Category Archives: Bo Press Books

Micro-miniature Books

I actually started my miniature book career as a collector of micro-miniatures books. I was populating the shelves of my (unfinished) dollhouse and the gap between what I wanted and what I could afford led to the wild idea that I could make them myself. Still, I ended up with some lovely micros by Robert Massman, Booksby Press, Barbara Raheb, Miriam Irwin, and Barbara Brear.

My Darlings

My Darlings

When I began, I made books just above 1″, and the books got larger as I got more ambitious and wanted to cram as much detail into them as I could. I still make micro-miniature versions of the ones that are simple enough to undergo the shrinking process, and I’ve just added a few more to the line-up:

Lost Cities

Lost Cities

Dry Bones

Dry Bones

The Man That Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo

The Man That Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo

I also made a micro version of Sailing To Byzantium, which I forgot to photograph before I mailed it out to a long-time pal and collector, but I’m making several copies this afternoon in anticipation of the Good Sam Show next week. I’m thinking of others I might shrink.

I also made some display tables for the show, and some empty glass display vitrines that I might sell empty:

Tables

Tables

And a tiny tellurion in a lizard-skin case:

Cased Tellurion

Cased Tellurion

Cased Tellurion

Cased Tellurion

And a mightily complicated naturalist’s trunk:

Naturalist's Trunk

Naturalist’s Trunk

Samples, Specimens, and Secretaire

Samples, Specimens, and Secretaire

Plant Specimens and Boxes

Plant Specimens and Boxes

and a couple of globes inspired by the story of Baba Yaga, who lived in house that sat on a giant chicken foot:

Globes

Globes

Globes

Globes

They’re offset so they can stand against a wall of against each other. The leather on the stands is chicken, of course.

I’m also taking some globes with me to sell individually so people can use them for their own purposes. When I come home, it will be time to think about the Sari book and the end-of-year book – this will be the 10th year of the Bo Press, so it will have to be something spectacular!

The Irish Triads

The new book is out! It’s called “The Irish Triads”, and it’s a collection of a verse form/riddle/aphorism/pub game common to Ireland and Wales. Kuno Meyer, who collected and translated as many as he could find in the 19th century, describes them: “Triads occur sporadically in the literature of most other nations, and have occasionally been collected. But I am not aware that this kind of composition has ever attained the same popularity elsewhere as in Wales and Ireland, where the manufacture of triads seems at times almost to have become a sport.”

The Irish Triads

The Irish Triads

Some of them are witty, some legal, some emotional, some vengeful. A few of my favorites:

  Three false sisters: ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘I dare say”.

  Three silences that are better than speech: silence during instruction, silence during music, silence during preaching.

  Three signs of a fop: the track of his comb in his hair, the track of his teeth in his food, the track of his stick behind him.

(I think Florence King mentions somewhere that a man with comb tracks in his hair is the scum of the earth.)

I wanted to bind it like this: on the verso side (on the left) a page with the Irish phrase, then over it (still on the verso) a translucent page with the English translation, then on the recto (on the right) the three answers. But due to mathematical difficulties with which I will not burden you, that wouldn’t work. I ended up with an extra page in every signature. So I made the best  of it and cut the extraneous page down to a tab, and punched three holes in it, to continue the idea of triads. I echoed this with three raised dots on the cover, and a triskelion on the translucent paper slip band. This is known as the “I totally meant to do that!” school of craft.

Anyway, more pictures:

 

The Irish Triads

The Irish Triads

The Binding

The Binding

Title Page

Title Page

Interior Pages

Interior Pages

It’s up on the website now. I had great fun doing such a minimalist designing -I didn’t want anything of the stage Irishman about this.


It’s early days yet, but I might be working on a book about saris next.

