Sunday, 11 January 2009


I've recently become interested in book binding, I made two little notebooks using rubbish I collected over Christmas. The cardboard packaging of electronics has been repurposed as a sturdy book cover and for the pages I have recycled paper shopping bags, left over card (I did my own Christmas cards and made a few extra), envelopes, tissue packing, newspaper, and other paper scraps, I even recycled a bag handle as a sewn in bookmark. Sadly nobody bought me anything with thread so I had to use my own but I really like the idea of making a 100% recycled, 100% free notebook and I hope to find a way to do this soon.

The binding process was surprisingly straightforward, the main difficulty was making sure all the holes in the pages lined up. Admittedly not all the pages are competely usable as they contain images or large black lettering but of those I selected images I found inspiring or where the reverse was blank so at least 50% of that leaf could be written on.
The whole process was amazingly theraputic and I had a lot of fun making them, I also think it is fascinating that a few hours ago these books were just trash and by sewing they have become useful again. I love that some of the paper was already recycled and I'm intrigued by what these notebooks could be made into when they have served their purpose.

The small notebook: 64 pages, corregated card cover from a MP3 player box, pages from 6 paper shopping bags, 3 envelopes, 2 sheets of tissue paper, 1 page of graph paper, 1 left over Christmas card and several other paper scraps and the bookmark from a bag handle.
The large notebook: 40 pages, corregated card cover from TV packaging, 1 leftover Christmas card and a recycled bag, pages from 5 paper bags, the last 3 pages of a graph paper fileblock, 2 old photocopies, 1 newspaper cutting, 1 envelope, 1 sheet of card from packaging and various other paper scraps.
Every book tells a story, even if it doesnt have any words yet.

Sunday, 4 January 2009


"For some reason the moment I saw this place I knew I could work here. I am very influenced by places - by the atmosphere of a room."
Francis Bacon
(Above Image: Self Portrait by Francis Bacon)

I was visiting his studio in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin yesterday, He talks of the ordered chaos of the space. Materials are scattered everywhere, unfinished works lie in the corner and the walls have been used as a pallet. It's amazing. He also says his works come from his subconcious (which oddly relates to a book I was reading literally 3 hours before!), how he starts without knowing what he will paint. I find this idea fascinating, the character in the book is a poet and said that he writes 15,000 words a day by a method of going into a trance and just writing mindlessly. I wonder if any architects use(d) this method?