Back at Ardington School of Craft a few weeks ago to learn how to make a half leather bound sketchbook. I find book binding a very satisfying craft, and I love to make my own sketchbooks. I haven’t bought one for a couple of years now. This one looks almost professional.
My wife had made some albums using an open backed spine bookbinding technique that I liked. It allows the book to open absolutely flat. I’ve made a sketchbook on the same format, using a variety of Japanese papers that I had. I’m not sure how well they will work in a sketchbook, but only trying will tell. I’ve used two lino prints as cover papers. I’m pleased with the result, but yet to try it out.
I want to produce a series of lino prints, and the old question is, “of what?”. I like birds and I like watching them when I’m sailing in Poole Harbour. So I’ve decided to do a series of “birds I like at Poole”. This is not a rigid list, but it will certainly include oyster catchers, cormorants, shell ducks and gannets. I’ve started by sketching gannets from Web photos. It is just the loveliest thing. It also christens my new sketchbook.
I enjoyed making my Ed Mostly concertina sketchbook so much that I’ve made another one, even though I haven’t drawn a line in the first one yet. This has a number of differences. A little smaller, so it can fit into a pocket more easily. The covers a wider than the pages, so there is room to fit a pen inside the closed sketch book, something I have always wanted. But most radically, two different types of paper, smooth watercolour and grey, textured pastel. I thought of just sticking one onto the end of the other, but instead, stuck them both to the middle cover, so one opens out one way, and one the other. Not sure how it will work in practice, but I’ll soon find out.
Spent a very pleasant day on an urban sketching workshop, lead by Mark Kelland and run by New Brewery Arts in Cirencester. Lovely hot day to be sitting around town trying to sketch different places. I hope that I carry on and do more now that I have started again after a long pause.