Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great Presents from Great Friends

Here’s what I recently received from two of my friends :) Could any surprise be better for me than vintage leather? I don’t think so! 
The piece of leather is coming from a vintage chair and was offered to me by José, my leather mentor :) It is recovered from an old family chair which he upholstered. It’s a big piece but I’ll use it for only one book, a really special one.

The book cover below is almost 150 years old. I got it from a very good friend of mine who was my colleague in high school. He recently visited me and liked my books so much that offered me this cover. The story behind it is quite interesting, as he got it from an orthodox priest who commissioned him to paint some icons for his church. At the end he offered this cover to my friend, which he kept but never knew what to do with it until he saw my books. I, on the contrary, knew what I want to make with it from the first moment I saw it. I’ll restore it and use it with my first real art book. I’m dreaming and designing this book in my head since more than one year.

Thank you to my great friends for these inspired presents and their support! It means so much to me! I'll be back with photos of the work in progress.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October SALE

I decided to discount some books in my shop, thus, until the end of this week they are 20% OFF their actual price! One is gone, six have left :)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Wonderful Coincidence

This month we celebrated one year since we moved to Vila do Conde, in the north of Portugal. When I first came here I had no idea if I will like it or if it was really the place where I wanted to live. I didn’t know anybody and being such a small quiet city, I had no expectations of meeting people or making new friends around here.
And then this wonderful unexpected thing happens, and one day I discover a blog of another artist who works with leather and lives right here, just a few streets away from me! Two weeks later I receive an email from him, as he had already discovered me before I got to contact him first. His name is José Machado and he also moved here with his family exactly a year ago. He is a creative shoemaker who - honestly, I’m not saying that because we’re friends now :)- makes the most beautiful and original shoes I ever seen!!!

His work is the perfect blend between antiquity and medieval styles and contemporary materials, colors and textures. These are one of a kind shoes made after extensive documentation, beautifully designed and carefully created. To me they seem some magic objects that came out of a beautiful story and once you put them on, they’ll take you to some dreams world.

José has a background in theater stage lighting and sometimes designs pieces for actors 
and theater play.

You can see the beautiful shoes for yourself on his blog and sneak a peek into his studio.
As for me, I must dedicate a separate post to my first visit to his workshop and how amazing was that experience! For now I can only say, gosh… I have soooo much to learn from him!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Playing and Writing

I’ve been in a little vacation for the past two weeks and neglected a bit my online presence, my blog and even my Etsy shop. But that was for good reasons--my sister visited me in Portugal so we were going to places and having fun. We also worked together on our bookbindings and made all kind of artistic experiments. It was great.
Here’s what we did one day, inspired by a book from 1893 which we bought at an antique fair in Porto. The book is huge and has hundreds of pages filled with beautiful handwriting about the accounting of a shop. I guess the person responsible to fill it should have had some calligraphic skills. Just imagine how much time was spent to write it!

The book really got us in the mood to play with text, so here’s how our calligraphy experiments came out:

Text written by my sister with a bamboo pen and brown ink 
on paper cream paper aged by hand.

Text written by me with the dip pen and china ink 
on recycled paper stained with acrylics.

Next days we also made handmade and decorative papers. It was fun!