Graphemes (2017.3)

Catalogue Record

Collection

Maker

Title

Graphemes

Made in

London

Date

2016

Materials and techniques

Maker has employed ancient sewing techniques 'long stitch' and binding techniques 'Limp binding' in the process of making. The gold tooling used for the cover design is achieved by heating a brass tool designed and made by the maker and applying it to gold leaf with heat to create an impression onto the leather. The pages inside the book are illustrated by the maker by guilding onto paper.

Dimensions

length (Book):  18cm
width (Book):  13.4cm
depth (Book):  1.9cm
length (box):  19.5cm
width (box):  14.7cm
depth (box):  3.4cm

Object number

2017.3

Category

Credit

Purchase of 'Graphemes' (2016) supported by a donation from an anonymous donor.
  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection:2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • Graphemes, Jo Bird, 2016. Crafts Council Collection: 2017.3. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

Maker's statement

This piece of work is a binding about our understanding of letter forms. To me letters are very much visual abstract shapes that have a life of their own. I'm interested in how we begin to form writing - how we quickly learn as children to recognise and organise those abstract shapes into meaning.

This book is inspired by my daughters early understanding of forming letter shapes, expressing wonderment in the drawing and writing process by turning shapes upside down, repeating them or drawing them backwards. I have collated hundreds of her early attempts at letter shapes and by playing with them I am re-creating a personal secret language.

In the context of my practice, the subject of letter forms has appeared frequently throughout my work over the past ten years. It is a subject that I am continuously drawn to, as I am fascinated by our visual de-coding of writing. I enjoy playing with letter forms and also with the unspoken space between words. Working with the traditional technique of gold tooling onto leather and reshaping old hand letter tools into new shapes is also an important aspect in the development of my practice.

This piece of work ties in with my work as a professional bookbinder, developing structure and function of a book alongside the importance of the words and pictures inside the book. The physical structure of each of my bindings is as important as the contents, as together they take you on a small journey.

Jo Bird, 22 September 2017