new home

Hello sweethearts!

I've been gone for longer than I had planned, and I'm still not really back for good. I'm relocating both myself and my website. For the time being, please forgive the gazillion broken links and my sporadic communication. I hope to get both fixed very soon!

ontto harmaa - in the end it all worked out for the best

In the end it all worked out for the best. My wrists healed, I had a few days to spare creating an entirely new binding to enter in the Nordic bookbinding exhibition (one that was much more wrist friendly design-wise), and I find I like the end result more and more as each day passes.

Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.

One of my starting points for designing a binding for Ontto harmaa by Olli-Pekka Tennilä(of which I bound another copy last year) was that I wanted to avoid using the colour grey. The name can be translated as "hollow grey", and as I didn't want the book design to illustrate what exact kind of shade of grey the book was talking about - it felt the definition should be left up in the air. But in the end I couldn't find a more fitting colour linen for the covers (really, really loved the yellow leather I used the first time around, tho) and decided to go with the grey that simply looked the best out of all the options. I haven't regretted the choice: the typewritten binary code looks perfect on it - just the right contrast, texture, variety.

The numbers 1 and 0 are a recurring element in Ontto harmaa, so the idea of using binary code in the design was the one that I built on right from the start. But since Ontto harmaa is a book full of warmth too, the use of a natural material with an organic feel on the covers balanced things off beautifully.

Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.

One of my favourite parts of the sewn boards binding structure is the point where I get to pick the colour and material for lining the spine and the visible board edges. I usually use either paper or linen, but this time I went with this fantastic pink goat skin and I love it.

Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.

Now the book is out of my hands. It will be touring the Nordic countries in 2018-2019 and it will be a while before I get to hold it again. It really is a lovely thing to hold. Light and somehow so very compact at the same time.

Finishing this project means the start of my bookbinding hiatus. For the most part of the summer my studio is four hours away and so are my supplies - I hope it will be enough to keep me focused on writing my poetry book. Despite being away from the studio, I will be posting some cut-up poetry pieces here (and tons of other stuff on Instagram) as well as some new posts with bookbinding tips and info about the next Instagram Office Hours session (sorry, thought I could squeeze one in before the end of May, but it's going to take a while longer still!). So, don't go anywhere even though my blog updates are more irregular than usual <3

xxx,

K

mixed media monday - watch case necklaces

So far Helsinki has welcomed me with nothing but love - I'm so glad to be here for the summer. Here I can open my windows to the park and listen to birdsong and the shell chandelier that turns into a wind chime with the lightest breeze. Here is full of light. And I am light as well.

mixed media collage watch case pendant necklaces by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / www.paperiaarre.com

Some of you may have seen on Instagram that I was forced to abandon my fine binding project I blogged about last Thursday. My recurring wrist issues decided to show up after a blissful break of a year and a half. And because of my years of experience in semi-chronic tendonitis in both wrists I also know that pushing through it at the first signs of pain most likely leads to months of serious pain and inability to make stuff. So, no fine binding right now. Maybe I'll bind another light-on-the-wrists version of the same book later this month when my wrists have had a chance to recover a bit.

Before this whole wrist pain episode I finished this trio of collage pendant necklaces created from vintage watch cases hung on silk cords. They won't be listed in my shop as I'm closing it for the summer next week, but you can contact me directly if you're interested in purchasing one (50€ each including worldwide shipping).

mixed media collage watch case pendant necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / www.paperiaarre.com

not so silly

mixed media collage watch case pendant necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / www.paperiaarre.com

take the sea with you

mixed media collage watch case pendant necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / www.paperiaarre.com

ask for spontaneous trouble

mixed media collage watch case pendant necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / www.paperiaarre.com

Each collage is protected by a layer of mica, and each pendant comes with a long hand-dyed silk cord you can tie to the desired length. And as you see below, these pendants have signs of wear from their previous life as pocket watch cases, but in my opinion the wear only adds to the charm.

mixed media collage watch case pendant necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / www.paperiaarre.com

Lots of love to you all. I'm honored to have you follow my creative projects.

fine binding - another binary code wip

I'm repeating myself a bit here - binding another copy of Ontto harmaa by Olli-Pekka Tennilä, again with no time to spare.

typewritten binary code endpapers + pink leather joints - fine binding - work in progress by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

I hadn't intended to leave for Helsinki until June, but when the perfect summer home popped up, I couldn't let it slip away. And so my month reserved for binding this book turned into two weeks of scrambling together every unfinished thing AND binding this book from scratch. I'm doing a variation of a more traditional looking fine binding than my first Ontto harmaa was (it was an adapted version of a sewn boards binding). I find my skills rusty and my nerves all over the place, but I try to focus on the thought that done is better than perfect. Mind you, I don't advice you guys to do fine binding in a rush. It makes no sense, but here I am, with life skills 5/5.

preparing 2mm diameter leather onlays - fine binding - work in progress by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

Also going to do that thing with almost 800 2mm diameter leather onlays again. Madness is what I excel at.

getting ready to tool the title - fine binding - work in progress by Kaija Rantakari / www.paperiaarre.com

Today is all about finishing - i.e. adding those dots and other finishing touches that are still missing. The title was put on yesterday already. Once the covers are done, tomorrow it's time to glue down the leather joints, fill in the inside covers, and put on the binary code doublures. If I finish all this by Friday evening, I should be good. I'm coming back home in under two weeks which means I'll even have time to take photos of the book before I need to send it on its way. Note to self: never again. Except I think I said that last time, too.