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Paper Inspiration

16 januari 2018
Raakvlak - Loes Schepens

A weekend’s paper dream: I had a great afternoon in art gallery ‘Presentatiestudio van Bureau Jacobine van Beurden‘ in The Hague. Paper artist Loes Schepens exhibits fragile works of art made from handmade paper in her exposition ‘Raakvlak – werken van papier Loes Schepens’. Years of working with paper, taking classes all over the world, experimenting with paper resulted in beautiful work. Loes combines handmade paper with yarns, she dyes paper pulp in indigo, and experiments with a lot of different fibers. Asparagus are her favorite fibers, but I spotted a piece of paper with with delicate elderflowers which I also loved a lot.

Raakvlak - Loes Schepens

Listening to Loes’s stories and knowledge about paper is very inspiring. She knows about special ritual bamboo papers and gold leaf in Birma, about making paper in Korea, about the Japanese way of making paper, about dye colours from Peru. You can see and feel all this experience, vibrance and wanderlust in her paper objects. I like the way Loes is experimenting. The knots are a perfect example of her tests. Loes folded the paper pulp when it was still a bit wet. For her first attempt she used paper pulp made of cotton fibres, the new series of knots have been made of flax fibers.

Raakvlak _ Loes Schepens

During her lecture Loes showed a wide range of materials, fibers, books she designed, papers she found on the streets in Kyoto and delicate Japanese papers. One of the most stunning things was a wasp nest. It looked soft and felted and Loes told us that it is paper. Wasps eat fibers and produce paper to make their nests with.  I didn’t know that 🙂

Raakvlak _ Loes Schepens

Events Inspiration

Lecture in Plantijn Moretus

22 maart 2017
Prien in the reading room of Museum Plantijn Moretus

The reading room of Plantijn Moretus is a hidden treasure in Antwerp. The museum’s collection consists of really old books, from the 16th and 17th  century and a beautiful contemporary collection of book artist from the Southern Netherlands and Flanders.

The lecture started with showing the masterpieces of the modern collection. Since we were with the Grensland Project – all bookbinders – the emphasis was on the way these books and boxes have been made, and the way the museum takes care of the preservation of the works of art. Not only the modern collection was shown to us, but also the old show pieces. Books of Plantijn Moretus himself, the first dos-a-dos book about bookbinding, a beautiful velvet prayer book, books with very precise gilded end papers and even the smallest book I ever saw.


One of the books I liked the most was the project ‘Emotions – La Grotte du Pont d’Arc – from Veerle Rooms and Willem Persoon. The artwork consists of a box with eleven graphic imprints and poems folded in little books. To create the graphic imprints the artist used the gicleeprint method printed on thin Awagami paper made of Philippine gampi. This paper is both dense and simultanously glossy and has a nice structure. When folding out the prints and poems you feel the fibers of the paper and you see the structure. The box containing the prints and poems has been made of cardboard covered with linen and a nicely attached label.

Prien at Plantijn Moretus - Emotions of Veerle Rooms

Prien at Plantijn Moretus_ project Emotions from veerle Rooms

One of the museum’s conservators told us a lot about the old books from the 16th and 17th century. A very special book was one of the first manuals for bookbinders. This bilingual book in Dutch and French is bound in a dos-a-dos way. Two books sharing the same back. Read the first book, than turn the book and you can read the other side.
Another highlight was the small velvet prayer booklet, ment to hang on ones belt. The green velvet has really faded, but you still want to touch it. Which we were alowed to do. Really cool! Some of the books had very precious gilding work either on the cover or on the inside. The so called Jansenisten books are very sober on the outside, but once you turn a page the beauty and blingbling is on the inside.  One of the smalles books I ever saw was also a little paryer booklet, hidden in a bigger book. This tiny little book is made of paper, but fringed around with a very precise blanket stitch.

Prien at Museum Plantijn Moretus

Attending this lecture was interesting and inspiring. The craftsmanship you can see at these books is amazing. The gilding is perfect. The bindings are so strong, they survided centuries. Seeing this craftsmanship and those beautiful materials that have been used for the old books and for the new books inspires me for Prien’s collection…. more to come …

Events Inspiration Photography

Lotta Jansdotter’s Åland Workshop

6 augustus 2015

Lotta Jansdotter regularly gives workshops, and this time at a very special location; Åland. This archipelago is situated between Sweden and Finland and was the home of Lotta in her youth.

