The Deterioration of a Book

Deterioration of a Book

Sea Fishing on the English Coast
by Frederick G. Aflalo
Hardback with laminate cover, no dust jacket, perfect bound without sewn sections.

The Deterioration of a Book

As a book conservator, I repair books on a daily basis, all in varying states of destruction and disrepair. As a resident of Worthing and the South Coast, I am witness to the destruction and disrepair caused by the sea and coastal weather to buildings and all kinds of objects.

However I have yet to see any evidence of a book being destroyed by the sea and weather. This is what I hope to observe over the course of the year ahead, and record here as part of an ongoing installation with ‘Art on the Pier‘.

The book itself is installed at Coast Cafe, near The Book Hut, and new and updated images will be put onto my website on a monthly basis.

A record of the deterioration

 

Craft Fairs around Sunny Worthing

This weekend saw me attending another Bartie’s Boutique craft fair at the St Pauls venue in central Worthing. It was a good day with a lot of talent on show meaning I had the chance to meet some great people and hope that I can portray a few of them here!

IMG_0589

But before I do, I thought I would give the fair a little plug – if you are a local craftsperson looking to hold a stall, or someone who likes to support us makers – Bartie’s Boutique is a great one to attend, with tables from £25-30 to book, it is a great fair to give a go, and very supportive if you have not done a one before. So have a look at the website and if you fancy it but aren’t sure how things all work, get in touch at this end and I’ll help where I can!

In addition to the Bartie’s Boutique, I was also recently asked to attend a very worthwhile Fun Day and Craft Fair at St Matthew’s Church Hall held by 10 year old Mabel, who is raising money for Water Aid – amazing stuff! She raised huge amounts on the day with the help of a raffle, cake sale and other goodies and still collecting on a charity page – Water Aid – if you have some spare change!

So here are some lovely people from both fairs!

IMG_0593

IMG_0595

These beautiful prints are by We Are Mountain. Sophie has huge amounts of talent with her printing and has been popular in the Worthing Art Trail (more on that next week) – I love the lobster one!

IMG_0601

IMG_0602

Claire from handmadebyhippo is a mosaic expert based in Brighton, she will create a custom-made mosaic for you – possibly a door number or something for the garden – she is also able to recreate a favourite photo in mosaic, which blew my mind just a little bit!!

IMG_0596

Samantha, from Hung On You, is the creator of these wonderful handmade and vintage jewellery pieces (and the amazing stand – might be taking some inspiration from that!), and also the instigator of the Brighton Craft Alliance, which I have set for my future plans – small world, we all meet at these things!

IMG_0599

Another slightly different jewellery maker at the fair was Pippa from OoNaNa – who made laser cut jewellery in amazing designs – including, wait for it, chemical formulae!! – Yes, peeps, we can now get our favourite chemical structures on a necklace – Monosaccharide Glucose here I come!!!

IMG_0605

 

Finally from Bartie’s Boutique was Hope from Hope & Ted – a sewing guru offering beautiful handmade goods and sewing classes for kids and adults. This was Hope’s first fair, and she is clearly a natural as her stand looked fantastic! I think I will have to book myself onto one of these classes.

Mabel’s Water Aid Fun Day and Craft Fair saw the return of some familiar faces, which is always really nice, and as always, some new ones. Suzanne from Mrs Bramble Designs had some beautiful hand crafted and sewn goodies, and is also the mastermind behind My Favourite Things… which is a Sussex-based vintage and craft fair organisation for anyone looking to join something in their area. And Alison is a local Worthing based photographer selling some fantastic animal and landscape based prints and cards. Not forgetting the lovely Zoe, who helped her daughter Mabel organise the day and Sally from Mapnation

And, of course, as a final show – my stall at both locations. The more recent table at Bartie’s  might have been my best yet, with a full range of books and the tool roll kits finally on display – and YES, I did sell one!

Making a Tool Roll – Instructions

Like many a crafts person, I have several tool rolls, all of which I have made myself – for tools, paintbrushes, knitting needles – you name it, I have it in a tool roll! So I thought I would impart my knowledge and practice in the art of the tool roll so that one and all can have a go. You don’t need much fabric, but if you don’t have any – I have put together some kits which are available on my Etsy page, which are hopefully wonderfully tempting!

untitled-41 copy

The lovely Helen from work has kindly tested these instructions for me and they have been adjusted as suggested!

You will need…

1 x patterned fabric – dimensions below
3 x plain fabric – dimensions below
1 x ribbon – 75cm long x 5mm wide (can be longer and wider if you’d prefer)
Sewing machine OR needle and thread (the latter will obviously take longer)
Scissors
Pins
Iron
Dressmakers pencil (optional)

Fabric Dimensions:

tools2 a yes

Finished Tool Roll:

tools1

Instructions:

tools3– Firstly we are going to work on the tool side, so put the patterned fabric to one side.
– Iron a 2cm hem onto the long edge of both fabric 3 and 4, then put fabric 4 to one side for the moment.
– Line up fabric 3 with the bottom of fabric 2, ensuring both are front facing and the ironed hem is at the top of fabric 3.
– Pin these two pieces together

toolstips1TIPS – Pin the fabric with the pins perpendicular to the edge of the fabric, this will allow you to run your machine over the pins without misplacing them, it will also prevent the fabric from moving sideways against each other.

tools4 a yes– Sew along the red dashed edge, keeping the sewing as close to the edge as possible – 1cm if possible. Don’t worry about rough edges, these will be covered up when we sew the whole thing together.

