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...


Prettygate Infant School 2012

I spent another wonderful day of inspiration as Visiting Book Artist at the Prettygate Infant School, Colchester in July 2012.

In my workshops each of the year one children made a unique artist's book to take home and complete as a journal during the summer holiday transition period from year one to year two.

The books were excellent and the success rate of completion of content was also great.

I popped in to the school to take a few pictures of the completed books.  Here they are...complete with fabulous written content, stickers, illustrations and added documents in the cover pockets :-)


I spent this morning in a studio under the artistic guidance of artist and printmaker Julie Howe.

During my intensive painting session, Julie guided me through numerous techniques for approaching painting work and dispelled any myths I had created for myself which had begun to prevent me from even approaching a canvas!

I am so pleased with the result and I found the experience to be  hard-work, fascinating and productive.

Thank you Julie :-)

Check out Julie's beautiful, intriguing and mysterious work on her blog My Curious Tea Party.

King's Place bookbinding workshop

I was very happy indeed to be invited once again to run a workshop at the King's Place Family Weekend in September 2012.

This year I decided to run a bookbinding workshop and I was so pleased that participants were happy to spend the time and dedicate energy to making required to produce beautiful handmade, hand bound and decorated individual artist's books complete with pockets and a beaded bookmark.


Thank you to King's Place for the opportunity and to all my participants for making the day so enjoyable.

Look out for all events at King's Place - it's a wonderful music and arts venue!

Here are a selection of images from the workshop...