12 December 2012

Hope the weather's good where you are...

So little time to come here and blog but I hope everyone is keeping warm and that the weather is not too grizzly where you are around the globe!

4 December 2012

Book Arts Course II

As in my post Book Arts Course I promised here are further images from my current Book Arts course.

My Altered Book session led to the participants making innovative, adventurous, amusing and beautiful book art works.

Here is a selection of images...

28 November 2012

Local treasures

A late afternoon jaunt to Heybridge Basin allowed me to take these cool pictures with my new smart phone :-)

Simon Goode and the LCBA

I have a clear memory, as a second year undergraduate student of Book Arts & Crafts, of seeing the dramatic book arts installation created by the final year student, Simon Goode, at the London College of Communication a few years back in the mid noughties.

Conversations held with Simon at networking events were engaging and full of passion for Book Arts.  Simon spoke of his growing collection of printing and book binding equipments (then being stored in a distant location) and we shared our passion for passing on the knowledge of the world of Book Arts.

As I continue to pass on my knowledge through workshops and events, I am also really excited by the new London Centre for Book Arts founded by Simon.  Following an enviable tour of the US, visiting binderies and key book arts locations, Simon has returned and set up LCBA.

I hope to get to visit the new venue very soon...

Book Arts Course

My current Book Arts Course is approaching session four of five - but I cannot wait to post images so here are a selection from the Paper Engineering and Bookbinding sessions...more to follow...

Test Card

21 November 2012

Blog, blog, blogging

Blog, blog, blog...
I must get into the habit of writing a quick post or two with more frequency!
Apologies for recent absence.  Will now aim to fulfill this aim!!!         

7 November 2012

Radio Wivenhoe Interview

I am busily preparing for my interview on Radio Wivenhoe tomorrow for Wivenhoe Women, a super programme promoting the work and talents of local women, produced by Charmaine McKissock.

Watch this space for details of the programme on air...

5 November 2012

Pinterest as a tool for art education

I have discovered Pinterest - have I said this already?!

I am keen to put forward my idea that this is potentially an excellent tool for artist / student creative self development...

A few days ago, I set myself the rule that I could only select images from Pinterest which fitted my aesthetic 100%.

As I began to get the hang of searching and pinning images to my 'like' board, I became increasingly aware of a strange phenomena occurring. 

My preconceived perception of my personal aesthetic was gradually being blown away by a series of images which, as a collective, reflected back to me an aesthetic, which, while being my own, had previously been unrecognized by me.

I began to see this tool as a fabulous way for students to develop an understanding of their own aesthetic - and I am keen to try this out...

Artists, students, creatives - what are your thoughts?

I had to take sneaky a look - and found my Conversational Threads illustration under my own name!

4 November 2012

Solo Exhibition Private View

I had such a lovely afternoon yesterday, hosting the private view for my new solo exhibition Long Exposure at the Digby Gallery, Mercury Theatre in Colchester.  

The gallery staff have been very supportive and helpful and the hanging system is a dream to work with.

I was so pleased to have the time to talk to all my guests (except sleeping children) and very happy to get positive feedback, expressions of interest and to begin discussing future projects, commissions and collaboarations!

The feedback comments came from an audience ranging from 5 to 69 :-) (those under 5 were too tiny to comment!).

Thank you to all guests and to my family support team and to the Mercury Theatre staff.

Inspiration Monday

I have had a long term fasciation with and love of animation and I have a clear recollection of watching animation 'shorts', from around the world, on the BBC circa the late 1970s / early 1980s. 

This free and easy access to skilled and intriguing animation seemed to disappear over time and I have been saddened by the fact that I could only access such 'shorts' by attending screenings at the BFI (expensive) or by buying DVDs of animation compilations (also expensice - and never in the reduced price sales bracket!).

I have had the opportunity to enjoy watching some true gems over the years - by taking advntage of the DVD lending library at the London College of Communication during my student days; and by treasuring DVD gifts.

Maybe I have been missing a treat as a result of finding the web 2.0 offerings a little overwhelming - you tube / my space / etc.  I don't know.

But now, I have discovered Pinterest and Vimeo.  FANTASTIC!

As a celebration of these discoveries I am posting this animation short.  Books, paper engineering, music, darkness, intrigue...enjoy!

28 October 2012

Bookbinding: interesting links for workshop participants

Here are some interesting links....

For bookbinding supplies visit
For luxury papers visit

To view and read about amazing artists' books browse or visit the V&A at 

Discover the book arts bookshop near Old Street tube
Read the Book Arts Newsletters past and present here

and check out the book arts books in Colchester Library!

Congratulations on your lovely, well designed hand bound books...

26 October 2012

Colchester Institute: Diversity in Book Design

Today, I spent a super day running my book making / bookbinding workshop with students at Colchester Institute.

As always, I left inspired and amazed by the creativity of these young people.  Each individual took the bookbinding technique and made valuable design decisions in  order to create their own unique design.  

Paper cut, illustration, tea stained paper and carefully selected materials led to the creation of the wonderful books which you can view in the images below.

