Handmade artists book - continued

15 May 2017

I started on this book journey here.  You might want to pop back and have a look at how things started out.

And this isn't exactly a 'how to' tutorial of a blog - when I get into the groove I am shocking at recording the process as I go along.

So bits are missing.

The covers for instance - they started covered with white gesso like this.

Along the way there was Arylic paint (colours) and then Infusion inks to provide depth.  But I cannot show you the transition as I went along. I simply did not document it.

At this point I left the covers for a while. Not finished but the next steps were not obvious. So I turned my attention back to the pages.

The pages are each a little works of art in themselves. Some take a long time to complete and I leave and come back to them - dabbling here and there until I am satisfied with the composition.

And in truth, I started with a clear vision of the way it would develop, but along the way got a bit 'blocked'.

Then suddenly - just as I was beginning to despair - it all unblocked again and I ploughed on.

There were tags - they were in my pile of goodies just waiting for this moment (indeed I moved house/studio with them! That is how long I have had them).

But they needed a bit more help.

One of the things that was part of the "progression" was the words.

I knew this book would have words. I did not know what the words would be. Was it going to be a narrative?

In the end, it became clear. Almost 'mini poems' began to spring out from some assorted words snipped from a vintage book that had provided some of the background to the pages.

You can see in the photo above some of the words on the work table and some positions on a couple of the tags.

And another image which has been waiting for the right time is this little print (on the left side above) from one of my very early print sessions. (it was a collograph plate! but at the time I did not know that). This motif has come out time and again. 

You can see it in a couple of my finished embroideries if you go to the Gallery page here. 

That combination above was just meant to be. 

Other pages also began to settle into place. 

The central panel on this page below is a painted book page, mounted on felt with squares of inked maps ( saved from a previous project) machine embroidered into place.  This was then glued onto the page and a running stitch of decorative 'wool' added to the edge. 

This page isn't finished but you can see the composition coming together. 

And a jumble of ingredients. 

But this spread below is also coming together. 

When I'm going for it I make one hell of a mess. A chaotic corner of the work table. 

But the chaos can lead to order. 

This one is a double spread but when I assemble the signatures it's unlikely to stay side by side. 

This last page took ages to come together. The middle panel is a book page coloured with a stencil and infusion inks, then mounted onto another piece of paper and machine embroidered, including a thread of wool captured on the left hand side. 

But suddenly the little collaged paper circles popped up. And suddenly the page is beginning to look very successful. 

So one more hurdle to cross - finish the cover, assemble the signatures, bind the book. 

Oh wait - that's three hurdles! 


  1. That's well documented Hilary! Don't know what you're worried about! Lol Lovely harmonious colours. l

    1. Thank you. Thought it was pretty feeble but perhaps too much documentation would have just made the post too long and impenetrable.

  2. Your chaotic corner made me smile. I have several of them at the moment. I firmly believe one must have a vision before starting on a project, especially one like this, for it to be successful. But I also know visions tend to vanish midstream leaving one in a muddle and/or a panic before getting back on track, usually better than ever. I think the leaves edged in red are my favorite.

    1. I like the leaves edged in red too.

      I'll get it bound tomorrow - final hurdle. Finished the covers today. It's coming together.

  3. I love the textures that you've created, really interesting work x

    1. Thanks so much. Your comments mean a lot, what with you being an art teacher and everything

  4. it was lovely to meet you when you pooped into Honeybuns an Sewing Bees quilting shop in Gosport recently. hope to see you again soon.


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