Friday, September 13, 2013

The Box Challenge - End game....or is it?

Bless me father for I have sinned, it has been 6 months since my last confession.

This does not mean by any means that I have not been hard at work, and posts over the next few days will I hope illuminate.

But first......some news.

As many of you know, or may not (I'm not offended), for the past 7-8 years, before PDB existed, I have been working on a project making custom design boxes for first editions.

Today, I decided to stop for the time being and take a break. There are many reasons, but I think the most important was that I just ran out of steam. I went as far as I could with the project so far, learning many new techniques and applying them with some modicum of success....printing, painting, dyeing, inking etc...etc...

It has been one of the most important and influential jobs I have done to date, although I wouldn't like to say I am ever to do......but I called it quits, for the time being it a temporary sabbatical...

The first 30-60 boxes were awful looking back, but when I started to experiment I really found my stride, and after 300 or more completed I have progressed as a binder a great deal.

I couldn't hand letter in leaf, now I can comfortably hand tool in gold in all kinds of ways.....I knew little of onlaying, now I don't think there is an onlay in existence that I haven't completed.

For this I am very grateful to the client in giving me the freedom to do what I liked, and to my middleman "A" who had my back the whole time.

A bookbinder has a choice at the beginning of their career. Work and get gainful employment and work in the trade.....or remain true to the original passion of what makes them want to be better. In my opinion the most successful binders choose the latter, and while they may not enjoy immediate success, they will enjoy much more deeper, gratifying and long-lasting victories.

I chose the first, and was all too eager to take on anything that came through the I feel its time to step back, and hopefully re-discover just what it was that made me want to be a bookbinder in the first place.

This is not the end, but perhaps I can take a break and approach it anew with renewed pep later. Over the coming months, there may be even a restructuring of PDB that reflects this new outlook.

My next post will include a review of a project completed for the artist Chris Ofili.

As a wise woman once told me in the Wyvern bindery back in london...

"Theres more to life than money"

but then again, you gotta be rich to think like that...

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