A Progress Report

Well, I’ve got to admit that new book ideas are thin on the ground. I had to abandon the Dewey decimal system pop-up for trademark reasons (who knew?) and I’m still waiting for the next blockbuster to turn up. While I wait, though, I’ve made a strange little piece – am alchemist’s satchel:

Alchemy Satchel

Alchemy Satchel

Alchemy Satchel

Alchemy Satchel

The Books

The Books

The Books

The Books

Satchel Details

Satchel Details

Unloading The Books

Unloading The Books

Pretty cute huh? I’ve never actually seen anything like this in history, but so what? And I loved using my little 1/12 guy as a model! He may turn up more frequently – but if I start making little costumes for him, lock me up.

Greatest Hits!

During my career as a costumer, I spent a lot of time looking at vintage clothing sites, for research and for fun. The high-end establishments  like Vintage Textile have galleries showing their past treasures, and I enjoy them very much. I’ve decided to try the same thing on the Bo Press website with a page of my past work, and call it Greatest Hits.

Architecture Box

Architecture Box

Some of these I’ve totally forgotten, like the one above. The top holds three maps (terrestrial, lunar, and celestial) and the whole thing lifts up to reveal three glass-encased globes to match. I especially like the two tiny globes on the bookends.

Shagreen Globe

Shagreen Globe

A globe in a pyramidal box, covered on paper and stingray leather.

The Masked Ball

The Masked Ball

The costumes for the web event orchestrated by Rebecca Bingham, Prue Batten, and me, which led to a beautiful little book by the same name.

And much more! As I dig up old images hidden deep within my computer, I’ll add them. I’ve never been interested in being an archivist of my own work, so I clean out my files pretty ferociously. I’m always thinking of how many good ideas I used to have. . .

 

Out With The Old, In With The New

I’m throwing some slow movers overboard so Bo Press will ride higher in the water. Say goodbye to:

Napoleon's Retreat and Minard's Map

Napoleon's Retreat and Minard's Map

Barsetshire

Barsetshire

The Ends of the Earth

The Ends of the Earth

Silver Dagger

Silver Dagger

The Streets of Laredo

The Streets of Laredo

The Mapping of Eirie

The Mapping of Eirie

Blank Books

Blank Books

If you want a copy of any of these, tell me within the next week or so. After that, they’re O.O.P.

New books are coming! The Man Who Broke the Bank At Monte Carlo is in the works, as well as a book of river maps and a new pop-up book (about time! (No, not about Time, just about time.)). And Prue Batten’s trouvere book!

Rare Books

I made trial sizes of a few of my books, just to see how they’d look in smaller sizes. I made only one copy of each of them, and they’re up for sale now on eBay, with no reserve. It’s a good chance to pick up a Bo Press rarity at a super-low price!

A Dream of Water

A Dream of Water

(Click here for link)

7/8" x 3/4"

7/8" x 3/4"

Microcosmic Millinery

Microcosmic Millinery

(Click here for link)

1 1/16" x 1"

1 1/16" x 1"

Small Wonders

Small Wonders

(Click here for link)

1 3/8" x 1"

1 3/8" x 1"

She Was Only A Plumber's Daughter

She Was Only A Plumber's Daughter

(Click here for link)

1 1/8" x 3/4"

1 1/8" x 3/4"

Lucky Seven

I’m starting to think about the end-of-the-year book, and since this is the seventh year that Bo Press has been in business, I decided to base it on seven.

Heptagon

Heptagon

I went through a lot of ideas playing around with seven – books that would unfold into a heptagon (you’d thing septagon, wouldn’t you?), a heptagon whose sides would unfold into pages, and so on, and finally I realized that since I was going to be making seven copies, why not use Newton’s color wheel (Roy G. Biv) and make the books form seven triangular sections of a heptagram?

Seven Colors

Seven Colors

I can do a triangular book, but instinct tells me not to put the book’s spine on the short side. I played around endlessly with strings of triangles:

Triangles

Triangles

I wanted a nice punchy cover, and luckily “7” fits into a long triangle perfectly:

"7" Auditions

"7" Auditions

‘Valentina’ won out over stiff competition:

Front Title - Orange

Front Title - Orange

Now I can start trying to fit pictures of the year’s work into triangles. . . .

