Monday, October 13, 2014

Lettering and Bookmaking

I was thrilled when I saw our new challenge: Lettering. This, because I am so fascinated by the shapes of letters, from the earliest Cuneinform and Hieroglyphs, up till our time with thousand different fonts.
And comming from Norway, I am so fascinated by the exotic elegance of Arabic and Asian writing.
I have used lettering many times in my quilts, like here in our challenge: Every single day, where I used the Chinese sign for Tea:

But, the earliest form of lettering in Scandinavia, Runer, are just as fascinating. I used them in one of my quilts about our Viking-ships, here is a picture of my Design-board, where I'm trying out different texts.
And this brings me to my second topic, bookmaking. 800-1000 years ago, at the time of the Runes, there were no books in Scandinavia that we know of. Writing were done in Runes on stones or wooden sticks, Runepinner. A few of these have survived, one of the most fascinating is one tiny piece of wood, about 12-15 cm long, where the row of boats you see at the bottom was engraved. At the back of this piece of wood, were the text you see to the right. These dates to around 1250, while the text at the top left was found at the Oseberg ship and is from around 820.  

In 2010, Laura had a show in DMTV, where she talked about bookmaking, and this show opened a new world for me.  So I made my first sketchbook, filled with many kinds of paper. 

On the covers, I've used Silk paper I had made . On the front, I had laminated in a leaf from a plant from my garden,

and on the back, I tried to use some golden flakes:

Later, I've made this one, a concertina book

 The cover is lino print on cotton rag paper, and it is, as all of my books are, filled with decorated paper, photos, prints etc.

 The next is a long stitch binding, the cover is hand made paper with embedded leafs:

And this last one I made, with soft leather cover:

If you want to have a try, the videos from DMTV are in Archive Two (you have to subscribe to DMTV to get access). You can also find a few instructive pages here:


  1. Interesting post Greta, thanks for the links, looking forward to watching them and perhaps creating some new books

  2. Lovely work, Greta and interesting about the Scandinavian alphabet. Always great to see other works from our group. I will definitely check out the sites you posted.