– The next step is to divide this new pocket up for the tools. I have made the partitions 2cm each, but you can make them whatever widths work well for your tools. Keep in mind that the divisions at the edges shrink when we sew the whole thing together, so it may be worth starting 3cm in and finishing about 3cm from the other end to allow for sewing round the edge.

tools5 a yes– Pin fabrics 2 and 3 at the hem to stop it flapping about and then mark every point where you want to make a tool division – you could do this with pins, a dressmakers pencil, chalk or you could do it by eye.

– Starting from the base of the fabric, sew up in a straight line, perpendicular to the base of the fabric, to meet your first marker. You will need to remove the pin as you get there as the machine will not sew over it.

 

tools6

– Repeat this for each of your pin markers until you have made all of your tool partitions.

 

 

 

 

 

Your tool roll should now look a bit like this:

tools7 a

tools8

– We are now going to attach fabric 4 and form the lower pocket. This will be on the outside of the tool divisions we have just made.
– Firstly we must sew over the hem we ironed onto fabric 4 at the beginning – this is to stop it flapping about.

tools9

 

 

– Once hemmed, sew fabric 4 into place the same way we did for fabric 3. The new hem should be facing inwards.

tools10a– Sew along the dashed edge, keeping the sewing as close to the edge as possible – 1cm if possible. The same as we did for fabric 3.

tools10b b yes

 

 

 

 

– Next we are going to divide this pocket into two, as one large pocket will probably be less useful.

 

tools11 b yes

– Do this simply by sewing up the middle of of the fabric in line with one of the central tool partitions. If you have a variety of tool division widths – make sure you sew in line with one of them, otherwise you will sew up one of your tool divisions and it will be unusable.

– Nearly there! Next we are going to sew on our backing fabric – fabric 1 – and our ribbon tie all in one go.

 

– Fold your ribbon in half and pin it onto fabric 2 as shown in the picture – the long ends should be on top of your fabric and the little folded bit should be sticking out the edge.

tools12 a yes

tools13 a yes– Once your ribbon is in place, match up fabric 1 with fabric 2 (and 3 & 4) and pin them together – ensuring that the good sides are facing each other.

– Sew along the edges of your fabric bundle, ensuring you leave an open space at the top to turn it inside out, about 12cm. The sewing edge can be up to 2.5cm due to the initial fabric pieces we cut, but try and keep the edges relatively small or your outer tool divisions won’t be much use.
tools14

 

 

 

 

– Turn it inside out and iron it nice and flat – at this point your ribbon should be nicely hanging on the right edge.

toolstips2 a yes
TIPS – Once you are definitely happy with the result, you can cut off the excess edges and corners on the inside of your tool roll, which should make it nice and neat on the outside – this is not essential to the finishing of the roll.

 

– FINALLY – sew up the open edge and fill with tools – TA DA!!

Start with this...
Start with this…...fold it over...…fold it over…...roll it up and tie it together!           …roll it up and tie it together!

Don’t forget you can get ready prepared kits on my Etsy page to make these tool rolls, all made up from lovely fabrics from my stash and my local fabric shop – they are all very nice!

Once your all done – photograph your lovely tool roll and upload you picture to our maudie.made Facebook page and let me see all your hard work! Here’s Helen’s fabulous tool roll!

IMG_0014

TIPS – If you found any of the tips useful, there is a tips jar in the sidebar!

 

From One Basket Case to Another

Over the summer, I was lucky enough to be invited to the private view of the City Lit Basket Course, which was a culmination of work by students over the last two years. Unsurprisingly this was quite a substantial and impressive collection of work. I have to admit my naïvety here, as I really had no idea that basketry could be so creative. The course, though advertised for beginners, appeared to cater for many levels, as there were returning basketers, who have been doing it for years.

My aunt, Christiane

My reason for attending the (very hot!) private view was that my aunt has been a student there these past two years, so I was keen to see her accomplishments, and I am duely bias in thinking hers were, of course, the best! So without further delay, here are some of my favourites…

IMG_1058

This amazing beast of a basket by Christiane Gunzi (my aunt!) came from exploring the effect of the environment on local woodland, in particular the great storm of 87′ and the change it caused in the growth of trees. Once the storm had hit, the woods grew erratically and all over the place. The precursor to this basket was an incredibly neat and perfectly formed one, representing the natural formulaic layout of the wood.