Back From San Jose

The Good Sam Miniature Show was terrific. Great flight, wonderful hotel, super-helpful people running the show itself, and my neighbors on either side were delightful- luckily for me, both their tables were very popular, so I got quite a bit of their overflow.

The quality of work I saw was the best in the world. Geoff Wonnacott’s furniture, Gideon Wolf’s furniture (I talked to this guy for a while. It was his first time at the Good Sam show, and he was as giddy as I was.), Tine Krijnen’s miniature pop-up books (!!) I bought a lovely eel-skin from her, which is the thinnest, finest leather I’ve ever come across. I can’t wait to try it.

One thing that surprised me was recruiters for other miniature shows chatting me up. Since I make stuff a bit out of the ordinary and I haven’t done many shows, I was a real catch. People like stuff they haven’t seen before – a lot of people who stopped by my table said the same. Evidently I’m the first person to think of making miniature globes. Another big hit were the little 99 cent clip-on lights I found on eBay:

Little Lights

Little Lights

More Little Lights

More Little Lights

Next year, they need gel frames – the light was way too blue.

. . . and these little spot lights with their barn doors:

Spots

Spots

I sold a lot of miniature globes and other assorted astronomical contraptions, and a fair number of micro-miniature books, and definitely covered my expenses, plus a bit over. On the other hand, since I don’t get out into the world as much as I used to, I was horrified to discover that a cocktail in the hotel bar now costs $13.50. Innocent no more!!

Good Sam Goodies

Here’s some of the new stuff I’m taking to the Good Sam show:

Orreries

Orreries

Some new (and tiny!) orreries.

Medieval Book Trunk

Medieval Book Trunk

Medieval Book Trunk

Medieval Book Trunk

A small trunk filled with incunabula bound in ‘vellum’.

Count Dracula's Own Vampire Hunter's Kit

Count Dracula's Own Vampire Hunter's Kit

Count Dracula's Own Vampire Hunter's Kit

Count Dracula's Own Vampire Hunter's Kit

This is a writer’s prompt for someone, I hope.

Victorian Tropical Explorer's Desk

Victorian Tropical Explorer's Desk

Victorian Tropical Explorer's Desk

Victorian Tropical Explorer's Desk

The side folds down into a leather desk surface. The desk contains several classics of exploration, stationery, letters and bills. There is a sliding glass front to protect the books and paper from insects and mold. This is one of my favorites so far.

Still to come: more orreries, tellurions, and pocket globes, another medieval desk, and, if I get ambitious, another fortune-telling machine. And books, of course.

________________________________________________________________________________

Amid all this excitement, I’m getting a worn section of my living room floor replaced, and the floor guy just found live termites! Sure hope I sell a lot at the show.

MBS Conclave

I’m back from the Miniature Book Society Conclave in Vancouver. This was my first international conclave, and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. The customs people in Canada were very understanding and helpful, and the hotel was beautiful. Thank you, to Jan Kellett and Jim Brogan, for organizing such a fun time for us all! (Jan Kellett showed the prettiest thing I saw at the conclave: Storming Shakespeare.) Jim Brogan and I made a lovely little keepsake for the goody bags given to each attendee. Margaret Challenger found the stamps used in the illustrations, and Jim wrote the accompanying text.

Friends Forever

Friends Forever

Both Country's Stamps

Both Country's Stamps

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

One of the highlights of the book fair was the presence of Molly Schwartzburg, the curator of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. She was giving demonstrations on making a simple cardboard book cradle for the open display of books, and I challenged her to make a cradle for the 1/2″ copy of my book Giants.

Giants

Giants

And she did! Little clear plastic restraining straps and everything. I wish I had photos but Molly has promised to blog it, so I live in hope.

I made a bunch of new things especially for the conclave, some of which can be seen on the front page of the website.

Girdle Book

Girdle Book

Book Cradle with Medieval Book

Book Cradle with Medieval Book

Book Cradle

Book Cradle

and that doesn’t even include the two new books. I’ll get into Had I But Known and The Latin of the Legions next time. I’ve got orders to catch up on!