Handmade Books

Most of my handmade books are made as gifts or on contract. These are a few privately-owned books, some of which have been exhibited at the Pacific Festival of the Book in Victoria, B.C..

A book of well-wishes from the community for a beloved local family who moved away. I gathered images of the family from community members and printed them onto the pages before binding the book.


I often make wooden books, because they can hold so much meaning, especially of place, and especially for deeply meaningful books which commemorate marriages, births, etc. This one was for a wedding. The pages are handmade and hand-dyed; the wood hand-cut and planed.


Endpapers don't have to be paper! These are made of cotton.


A wedding guest book is the place where friends and family record their supportive role in the marriage. So it matters that the book is meaningful. This one is made of cedar that grew in the forests of the groom's hometown, and was hand-split, planed and shaped for this book.


A resin cover on translucent pages to illustrate a wistful poem about seals.


The intent of this book (with driftwood spine and translucent pages) was to work with the transient nature of the stories it illustrated, so that the experience of reading the book was reflective of the story itself.


A tiny (2x3-inch) notebook with a 4-way cover that displays the life-cycle of a dragonfly.


Restoration, rebinding and new cover for a severely damaged and very old Kate Greenaway book.

This was an opportunity to work creatively with the clients to create an entirely new cover in the style of a similar copy of the book (the book no longer had any cover to go by). I also bound into the book a personal letter relating to the book, which was meaningful to the clients.

Linen Press: Random Ramblings on the Emotional Process of Mothering

Exhibited in Victoria, B.C., 2007.

This is a book about laundry; dirty laundry and laundry trying to be clean, and cleaning, and airing out other people's old laundry for examination and forgiveness. This is a book about having a mother and being a mother.

Linen Press is an accordion book sewn of used children's bed linens. Its hard cover is integrated and held closed with a cotton diaper. It contains 34 pages of poems, photos, comments, and recipes, all from a mother's perspective. It is not all positive, nor all beautiful, but it is honest and even funny at times. It is not particularly controversial. The work is displayed as shown to the right (mostly) hung on a clothesline at eye-level, so that viewers can travel along both sides to read it. Below are images of individual pages, the book open to be read as a traditional book (also possible but not ideal for an exhibition).

Exhibition space required: 30 to 35 feet in a straight line (from one wall to another wall or pillar), where the clothesline is attached. The clothesline dips through the air, 5-7 feet high, so that viewers can easily walk underneath both ends. The book sits in a laundry-basket on a stool at one end of the clothesline, and its pages lift up to the line, where they are hung with wooden pegs.




Exhibited in Victoria, B.C., 2008.

Stretching the definition of "book", NOxIOUS is a tremendously long scroll of gas receipts, upon the back of which is scrawled the NOxIOUS poem. It is to hang from a ceiling at least 2 storeys high, from where it twists elegantly to the floor, ending in a snarled pile of reciepts.

Exhibition space required: 3x3 feet of floor-space, with a vertical rise of 20 to 30 feet. For special events, the piece can have dry ice set under the pile, so that a small cloud of carbon dioxide will drift around the heap of receipts. A draft-free area is necessary for this to work (away from vents, doors, etc.)

Free Pamphlets! Along with the exhibit comes a supply of free photocopied pamphlets, folded book style. The cover has only the title, NOxIOUS. Upon opening, the reader discovers definitions of various carbon oxides and nitrogen oxides, all harmful to human and planetary health, and products of gasoline combustion. On the third opening, the NOxIOUS poem comes into view. And on the very inside is a grey image of a tree-shaped car-deodorizer, with the word NOxIOUS on it.



Oude Wereld/New World (book)

Abstract expressive illutration of Dvorak's 9th symphony. (details)