9/19/2008

Little books

To see the image in more detail please click on the photograph.

I have always had a fascination with miniature books and have, over the years, collected a fair few. I thought that you might like to see some of them. The first one I ever bought was the miniature bible, which is not much bigger than a one pound coin. I could, at the time of purchase, actually read the text, sadly now I have to use my magnifying glass. The birthday book is Victorian and contains selected biblical scripts for each day, I bought it because I had illustrated "A Book of Days" and was intrigued by this early example.

A few years ago, I decided to learn bookbinding and book making so when I saw a miniature book making kit for sale, I had to have it! I ordered a kit from The Green Chair Press after falling in love with the Japanese paper and the origami nature of the book, which needs no glue, it is simply folded paper. I was rather taken aback by the seemingly impossible task of transforming the tiny pieces of paper into a little book but after a little perseverance I managed to finish making the little book at the top left of the photograph. After that I was hooked and decided to print one of my designs onto paper and make a slightly larger version, (top right).

The other little book is made from a piece of hand-marbled paper from yet another workshop, I shall save that story for another post. I think by now you will understand that I am something of a workshopaholic, sad but true.

15 comments:

  1. I find these so fascinating! And, your design in lovely.

    Happy weekend!

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  2. How lovely they all are. No wonder you have to use a magnifying glass to read the little bible. The ones you made from the origami kit are so pretty - I'd be all 'fingers and thumbs' with anything like that where so much precision is needed. I have a little copy of 'Twelfth Night'(5x8cm) - I've had it for ages and have no idea where it came from.

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  3. I love the one that you made with the delightful fungi print! What a charming collection!

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  4. Oh, me, too! I thoroughy enjoyed this post. There is a vintage and overstock bookstore that I frequent, housed in an old church. Up at the cashiers desk, there are always several rows of little books that I love to browse as soon as I walk in the door. And I usually have to take at least one home with me!

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  5. these books are so lovely, how special! I love a good workshop too!~

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  6. Willow, that sounds like my kind of bookshop.

    Thanks everyone for all your comments and welcome Heather.

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  7. Your miniature Bible reminds me that I worked in Research and Development at NCR (then National Cash Register Co) and they developed something called "Microencapsulation" (time release pills is the most common use) and they produced the entire Bible on a chip smaller than a small penny and gave them away with a magnifying glass. It is hard to believe but you could read it.

    You need to visit Strand bookstore. They have over 18 miles of books under one roof in New York. I have ordered books from them online > here

    http://www.strandbooks.com/

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  8. Abraham Lincoln, what an incredible thing that version must have been, I cannot imagine by what process type is reproduced so small. I would dearly love to visit the bookshop in New York, I may well have to take my sleeping bag!

    Your bird photographs are a delight, I will visit again when I have more time.

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  9. Hi Valerie! I love little books also. The mini-bible with the cross looks familiar to me. I think I used to have one, too.

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  10. Hi! Thanks so much for the birthday wishes on my blog today! You are quite a talented artist...I've enjoyed browsing here and looking at your creations! Great to meet you!

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  11. Hi Acornmoon. Thanks for the visit.
    I love your books - I too make little books now and again along with other projects - but yours look really special.

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  12. There are worse things to be! What a super collection of books, I've seen those tiny bibles before, incredible.

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  13. Miniature books, what lovely treasures. We have a little collection at the gallery as a part of the book arts display.
    One of my favourites is an Elephant Alphabet book by Carol Cunningham of Sunflower Press. It has a lovely illustration for each letter pertaining to elephants. The cover is is the shape of an elephants head, in leather with a bone tusk & tie to boot!

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  14. Valerie, these are just beautiful. Bookbinding is high up on my things-to-do-when-I've-more-time list!

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  15. Wonderful treasures! :-)
    I trust you have been to Venice and Florence, where the bookbinding art is still cultivated by artisans.
    Abraham Lincoln is right, Strand's a book lover's paradise. Should you ever go there, ask them to take you up to the Rare Books Section, a veritable treasure trove. Watch out, though, last time I was there, I fell in love with a book that cost 750 Dollars. For a year and a half I prayed they'd not sell it, until my big birthday arrived, and my brothers purchased it for me.

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