April 28, 2013 § 2 Comments
Bookbinders started to appear in twos and threes off the ferry from mid-afternoon on March 7th. John took care of the luggage while the rest of us ambled past the abbey along to the north end. The hostel was waiting, all welcoming and warm, with tea in the pot.
The following morning, having unpacked cutting mats, laid out pencil cases and started in on some preparatory folding, we bundled into coats and wellies and went outside. Our host, John showed us round the croft, sharing a wealth of knowledge about the age of rocks, Gaelic names and the Spring of Eternal Youth (amongst other things.)
Then back to folding and slitting, cutting large sheets of creamy cartridge down to size and into sections.
Fortunately the rigorous work schedule was regularly interrupted by a tall man bearing cake, caringly baked by Anja. Thank you Anja!
Everybody had beach-combed for suitable bits of driftwood. There was much swapping and trading-in and assessing the grain. Once decisions about book proportion had been decided, the multi-skilled John jigsawed and drilled. I am not allowed to show the picture of how his tongue sticks out when he’s concentrating. Thank goodness for gloves. It was chilly in that barn.
From the way Kate’s wooden bits overlap in a double layer, you can tell it is from a naval boat. Cross-planking. Apparently.
Back to the dining table come studio bench, it was time to start compiling content, prompted by a list of sixteen triggers. Each could be very loosely interpreted or combined with another or quietly ignored. I just didn’t want anyone to feel stuck.
In between bouts of intensive attentive tuition there was opportunity to read the first International edition of Flow magazine. Full of mindfulness and merriment.
Ah! Cake o’ Clock….
Since Iona Abbey is believed to have been where the Book of Kells was created by monks, we arranged a special visit to the tiny cabin-like library. John had brought a facsimile to show us, as the original is safe in Dublin. Isn’t it an artist’s book?! I love thinking about how the manuscript was illuminated in a special scriptorium.
We sat on these beautifully tapestried chairs and listened to poetry in quiet contemplation.
The paper cutting continued, as did painting, writing, rubbing, story-telling and mapping….
Then it was time to sew, which is tricky with rough driftwood covers, and coptic stitch challenges anyone’s tension. These binders remained calm throughout. Must have been the spiritual surroundings. And the carbohydrates.
What Kate Did.
What Kate Did Next.
A fine spine from Jo:
Everyone kept a ‘thoughts-in-progress’ book. Handbound, natch.
Emma’s book is EPIC!
Calligraphic wonderfulness from the pen of Jill Calder;
Too soon the day of departure is upon us, clear and bright.
Weighed down with pebbles, good memories and bespoke bindings….
Thank you kind John at Iona Hostel. Please can we come again?