painted lady who shall remain unnamed - we have a significant age difference of some 100+ years, and she’s accustomed to a far more luxurious lifestyle than I, but we’ll try and make it work…

Translating this poem was a strange experience, especially since I can’t even say the Finnish version of the poem is finished - the text lives and is free to change at least until it finds its way into print. So, you only get to see the translation, as the original is still holding on to its right to turn into something entirely different. Not the way translations usually work, I know!

The book plays on a structure of joined accordions, and it’s housed in a modified vintage compact case.

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case: 6x9x0,9cm / 2.4”x3.5”x0.4”

book: 6,7x4,3cm / 2.6”x1.7”

You can view a video of this book here.

lovely bunnies + office hours today

I was caught by surprise when three out of four of these bunny books were sold within 24 hours. Now there’s still one darling pink one left for one lucky customer! The adorable bunny endpapers are an edited reproduction of a vintage endpaper pattern I fell in love with. I hope to make some more of these bunny books in new colour combinations, but there’s still a few other things on my to-do list before I can get to those.

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Just a quick reminder today’s the day when you can ask me all sorts of questions about bookbinding - see my latest Instagram post and ask your questions in the comments section. Later I’ll put together a blog post with all the questions and aswers, so even people who don’t do social media can benefit and all the info is easily found in one blog post. Please see the roundup post of previously asked and answered questions - you may find your question already answered!

all day office hours on thursday!

It’s been too long since I last had an all day office hours session on Instagram! I decided to have one this Thursday (Nov 22nd), so, maybe start thinking about questions you’d like me to answer for you? I graduated as a master bookbinder in 2006, so I have a fairly wide knowledge base about most things related to bookbinding, not just about the things you see me make. I’d say my engineer brain’s specialty is troubleshooting handmade books that misbehave in one way or another, but feel free to ask about whatever. I promise I’ll try to come up with a satisfactory answer for you. For obvious reasons I won’t be able to write you full tutorials for bindings or special techniques, but I can try pointing you in the right direction on the smaller stuff.

I’ll set up an Instagram post dedicated for your questions around noon (gmt+2) and you’ll have until the following morning to leave your questions in the comment section of that post. I’ll answer them as soon as I can, and afterwards I’ll once again gather all the questions and answers into a blog post for your convenience. It’d be greatly appreciated if you took a look at the questions and aswers from earlier office hours sessions, so I won’t have to answer the same stuff over and over again. You can find the big Q&A roundup post here.

Follow me on Instagram to have the office hours post pop directly into your feed - I’ll also post reminders in my insta stories on the day of!

lost&found&forgotten&found

Wow-just-wow. My mood lately, that is. Letting things sink in. The book fair went really well, but of course it’s a bit exhausting to wander in the record-breaking crowds and to be on stage with a million other things competing for the audience’s attention. Before I get deeper into my personal wow stuff, I want to share with you my latest artists’ book I made for the #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge.

The October theme for the challenge was ‘Found’ and for some reason I struggled against using just some random found stuff (of which I have more than plenty of even in my own home, so it wasn’t because of any lack of material). In the end I narrowed down my approach by thinking more about items that are lost rather than found. Everyday objects constantly not where you expect them to be. Items that have actually become worthless with time and wear. My father passed onto me a tin filled with random old things put into safe keeping most likely by his parents or grandparents - a few pairs of rusty scissors, keys, buttons, nails, pins, razor blades, and the like. Absolutely worthless and useless stuff for most people these days, but I’m not most people. So, I turned my lost&found&forgotten&found items into a triptych.

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Typewritten title on the case. To me the enclosure of an artists’ book is just as important as the book itself - I want them to really go together. Since my triptych items are small domestic items, I drew inspiration for the case from matchboxes and created a very simple sliding case for my book.

These ornate scissors have long ago been replaced by better ones, but saved just in case, maybe because you just don’t throw away stuff like this. The buttons were saved despite their massive wear and tear. The keys were saved and now no one knows what they once opened - the lock permanently lost in time. All these easily lost items were most likely forgotten as soon as they were stuffed for safe keeping into the tin where I found them. The tin was forgotten. The tin was found. Time had unexpectedly turned these items into something worth something, once again. It’s my turn to keep them safe and celebrate everyday items.

Back to the wow-just-wow: I won the book award I mentioned in my last post! My poetry book Koko meren laajuus was awarded for being the best second book by an author, and I got this beautiful wood and metal award that weighs a ton and is just waiting to be featured as a murder weapon in a novel! I’ve gotten so used to being in the margin as a poet that the win was an absolutely unexpected one for me - the award’s been handed out five times now, and my book was the first book of poetry to win, which makes me even more delighted over the jury’s decision. I’ve been beaming with happiness and will continue to do so for a while longer…

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 Photo by  Jasper Kaarna

Photo by Jasper Kaarna

My book has been received so, so wonderfully, I can’t really believe it. It was a risk to write poetry about the sea and love/sex/intimacy/whatever, since those themes have been written about time and time again. I’m glad I dared to do it. I’m glad my readers have found my poetry fresh yet timeless. I actually see a clear connection between my aesthetics in writing and bookbinding. Things seemingly simple have surprising layers and a massive professional dedication behind them. I’m glad I dare to do me in all I do.