IMG_1072

This extraordinary piece was called Paradise House, by Anita Vozik. I thought if it was made larger, it would be an excellent garden escape pod, but it did have a more serious meaning as it was representing a hay bale, the gap being a scythe cut. Anita is Hungarian, and that is their traditional method of cutting and storing hay.

IMG_1082

 

IMG_1083

Janice Brooklyn – A fellow book enthusiast, and past attendee of the University of the Arts London. These are amazing basket woven paper creations, I could easily have a few of these on my wall!

IMG_1077

This upside down porcupine was made by Karen Lawrence, and definitely another favourite of mine. All the little spikes are made from cable ties and must have taken an age to weave in! It was one of a large collection of Karen’s baskets, all of which were incredibly impressive.

IMG_1074

This collection by Christiane Sans (another Christiane, but not my aunt!) was more abstract than the previously ones shown here, but equally as fascinating. The materials she used appeared to be more salvage than the regular cane, but I did not have a chance to ask her about them.

IMG_1065

Gail Romanes – These were definitely another favourite of mine, there must be something about miniature things that makes you love them just for being small! They were tiny and perfect!

IMG_1070

And finally, Gareth Williams’. I believe Gareth was a returning basketer, who has obviously developed an amazing skill in the craft over the years. These reminded me of something by Escher!

I have included websites where I have them (only one I think), but have grained from plastering people’s email addresses all over the web. However if you would like to get in touch with any of these basket cases, let me know and I can put you in contact.

aMAZEme at the Southbank Centre

This week The Man and I had one of our “Luke & Maudie’s Fun Day Out”. I love these days, they are filled with enjoyable meandering, varied and regular pub visits (preferably trying out new ones) and generally having an enjoyable fun day.

The Saturday just gone was one of these days, this time along the Southbank – one of my favourite parts of London, and if you have not been recently, or are due to visit London soon, I cannot suggest it strongly enough to visit. It’s fabulous all year round, come Christmas there will be hundreds of little markets and lights on all the trees. But this time of the year is a time for drinking outside and picking up the sunshine amongst the London cloud – its wonderful!

The Propstore was the first stop – a bar just outside the National Theatre, which is one of these pop-up bars that will be there until the end of September. It’s made from old bits of scenery from the theatre and supplies micro-brewery beers including a very nice pale ale!

We also popped into the The Royal Festival Hall (another favourite), and managed to see a fantastic exhibition called aMAZEme. It’s been created by Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo and is based on the concepts of Art & Literature, Entertainment and Generosity. It is a collection of books built up into a maze in the shape of a fingerprint and really is great. It is one of these rare exhibitions where you can get involved, the phrase is “feel free to pick up the books and have a read, but please replace them for others to enjoy” – how great is that?!

I thoroughly enjoyed it, there isn’t much like being surrounded by walls of books, so I strongly suggest anyone in and around London goes and has a look, and possibly a pint on the river – can’t get much better than that!

Some books were in need of conservation!

I remember this book from when I was a kid!

The Beauty of Edinburgh

Well I know this one is a little late in coming, but life seems to be running away with me at the moment! Just before Easter, I spent two glorious weeks in Edinburgh in Scotland. Despite being only a train journey away, this was the first time I have ever been to Edinburgh, and indeed Scotland mainland (I have been to the Isle of Arran – also beautiful!), and glorious is a good word to describe the city, it was absolutely amazing. I didn’t even manage to see all of the attractions and was still blown away by the pure beauty of the city itself.

I have always been keen on architecture and interesting old buildings – the ones that peek my interest the most are the ones that look like they could be riddled with secret passages that might have been used in days past for romantic interludes or unsolved murders! Well Edinburgh may be the epicentre of these types of buildings, especially as it seems every other building was the site of the murder of one of Mary Queen of Scots secret lovers! It reminded me of something from The Gormenghast Trilogy, which if you have managed to read (it is a task), you might also see the similarities.

Being a city many built on a hill, it appeared that everywhere was built on top of each other – full five storey buildings were built on top of other five storey buildings, making what looked a bit like medieval skyscrapers with tiny passageways and stairs between them. As I say it was amazing!

I was there for two weeks on a placement with the National Library of Scotland, who had very kindly agreed to take me on for two weeks in their conservation department. The library itself is accessed on the George IV bridge, at which point you appear to be entering a fairly normal five storey institute style building, only to find that you are on floor 11 and the whole building has 15 storeys – it was a bit mind boggling to say the least!

Anyway, aside from the two week placement and the fascinating architecture, I did manage to visit a few of the sites with The Man (he came up for the weekend in the middle) and some of the pubs. The main street in the old part of town is called the Royal Mile, joining both Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, which is the official residence of The Queen when visiting the city.

We managed to visit the castle at the top of the hill and had a tour in the sun – they do an excellent cream tea – and also walk up the giant hill in Holyrood Park. Anyway, enough of gabbling, I cannot suggest visiting enough it was truly beautiful and here and here are some pictures and I will follow up shortly with some more subject specific information on the placement itself!