Monday, September 28, 2009

Hello Blogland!

The task of committing my thoughts to (virtual) paper in this forum is a bit intimidating, so to ease myself in I am going to start my expression in list-form:


  • I make things

  • I love to make things

  • I do not make things for a living, but I should

  • Hence, ink & whim
ink & whim is the culmination of my umming and ahhing about being productively creative.

My latest inspiration:

I grew up in a reading household; my mother, sister and I always had our noses in books. Our library cards were always maxed out and our weekends were spent trawling op-shops and the local book exchange for the next good read. Pilgrimages were made annually to the Lifeline Book Fair. With this love also came great respect; my mother ensured that we were careful with our books and passed them on when we were done. Reading in the bath was permissible, but the book was not to get wet under any circumstances. Drawing in books (even ‘beautifying’ my Little Golden Books by colouring in the pictures) was a strict and punishable no-no!

Much of my love of reading stems from a love of books themselves – on a philosophical level of course they’re a portal to amazing places, situations and characters, but on a physical level they interest me greatly as well: the smell, the binding, the cover. In our op-shop journeys my sister and I would keep a special look out for old books. I’m sure my sister’s motivation was to collect books of distinction, however I was more interested in each book as an object. I pictured each book sitting in book shelves of families in the 80s, being part of a stack on a bedside table in the 50s and being purchased before the war in the 30s. Aside from this imagined history I also enjoyed the beautiful printing techniques that used to be the fashion: the bold serif typefaces, illuminated chapter beginnings and block-printed illustrations. What made a book truly special, however, was when evidence of the book’s history made a physical appearance. I looked out for hand-written birthday messages in the front covers (To Sally on her birthday, with much love Father and Mother) and pasted-in award plaques (Presented to John Smythe, Form 1, for excellent penmanship).

The ‘Don Quixote’ I came across a couple of years ago presented me with a great opportunity – here was a book that was over a hundred years old, had beautiful pen and ink illustrations, interesting layout on each page and beautiful language use to boot. The best thing, however, was that the book was damaged – pages missing and covers crumbling. This allowed me to go against my mother’s teachings; if the book was already falling apart then it would be alright for me to tear pages out! I could also draw in it! I love working with the book to create something new. Some of these finished pages are shown below in their new greeting card forms.


'Promise'







Pen and ink illustration on original Don Quixote paper
Printed on 100% recycled cardstock
Print available as a greeting card, blank inside for own message

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‘Pleased’

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Pen and ink illustration on original Don Quixote paper
Printed on 100% recycled cardstock
Print available as a greeting card, blank inside for own message



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As part of a printed origami collage:
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And on metallic cardstock, backed with block-printed South Korean paper:






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