In November 2014 Lotta Jansdotter’s newsletter announced this workshop and immediately I knew that I wanted to go! A workshop from Lotta, a designer I admire, in Sweden during summertime at a small island … what more can anyone wish for …


So finally it was July and I was on my way. My trip started with a visit to Stockholm. Three days I strolled around in this beautiful city (more about this in my previous blogpost). Wednesday very early in the morning the ferry to Mariehamn left from the center of Stockholm. Leaving a city at a huge ferry offers you a special view over the streets, quays and parks. In the soft morning light Stockholm slowly faded. For hours we sailed through small afforested islands, with typical Swedish houses. Dreamy spots within reach of the city, in the forest at the waterside.
Six, or actually five hours later we arrived in Mariehamn, which turned out to be Finnish. Another timezone, a Euro zone and another language, although most people speak Swedish. The archipelago is an interesting mixture of Swedish and Finnish influences with her own unique culture.

Mariehamn is the center of the 6.700 islands. The ferries from Sweden and Finland arrive here and most of the 26.000 people live here. The first day we saw very little of this mini-city, because we left immediately by bus. A few days later however we were back. Visiting this provincial town with some nice stores and a lovely lunchspot Bagarstugan. We had a very good lunch over there and we should have gone back for some delightful pie. Maybe next time 🙂 In the post office I found some lovely cards, hand drawn with special Åland stamps.



We were lucky to be there at the time of the Åland Sea Days. At the harbor we saw beautiful wooden boats, visited a nice craft market and had some good beers.


More about the Workshop in my next blog ….

Events Inspiration Photography

Visiting Stockholm

3 augustus 2015

Stockholm in summer is lovely! This colorful city, abounding in water, invites you for long walks or bike rides. The people are friendly and the city has a lot of secrets to reveal. Of course I visited
the hotspots from the many Stockholm city guides, but I had a lot more fun just strolling around, taking pictures of the many colored houses, climbing hills enjoying the views and walking at the waterfront, listening to the water and the tinkling of the ships laying at the quays.

My favourites

Djurgarden, the green museum island is a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the city. I went there by boat from Slussen … as recommended in the guides, but unfortunately that was very very busy. The view at the city though was wonderful! Liljevachs Kunsthalle, one of the many museums at Djurgarden was a nice start of my day. A day later, the ferry to Åland revealed more of this wonderful green island in the middle of the buzz of the city. It is a great place to walk at the waterside, escaping the city for a few hours.
The same ferry that brought me to Djurgården hopped me over to Skepsholmen, the other museum island. It was lovely to stroll at the quay in the sunshine, enjoying the views at Stockholm and the beautiful moored boats. The sceneries from the island are great and the atmosphere is easy laid back. A good place to enjoy your picnic or drinks on one of the many benches.

Looking for a nice lunch? Try Blueberry; organic, healthy and delicious. They have several stores in the city center. When you are in the city center don’t forget to visit Ilhums Bolighus … although the shop in Copenhagen is much more beautiful … NK is also a must visit big shop. In the cellar they have some of my favorite shop in shops; Ordning & Reda, Bookbinders Design and Design House Stockholm. Looking for some good food … this is also the place to be! Oh and they have a super COS, if you are interested in cloths. In Rotterdam we have a COS as well, but not like this one

J I bought myself a beautiful scarf.

Some nice shops to visit in other parts of town; Papercut, magazine heaven for addicts like me, Konst-ig for art and designbooks. Walking around in Sofo means hop in one nice shop to another, but I also had a great time climbing up to Sofia Kyrka and seeing a lot of locals enjoying the sun. This small green place reminded me of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in Paris. A green laid back area with great city views. A good place! A little out of the shopping area lies Ersta Kyrka. From this place you have the best view at Stockholm city center and Djurgården. Then hike back to Slussen via Katarinavågen to prolong the good views.

