Friday, 16 November 2012

In the Studio

Life is fairly quiet and uneventful at the moment, I do enjoy it so.  All of a sudden I am feeling very well which makes me realise that I didn't feel that good before.   Vague symptons, mainly tiredness and lethargy seemed to plague me, my inner voice was constantly telling me off for not doing more but I just haven't been able to summon the energy or the desire.  I am menopausal which has its own agenda but that seems to have settled down lately, I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis but usually keep that under control although it can wear you down at times.  However for the last 6 weeks I have gone gluten free and I think it is making a big difference...I just feel so much better...don't think I am totally allergic but I do believe my body has become overloaded and I need to monitor my intake and if temptation gets the better of me to consume it only on the odd occasion and in very small doses.

I have noticed my pace has picked up and I am getting back into the studio on a regular basis in between arrival and departures of guests in the old post house...yes even in the midst of our blizzards I have had guests from Japan and the UK...they certainly have experienced the real Iceland.

In the studio I have finally started serious work on my BAO project not sure that I will get the full edition completed before the end of the year but hopefully it will be very close to that.  In between I have made a few books to try and improve my skills and I do get better each time.

  I have been experimenting with covers made by printing collograph plates 

on some thick printmaking paper strips that I have left over from a roll that I used for large prints I created in the past.

 I knew I would use them one day...I have kept them for years, the paper is Arches Lavis Fidelis.

The closure is a silver leaf, part of an antique leaf link silver belt I have had for years and never worn.

It is an Icelandic tradition to sign guest books after visiting someone's home, so I created one for Gamla Pósthúsið.  Coptic bound, not perfect...I realised I needed a finer curved needle than what I could buy here and since have heated and bent my own.

 The book is interspersed with postal images 

of envelopes, postage stamps and various postal imprints

The cover is in soft Icelandic lamb leather 

with a small historical image of the post office from the early 60's inlaid on the cover.

The guest book is filling up nicely with lovely messages from the many travelers that pass through  the doors of Gamla Pósthúsið.

Another recent book was a gift for Sigga, a lovely friend who has helped me immeasurably over the last 3 years.  This  little book was for her 50th birthday and a memento of the night as all the party guests inscribed words of wisdom and good wishes for her birthday.

 It once again is a collograph print on the left over Lavis Fidelis paper.

 I waxed it to provide a little protection and to give a soft sheen.

cover  unfolded

detail of the surface

It has not been all bookbinding, my favourite all time printing method is monoprinting, mainly because it is a lovely form of drawing, fairly immediate and cannot be repeated....I am not a good printmaker...hate editioning....get bored....once I have a successful print I want to move onto a different one....even with etchings I was only interested in pulling one successful print.  My plates are all under used.

Recently I have been creating a series of postcard sized images,  it has taken me a while to find a size that feels right.  In the past it used to be very large 1.2 to 2 metre long prints, however I no longer have access to such a large press and finally have found the very other end of the scale just as rewarding.

I have trouble photographing my prints can never seem to get the right shade of  black...need to work on this.

These all should be blue/black.

I mount the prints on book board,  I have had some on the wall for over a year now and they seem to be holding up very well, no warping.  When I work out how to photograph them better I may set up a small online shop.  


  1. I really love that belt-link-as-book-clasp, and I especially love when hanging onto something beautiful for years finally pays off!


  2. Your books are beautiful, Vicki. I shall email with an idea...

  3. I so love my book Vicki, thanks again! I think that you should do an online shop, I am also sure that some people would love to buy custom made guestbooks. Glad you are feeling better!

  4. Your prints are amazing Vicki and the books are beautiful. I hope you start selling online and do a few workshops. The gluten free diet sounds intriguing, maybe I should try it.

  5. Glad that flu has gone and you're feeling a lot better. Your books and your prints are beautiful, I love them all!
    I look forward to the online shop.

  6. It's great that you're feeling well and want to spend time in the studio. Your collagraphic book covers are gorgeous.

  7. Thanks so much for your supportive comments ladies, I truly appreciate it.

  8. your work is exquisite. have you tried encaustic paintings, maybe starting with the collagraphs and working over them for the depth of the wax?

    would you mind telling me how to get hold of some icelandic lamb leather?

    1. Hi, I do use wax over some works from time to time, it all depends on what they need.

      You can get Icelandic lamb leather from which is the tannery here in Sauðárkrokur, they do specialise in fish leather.

  9. Hi Vicki ... where did you train/study? Your work is gorgeous, you are very skilled in what you do. I had a go at reconstructing a book ... just playing about but when I look at what you do, I think I need to burn mine and start again. I will post some pictures on my blog of what I did but my work is very amateurish compared to the polished treasures that you are creating. I hope you can get an online shop going. Good wishes.

    1. Hi TC, I did a BFA at Curtin University in Western Australia, majoring in printmaking. The bookbinding is self can find so many tutorials on YouTube, the main thing is to take your time. I tried to look at your blog but it is not publicly listed!
      All the best.

  10. Hi Vicki,
    Thanks for your reply. I have a couple of blogs - one of them is only for our family and that one is not listed publicly. But my main ranting website :) is