maps in progress

My #areyoubookenough project is coming together slow and steady. A cold put a stop to my other bookbinding plans this week, but maybe that means I’ll have more to show next week if I manage to finish all that is currently on hold. Today I’m staying in bed watching bad TV and sketching whatever maps my artists’ book is still missing. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to so far - the rest will have to wait until the end of the month (which is, like, almost tomorrow but not quite).


Memories of a city and its maps + reflections. 


fine binding - work in progress

Ontto harmaa - fine binding / work in progress by Kaija Rantakari - Change of plans for the next week! A modern full leather binding with hundreds of onlays and a tight schedule!

I've embarked on the journey of putting together a fine binding for a bookbinding competition with way less time than ideal until deadline. I spent most of last Sunday and early Monday traveling back home from London, got to bed at 6am, and at Monday noon I was delivered the pages for this book, and got to work. The deadline for the Elizabet Soutar Bookbinding Competition is on November 7th, leaving me just about until next Thursday to get this book in the mail. Thankfully the tight schedule has, by now, also served as a motivator (can't second guess all my decisions endlessly!) and inspired me to take a less conventional route structure-wise. And I'm actually very excited by all my decisions so far!

Ontto harmaa - setting the title - fine binding / work in progress by Kaija Rantakari -

As I really ought to be binding this book and not writing about making it, I'm just going to leave you with some photos I've taken of the process so far.

Ontto harmaa - typing binary endpapers - fine binding / work in progress by Kaija Rantakari -

Binary code plays a big role in my overall design, inside and out... Above I'm typing up endpapers (with several typos, but c'est la vie) - below, a sample plaquette in the making. Sorry about the lighting in the photos, I've been working mostly without a hint of daylight...

Ontto harmaa - sample plaquette - fine binding / work in progress by Kaija Rantakari -

Trusty old Schärf- Fix is in use again! Last night I pared leather for onlays and spine liners. Today I ought to be finishing that spine.

Ontto harmaa - paring spine liner leather - fine binding / work in progress by Kaija Rantakari -

I will be posting about this project on my Instagram account, so, make sure to follow me to get frequent updates! I will naturally share the finished book - and maybe some wip photos - here eventually, but in case you're curious or impatient, Instagram is the place to be...


mixed media monday - a glimpse of hinged boxes

hinged linen boxes by Kaija Rantakari / I'm working on a wonderful project I'm not allowed to share with you guys just yet, but here's a small part I can show without giving anything away: a pair of linen-covered hinged boxes made to measure. The red linen is something I dyed some years ago by simply dumping a fabric dye packet into a large mason jar along with a crumpled up piece of fabric and hot water. A very unorthodox dyeing method, but I like the randomness it results in!

hinged linen boxes by Kaija Rantakari /

I made these boxes using the same methods I explain in my hinged box tutorial. There are some hidden magnets in these to hold the contents in place. More on the contents come early October.


hinged linen boxes by Kaija Rantakari /

Another work in progress is a little collage box. The girl on the right (below) reminds me of Pippi Longstocking!

mixed media collage - work in progress - Kaija Rantakari /

Only glimpses of a whole today - my apologies. I can't wait to be able to share the rest with you!