My last day in Stockholm was a short one, because I had to catch my plane. I visited some hobby shops, such as  Kreatima and Slöjd-Detaljer. And last but certainly not least I really can recommend Iris Hantverk. There was some extra luggage I had to carry home ….


Prien’s Newsletter

30 maart 2015
Prien Nieuwsbrief Maart 2015_nieuw2

Last week’s newsletter was all about your own logo at personalized notebooks, binders and other stationery. Although it is in Dutch, I didn’t want to withhold it.

If you want to receive Prien’s newsletter on a regular base, you can subscribe at Prien’s website.



New Studio and Swan Market Antwerpen

2 juli 2014

Sorry sorry sorry for my long absence! It’s been crazy over here!

Especially the period around Whitsun was very very busy. On Whit Sunday I was at the Utrechtse Fabriek in Utrecht. Going to a market always means working extremely hard the week before. You have to supplement your stock, decide what you will show at the market, iron your tablecloths and a million other things that always come in mind last minute.
The Utrechtse Fabriek was a nice cozy market, with friendly visitors and fellow exhibitors. Unfortunately it was such a beautiful day, that is was a bit too warm to stroll around in the sun. I guess a lot of people chose the beach that day …

The next day, Whit Monday, was even warmer … and that was the day I choose to move my gear to my new studio. It was also the day we discovered that I had collected a lot of stuff and machinery. So it was quite a heavy day … that almost started with a ticket for parking on the sidewalk. After a long long intense conversation with a city guard I wriggled out of it … but it was close …  Since I had so many things, large things, we had to drive four times and in the afternoon there was this major event in the city called Roparun … which meant a huge traffic jam … but at the end of this long, warm day everything was in my new office!

The weeks after that were filled with tidying and finding my way in this lovely new workspace. In between I had a lot of nice assignments … photos will follow on the blog later on. First more about my new office: It’s super centrally, literally in the middle of the city, which gives an enormous vibe! I share my workspace with Kim from Papiermonsters. She makes amazing stuff as you can see at her website:
Together with Karin from Lecarpentier, Quirine from QS Grafisch Ontwerp, Monice from Monice Janson and Olga from Ontwerpkeuken we share an office. I am so glad to be here and to work here!!

This week is partly devoted to the preparations for the Swan Market in Antwerpen. Prien was already there in May and that was such a wonderful day! The weather was perfect, the people were very friendly and the entire atmosphere was truly that of a festival! I am looking forward to Sunday! Hopefully the weather will cooperate! At the moment the weather reports contradict each other … and when it will rain that day, I won’t go .. because my booklets can’t handle the moist … so my fingers are crossed and I hope to see you in sunny Antwerp this Sunday!!

Prien at the Swan Market in Antwerpen



Utrechtse Fabriek 8 juni 2014

2 juni 2014

Next Sunday, Prien will be at the Utrechtse Fabriek in the Griftpark in Utrecht. This creative and relaxed outdoor market offers a wide range of unique products. There will be 55 webshops presenting their finest products, you can attend workshops and there is enough space to enjoy a nice picnic 🙂

Hopefully it will be a sunny summerday! Hope to see you next week! Until that time I am working very hard to replenish my stock 🙂




Swan Market Antwerpen – Sunday, May 4th

30 april 2014

The Swan Market goes international! This Sunday is the international kick-off in Antwerpen. Prien will be there as well. Curious to explore this new area 🙂

Hope to see you in Antwerpen this Sunday! The weather forecast is great, sun, little wind and 15 degrees … an ideal day to wander around in this great city. Of course you can visit the Swan Market at De Grote Markt, a super central location. When you are in the mood for more shopping, this is the ideal Sunday to visit Antwerpen! Normally the shops are closed on Sunday, but this day it is Spring Midseason sale and the shops will be open!

