50 books in a year of being 50

In this year of being 50 I have decided to follow one of my creative passions
and make 50 handmade books over the year.

Early next year I will find a way to exhibit the books and auction them.

The money raised will go to Plum Village in France,
a monastic retreat centre inaugurated by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

50 books

I'm very happy to announce I have now finished the 50 books! Wow! 

And here is what 50 books look like on the shelf. 
My next task is to find somewhere to exhibit them and where to hold the auction, which will hopefully be later this year. It's been a great challenge and I never felt I wouldn't complete it, in fact at one point I thought there would be many more as I still have a list of ideas for books that I haven't made (yet!). But for now I'm happy to let them stand and wait for the next stage.
If you have any questions about the books you can contact me here lauribooks@gmail.com

And here below are some interesting photos of selections of the books in close up.

This photo shows the spines of all the books using coptic binding.

These books all feature one or more of my own poems.

These are some of the decorative spines.

And this is a photo of the inside of my personal favourite, Words of peace. Although the colour isn't right as the card is a gorgeous blue rather than the grey it appears to be here.

Book number 50, Thay the Bodhisattva

Current bid for this book stands at £35
The final book is a poem that I wrote about Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) in 2014 when he first became ill. In Buddhist iconography there is an image of the Bodhisattva (one who has put off personal enlightenment and has reincarnated to lead all beings to enlightenment) Avalokiteshvara with one thousand hands and an eye in each hand. This is so he can see all the suffering in the world and has the hands to help. A beautiful image that I had in mind when I began to write about Thay and considering the many different aspects of his teaching. Having written the poem it took me a long time to work out how to illustrate it (especially as I can't draw). I had ideas of using people's printed hands as a border and the words of the poem in the middle but having tried that it didn't feel right to me. Suddenly it hit me that I could make a book like the Family hands (number 9). On a retreat I drew round people's hands as a starting point for each page. I also had in mind the notion of decorating hands with henna (as used for Asian weddings) and this gave me the inspiration to decorate each page. The brown colour also fitted in with the brown robes that the monastics at Plum Village wear.
It seemed appropriate to me that the final book has taken the most amount of work because of all the detail on each page.
The book measures 26 x 21.5 cm with 36 pages. The cover is decorated with decoupage and the book is assembled with coptic spine binding.

Here is the front cover.

 This is the open book.

Book number 49, Love poems box

Current bid for this book stands at £18
This book is 10 love poems encased in a maroon and gold box. The box measures 12 x 12cm. The poems are ones I have written over the past few years. The pages are folded into squares to reveal one poem at a time. The first page has a heart design in the same paper as the box with a ribbon to gently open the folded pages.

The closed handmade box.

The open box revealing the heart.

The open pages showing one of the poems.

Book number 48, big book small book

Current bid for this book stands at £50
I made the small book several months ago with the idea of it being used as a closure for a bigger book, and have only just got round to making the bigger book (mainly because I wasn't sure how it would work as the closure!). It was the paper that caught my eye, not my 'usual' colours but very intriguing. The book is size 16 x 22cm and has 108 pages. It is a large sketch or note-book with two weights of cartridge paper and the small book  measures 3 x 3cm with 92 pages. This is also a fully functioning book with the pages from rice paper.
The cover is green and maroon bookcloth.

Here is the front cover.

Here is the book open.