Thursday, 27 June 2013

Everything teaches us something

Undermined my own market by running a workshop on notebookery. I show the juniors a straightforward bookbinding technique: the pamphlet stitch.

Everything teaches us something, doesn't it?

1. I am mean. I tell my audience, you need never buy an overpriced notebook from a pointless gift shop ever again. Ten minutes at home in preparation, and you have a perfect bag/pocket sized notebook; unique, stylish, made for the event, day, or hour!

My generous-sided brain whispers to me, don't forget to add, Support your local gift shop! Buy other stuff instead! (Well, it would, if they sold other stuff that wasn't overpriced tat shipped in from Shenzhen.)

2. I provoke for no good reason. Yes, let's all be guerilla artists!

Our journey books indeed look beguiling and inviting, hanging from railings and trees at the local park. When it is dry.

After a two-hour soaking they are completely sodden, all the fancy bits dropped off, and nothing more than another pain in the arse for the litter-picker, who works, incidentally, on the minimum wage.

3. I am impatient. I will never make a primary school teacher. After five minutes I find myself shouting inside my head For fuck's sake! It's not rocket science! It's just a bloody stitch! How have you managed to mangle it up like that? You should have watched my sodding demonstration shouldn't you?

Actually, I may have shouted some of those in reality. (Fortunately, no-one cried.)

4. I am shamed. After five minutes I give up the attempt to teach anyone how to make a ruddy journey book. It is craft mayhem with sharp needles. I sulk, guard the card, suspect the juniors of using too much string, and become impatient at the dropping of a piece of paper. I am a miserable little bastard, in fact. My journey book is crap.

And all their journey books turn out far, far, better than mine, with more imagination than I ever bring to the task.

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