We are now experiencing cool autumnal weather after an amazingly hot spell, which took everyone by surprise and made it hard to be indoors. I had to spend time working on Christmas artwork, painting snowmen and Christmas trees when the sun shone and the garden beckoned.
Our grandson George celebrated his second birthday and I had my … errr hmmm birthday too. The nicest part about birthdays is of course the presents and I am thrilled with my new press, which my husband bought for me. A bookbinding friend called Robert Hamer built it, he numbers all his presses and I am honoured to own number 8. He laminates the plywood to make an extremely strong structure, which is much lighter than metal so even a wimp like me can lift it.
Having the new press has inspired me to do more bookbinding. I rescued a lovely but very tatty edition of “Highland Pack” illustrated in black and white by Keith Henderson. I choose a grey/green cloth and a piece of paste paper, which I had previously decorated in a workshop, believing that it would come in handy one day! This was my first attempt at a half cloth binding. If you would like to try yourself I can recommend a very thorough but easy to follow book by Kathy Abbott “Bookbinding A step-by-step guide”. I also made some more little notebooks for personal use and experimented with printing an image taken in Venice with a “photocopy” effect filter. I printed it out onto thin grey card on my ink jet printer and used it as a cover for a simple single section notebook.
Of course I am eager to devote some more time to printmaking, my lino and wood engraving tools are looking forlorn and neglected, oh for a thirty-six hour day. Before I go I just wanted to point you in the direction of Mangle Prints who has been printing some delightful Christmas cards, each one hand pulled and nice enough to frame.
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.