Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Skills set

There are many craft skills needed for notebookery besides the principles of bookbinding.

Leather work, for one. Stitchery and needlework skills. Paper craft. Jewellery making. Textile and materials knowledge. Above all is required a feeling of confidence in a design concept which a patient and meticulous character is well suited to carrying through; bringing everything together, at the end, to make the book and bag complete.

Some days, when all those skills are needed, they are absent, having fled the bloody scene at the first scattering of the purple bead box, and they do not return for the entire day. They are probably hiding in terror from the woman who claims to possess them.

She has become a troglodyte in an earlier stage of human evolution. Now she is growling in a corner covered in suede fluff, snarling at the leather punch which is broken. She has gummed her fingers together with leather glue, stabbed herself in the hand with a five inch needle and bled over the hand-made gold-flecked paper (a snip at one pound twenty a sheet). She has torn the silk thread paper she travelled all the way to London to acquire. All the promise of a delicate silver chain is destroyed under her clumsy handling and anyway she dropped the clasp which rolled under the paper drawer. Retrieving it, she gave herself a blow on the forehead and fell face forward into the ribbon box.

By the evening there is not much more than an assemblage of cut leather which isn't going anywhere, folded paper which doesn't fit anything, an uncomposed heap of book jewellery, a matted ball of embroidery thread, and inexplicable twigs all over the floor which could lead a viewer to the conclusion they have stepped into a bizarre reconstruction of a medieval hovel.

At other times, a little book magically appears in under two hours, and she looks at it amazed and wonders, where did that come from?


Irene said...

That's all part of the creative process, which includes a lot of suffering if you do it well. It means you are willing to go beyond the limits. You do it well.

Grit said...