Thank you to the students for participating with full commitment - all day, to the group tutor, Richard Nash and to the Colchester Institute School of Art and Design team.

Here are images of the books which are truly as diverse and interesting as their makers.

23 October 2012

Perspective on King's College, Cambridge

Guardian Big Draw 2012

I had a fabulous day at the Guardian Big Draw on Saturday, running my two workshops Random Post (for the fourth year running!) and Wonderful Words (NEW for 2012!).

I met great people and worked alongside a super group of innovative and creative artists.

This year, I was really impressed by the participants' willingness to stay and work on a creative piece for a substantial amount of time.  This led to great artwork being made.

My quote of the day has to be the comment made by a young girl, aged about 8 years old, as she passed my workshop and said, "Oh look, Mummy!  Words!".  Priceless.  And the perfect response to my Wonderful Words workshop.  She took part too.

Below are images of the Wonderful Words artwork (the full Flickr set is here) - but the postcards were heading on their way to their new recipients before the camera lens could capture their image!  They too were so creative and detailed.  Fantastic.

Thank you to all participants and to the Guardian News & Media for hosting such a great event.

Have you received you Random Post postcard yet?

16 October 2012

Beware Picasa web...

Dear Readers,

I keenly signed in to Picasa web today in order to check it out as a potential teaching and learning tool.

It proved to be super for this purpose.

However, I deleted a number of albums containing a few images each as i felt these were cluttering my account - and they are linked to my blogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So now there are posts with a big black rectangle brandishing a bold minus sign - instead of, for exapmlpe, lovely images of my venture at Rob Lock's Sumi Ink Club, etc...

Beware - don't delete if the images are on your blogs!

I am furious with Google as they want to encourage sharing - but seem to be using sneaky methods to do so!

Hope none of you out there have experienced this disaster (a truly minor one - but nevertheless!).

10 October 2012

New Workshops in November

I am really excited to be announcing my forthcoming workshops in November.

The Book Arts course will lead you on a creative making jouney, learning traditional and experimental book binding and book arts techniques along the way. 

Feel free to join the course or to drop in and participate in a selection of workshops. Advance booking is essential.

Once you have gained experience in a variety of book arts making options, you will be guided in the creation of your own unique artist's book to treasure or give as a gift. 

You are welcome to bring additional materials and, of course, your life knowledge and expertise will enrich your content and design choices.

Wednesday morning (9:30 -11:00 am)

07.11 Paper engineering

14.11 Bookbinding

21.11 Altered books

28.11 Individual making session 


Thursday evening (7:30 - 9:00 pm)

08.11 Paper engineering

15.11 Bookbinding

22.11 Altered books

29.11 Design : Form and Function

06.12 Individual making session

Venue:      Quaker Meeting House
                 6 Church Street, Colchester
                CO1 1NF

Price:        £64 per person (4 sessions | wednesday am)
                 £80 per person (5 sessions | thursday pm)
                 £20 per person (drop-in per session)

Included: Use of specialist bookbinding tools
                Specialist materials | Tea and coffee
                Relaxed, creative atmosphere

Booking: Advance booking essential.
                Payment in advance.

Contact: Mary Pullen
e mary.pullen@yahoo.co.uk
t + 44 (0) 7941 594 888
Here are more details about each session to entice you along.................
Paper engineering
Learn a variety of paper manipulation and paper engineering techniques and create a small, hard cover artist's book using traditional book binding materials and tools.

Make a unique single section, hand stitched book with a colourful cover and added extras including pockets, flaps, a beaded book mark and rounded corners.

Altered Books
Choose a book to alter with great respect due to the tome.  Use paper engineering techniques and add, take away and alter your pages and cover to create a unique Altered Book.

Design: Form and Function
Learning about the concepts of Form and Function within the world of book arts.  Use methods of imposition and drawing to design your unique artist's book.

Individual making session
Spend a luxurious session contemplating, developing and executing your own ideas to create a unique artist's book, drawing on your personal ideas and new skills learnt during the course.


The workshops are suitable for participants of all levels.


Take advantage of a reduced price when you enrol for the whole course - or drop in to individual sessions which draw your interest. 

The workshops are to be held at the lovely, calm location which is the Quaker Meeting House.  The venue offers a fabulous, spacious and comfortable making space - and a great kitchen for preparing essential refreshments to fuel creativity!

The ground floor of the venue is fully accessible (Thursday evening workshops).  Wednesday evening workshops are to be held on the first floor.

2 October 2012

'12 Po-tentiates

I had the opportunity of spending time at the Minories Gallery, Colchester last Friday and I was pleased to get to see two exhibitions.

'12 Po-tentiates allowed me to view some of the best work created by Colchester Institute's 2012 art and design degree show students.

I also had time to ponder the exhibition detailing the development of the Minories art archive and collection - although I was disappointed to view pieces by only a handful of female artists amongst the many male artists.

If you are in town, take time out to see the two exhibitions.

I asked permission to take photographs and here are a selection...