Things have been awfully quiet here for many months now, with just the occasional artists’ book post every now and then. My world has revolved around poetry in the months surrounding the publication of my second poetry book Koko meren laajuus in August. I spent September in Visby, Gotland, Sweden, writing new poems as well as an article about artists’ books (in Finnish only, sorry!), but now it’s finally time to make room for bookbinding again. Today I’m sharing with you a book I finished just before I left for Visby, and some of my favourite photos I took during my stay at the writers’ and translators’ residence. New books are drying in the press as I’m typing this, so new treats are here sooner than you’d think.
You can find this beauty in the Paperiaarre shop. I love this pairing of teal blue linen and the teal/green leafy print paper I used for endpapers. Coming next: smaller notebooks with print endpapers, but first, let’s take a look at the beautiful Hanseatic city of Visby and the island of Gotland.
Knowing my home would be taken over by a crew of workmen, I applied for a writers’ residency in Visby for September. Gotland is much farther down South than Helsinki and the weather was brilliant apart from a storm or two, so I actually managed to extend my summer by a month with this trip.
Visby is a very small city (I’d call it a town, but it’s not my business to correct how others describe their home) and the most idyllic part of it is located inside medieval city walls. The residency is inside the walls, on a high cliff, right next to the Visby Cathedral - a location beyond amazing. I enjoyed the views, the sunsets, the smell of apples and pears everywhere, the walks around the city walls and by the sea. Once I got back home it took me a while to adjust to a skyline without a seemingly endless sky playing a big part of the view.
This is a colour combinations that will definitely show up in my work soon!
Gotland being mostly limestone, there were fossils everywhere. You could sit down on the pebble beach and pick up dozens of them within your arm’s reach. Even though I spent hours of my “thinking time” sitting on the windy beach, I limited my personal collection to a small handful…
I also got to go on an island excursion with some really nice writers and translators. Met a bunch cows at När Lighthouse (and around some impressive bronze age gravesites, too). Our excursion took place on what felt like the last day of summer, and the island really showed its best to us.
Even more important than the gorgeous surroundings and fantastic sunsets was the community of writers and translators with whom I got to spend my four weeks (and some magnificent dinners). During those weeks some lovely people left and some lovely new people arrived. There was this bittersweet sense of temporariness in the air, which by the way, was unbelievably fresh. All these things feed my creativity and I can’t wait to go back some day (soon, I hope)!
Cloudy days in Helsinki. Perfect for some poetry stuff, lots of bookbinding, and lots of other creative work, I hope. See you soon.