Sunday, 12 August 2012

Hornbook

Coming up next, a show of artist's books at Westminster Reference Library. The brief was wide, which can be tricky  - it could be anything at all,  just so long as it is inspired in some way by the library.

We visited and had a look around the stores, they are a specialist art reference library and have some spectacular artworks in there - one Picasso book has actual, real Picasso etchings in it.











 




They also had a hornbook - these were what children used to learn their alphabets with, back in the day before books were printed.














 















I also came across this magnificent book about London when I was cataloguing in the Bishopsgate library (stupidly didn't write the name down, so I don't know how I'm going to find it again.)  Smoke-doctors. Pavement-mongers. Animal Magnetism. French Governesses. Smugglers. Tallymen. Wouldn't you want to live in London?

 

So I'm going to make a Westminster horn book.   A pictorial A-Z of Westminster, with linocuts representing the different  letters (G for Gin-house, S for Soho, etc.)
















I went to an artist's books workshop at the fabulous Slaughterhaus studio. It was a great day, but making books is quite tricky.

I've ordered my Japanese vinyl (which is lovely and soft compared with lino) and a baren (a thing that you use to handprint, made out of bamboo, which will hopefully mean I can do some of it at home without having to rent the studio space, what with paper and ink and studio time,  I'm never going to make money out of this.)

So, 24 x linocuts, designing and cutting the images, making them into a book somehow, tracking down a book on London with no title in the Bishopsgate Library, making it relevant to Westminster. Oh and I might try and squeeze in a letterpress course at the St Bride Foundation before the exhibition date.

Piece of cake.