The covers for these books are made up of a variety of exotic woods creatively handcrafted by Tore Vollan. Tore is the Bestefar (Norwegian for grandpa) of my goddaughter Hannah.
Tore was born in Trondheim, Norway in 1931. He immigrated to Canada then moved to Washington State where he became a citizen and met his wife. He became superintendent of a construction company, but when his granddaughter was born, he retired, and devoted the rest of his life to help raising her. It was at this point that he began focusing on his woodworking. He crafted fine clocks, chests, trays, and jewelry boxes for over 20 years, often having his work displayed in galleries and winning awards. As he got older he made less and less, not just because he was tired, but because he didn’t feel he had a purpose. Then his granddaughter suggested he make a set of book covers for her godmother to make into a journal. This renewed his joy of woodworking and he swiftly created hundreds of covers that his granddaughter would either bring in her suitcase or mail to Winnipeg.
Tore died in April of 2018. His last act in his workshop was to pack up all of his unfinished work to send to Canada.
I am so honoured to be able to incorporate Tore’s beautifully crafted wooden covers into the books that I make and I treasure every set that sits in my studio ready to be transformed into a book.
This collection is currently at Woodlands Gallery in Winnipeg as part of their emerging artists’ holiday exhibition.
The log book series evolved from the artists’ book You Seem So Far Away. In preparation for that project I practiced on several different logs and became intrigued by their unique shape and the individual character of the insides.
Ever since I held a fur covered copy of Margaret Wise Brown’s Little Fur Family in my hands, I knew I wanted to make fur covered books. I have experimented with many different styles of binding until I finally landed on this medieval binding. The wood covers add a heftiness to the book and are perfect for showcasing the softness and beauty of each individual fur
Yesterday I taught the first of two coptic binding workshops out at the beautiful Runs With Scissors Studio out near Winnipeg Beach.
In the morning we focused on creating book covers on archival book board. Some of the participants had created geli prints from a workshop the day before taught by Heidi Hunter, others brought their own hand dyed fabric to cover the boards and others used maps and other decorative paper to cover their boards.
In the afternoon we got to work preparing templates, drilling holes, creating spine liners and learning the two-needle coptic stitch. The books they created are all so beautiful and wonderfully unique.
THIS is why I love the coptic binding method so much. It allows for endless opportunity for creativity and innovation.
There are still a few spots available for my second workshop which will be in the same beautiful setting on Sunday, July 29th from 10-4. This one will focus on creating books with wooden covers. The cost for this workshop is $99 plus a $20 kit fee which includes everything you need.
Email me if you are interested or you can contact Runs With Scissors Studio directly.
In the zone!
The finished books (mostly).
Grandma and granddaughter – what a beautiful way to spend time together.
and more spines!
She made the prints for these covers in the geli-printing class and then bound them into a book. Stunning!