Done shopping after the Swan Market, it is also nice to walk around and sightsee a bit. There are a lot of beautiful buildings such as Onze-Lieve-Kathedraal, de Bourla and Het Steen. Looking for something more modern, then choose the direction of Het Eilandje, this former harbour district has been transformed into a bustling area centered around Het MAS. This extraordinary building accomodates Museum aan de Stroom, a gathering of several museums. I really can recommend this museum, both the architecture and the exhibits are well worth the effort to visit! Another tip is Het Fotomuseum at the other side of the city; ’t Zuid. When you walk from De Grote Markt to ’t Zuid, one of the best ways is to take De Kloosterstraat, the place for antiques and flea. And don’t forget to visit one of the thousand terraces or to eat at one of Antwerpen’s great restaurants!

Want to know more about visiting Antwerpen, check out:
Coming by car, you can park at the Grote Markt parking:

Hope to see you Sunday! Prien will be there with Kim from Papiermonsters … hopefully side by side 🙂


Original Market Leiden

18 april 2014

This Sunday you can find Prien’s products live at the Original Market in Leiden. In the garden, around the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde in Leiden you can find a lot of creative entrepreneurs. The product range is very divers, from clothing to vintage to accessoires and not to forget stationery. Feeling a little hungry or thirsty after all the shopping …. just look for a food stand and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or eat a delicious tosty.

Hope to see you on Sunday! The new vintage collection will be for sale … not even on the site yet … just a short sneak peak in the blog 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!!

Sneak Peak Prien's Retro Series


Events Inspiration

Boekbindbeurs Sint Niklaas

14 april 2014

The Boekbindbeurs in Sint Niklaas was already on my wishlist for a few years. Curious if this fair is different from the bookbindfair in Leiden I wanted to check out this one, hoping for some new participants with new surprising materials or methods.

Since Sint Niklaas is situated between Antwerpen and Gent, two amazing cities to visit for a weekend, we chose Gent for our weekendtrip. We did some nice sightseeing, some shopping in between and we had good drinks and dinners, even the weather cooperated, so we also enjoyed some of the many terraces on the Gent squares and streets. Some of the nicest shops I want to share with you, just in case you pay a visit to Gent in the coming period – which I can recommend – 🙂
Huiszwaluw                  interior and design products
Javana                            tea and coffee
A.Puur.A                         cloths, interior and design
Le Pain Quotidien        lunch
Vintage                          wine and dinner
Greenway                      veggie food

In short we had a great weekend and in this relaxed mood we arrived at the Bauhaus in Sint Niklaas at the end of the morning. Unfortunately we weren’t alone, we had to stand in line for more than half an hour to get in. We chose peak hour to arrive 🙁  Because it was so busy, we had a hard time trying to get a glimpse of the merchandise. Luckily the crowd decreased after a while and we were able to talk to some participants, such as the nice people of Louët. They are specialized in basic tools for bookbinding. Who needs big expensive machines if you can use the practical solutions of Louët. I bought myself a universal pricking gauge, so the pricking of the booklets will be so much easier and faster. Maybe in the future I will purchase the vertical plough as well. This stationery version of a plough makes really clean cuts for special editions.

Louet universal pricking gauge
There were not only participants selling bookbind stuff, but also some bookbinding and graphic design training institutes, such as TNA from Antwerpen, Syntra West from Brugge, the Academie from Genk and the Plantin Instituut from Antwerpen. The last one offers short courses and a longer curriculum for typography, its history and the practical use of it. Theoretical insights combined with the historical background, technical knowledge and practical skills of typography …. sounds amazing … if I only had the time … I would know !!
I also met some nice people from the 14 x 14 Boekbindproject (bookbinding project). This sympathetic bookbinding collective presents its project results in local libraries, on fairs and in a small inspiring 14 x 14 catalog.
In comparison with the fair in Leiden, Sint Niklaas is smaller and there is much emphasis on leather and leather processing. Each time I see this beautiful and colorful material it starts to itch a little … maybe I should learn how to process this material and give it a twist … but I still have so many things to discover and working with leather is very expensive and the booklets bound with leather will also cost a lot more than the booklets I am making now … so that means totally different customers … so maybe later 🙂
For now the Boekbindbeurs in Sint Niklaas was inspiring and worth to visit … but it is not necessary to visit both Leiden and Sint Niklaas … one is enough 🙂  … although the next one on the list is Keulen in October … who knows 🙂 …