Browsing Category



Masterclass from Dario Zeruto

22 maart 2018

Last week I followed a two day masterclass from paper artist Dario Zeruto. At the meet & greet organised by ‘Marja Wilgenkamp & Bookbinding out of the box‘, Dario showed us some of his stunning work. His enthusiasm, skills and knowledge about paper made it an inspiring evening.

The next day at Boekbinderij Wilgenkamp, the organizer of these wonderful masterclasses, it was our turn. We started with the basic principles of paper folding and some interesting technical knowledge about what happens when you fold paper and how you can influence the behaviour of the fibres. Creating those stunning examples of Dario turned out to be rather difficult. Making the folding lines was ok, but the folding itself was really difficult. You had to get the ritme … tak tak .. aha .. was the group’s name for it 🙂

So now I am practising my tak, tak .. aha’s and it’s cool. I learned more about paper, the sound of paper when a lot of people are folding it and the fun of folding and inventing and exploring. Thank you Dario for your patience and your inspiring lessons!Bookbinding Inspiration Work of Dario ZerutoBookbinding Inspiration Work of Dario Zeruto

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 …


Meg Hitchcock’s texts

8 maart 2017
Prien about Meg Hitchcock

Meg Hitchcock is a Brooklyn based artist who makes thoughtful artworks full of details. She deconstructs sacred texts by cutting it’s individual letters and reassamble them to form a passage from another holy book. She says that by bringing together the sacret writing of diverse religions, she undermines their authority and speak to the common thread that weaves through all scripture.

Prien about Meg Hitchcock

That idea is so wonderful! Hopefully more and more people will embrace this insight, so the world will be a more peaceful place!
Not only the ideas of Meg Hitchcock impresses me, but also the look of her artworks is amazing. I like the rythme, symmetrie and subtlety. The words meander in beautiful forms, forming new sentenses. Creating these works of art must be so labor intensive and mediative in one time. Meg Hitchock’s work and ideas inspire me in all aspects. Someone to keep an eye on!

Prien about Meg Hitchcock

Interested? You can find more images of Meg Hitchcock at my Pinterest Board – Paper Art.


Boekblad/Motsure Hotsure Tsumugu

20 oktober 2016
Prien in Boekblad met de column 'De keuze van ..'

Last summer text writer Laura van Mourik nominated me for the next Boekblad column “De keuze van…”. It had to be a published book, which was easy to buy. A few weeks before I knew I had to write this column I saw a beautiful photobook. The spectacular cover immediately caught my attention. The title and an abstract linear pattern have been embossed in the cover paper which has a subtle relief so it looks like fabric. The book has a rather challenging name: ‘Motsure Hotsure Tsumugu’ of photographer Marco van Duyvendijk.

Prien about Photobook Motsure Hotsure Tsumugu of Marco van Duyvendijk
This photobook tells the story of the kimonos of the sub-tropical Japanese island Amami Oshima. Once hundreds of thousands of fine handmade silk kimonos were made here, but nowadays the demand is not so big anymore and only a small number of highly skilled craftsmen create these formal garments. The photos of Marco van Duyvendijk show the labor-intensive process of dying and weaving. The natural dye colors are exceptional. Amami Oshima is well know for the use of mud dying, but indigo-dying is also used frequently. The mud-dying technique is very intensive; the silk has to be dipped twenty times in natural dye made from the pulp of a local plum tree. After the dipping the paint specialist washes it for one hour in iron-rich muddy water. The chemical reaction creates the characteristic red dark colour.

Prien about Photobook Motsure Hotsure Tsumugu of photographer Marco van Duyvendijk
Although the subject of the book is interesting enough to catch the attention, the design of this book is also stunning. Like I wrote before, the cover is very tactile, you just have to touch it! The cover has both on the front as at the back an extra wrapper which contains two mini-booklets. These booklets are simply connected to the main-cover with a blue pamphlet stitch. The cover of the first mini-booklet shows a fabric pattern and all the information about the book and the photos can be read in here. For example the title, which is only on the cover in Japanese. The booklet at the back features reproductions of paintings by Haruka, the translator and travelling companion of Marco van Duyvendijk.

This photobook is about  a quiet place in an ever-changing world. At this extraordinary island full of craft, knowledge and dedication, it takes thirty steps to get from a white silk thread to a finished kimono. It can take almost a year from start to finish to make a kimono…

Prien about Photobook Motsure Hotsure Tsumugu of photographer Marco van Duyvendijk



Book – The Maker ‘Beyond decorating: crafting a unique space’

24 augustus 2016
Prien about the book The Maker by Tamara Maynes

The technical aspects of the book
‘The maker – beyond decorating: crafting a unique space’ is a beautiful book in several ways. It caught my eye because of the unique design. One corner is rounded, just one and that makes you looking at it and want to take a closer look. The binding is worth watching. The spine of the book is covered with black bookbinderslinen and the cover is layered with a printed front, a very thick through and through black cardboard, followed by a flyleaf. The title has been printed in gold, so it is an eye catcher. The book is pretty thick, almost 3,5 cm, counting 274 pages and thence a bit heavy. One disadvantage is the fact that the book doesn’t open easily and the pages won’t remain open, you have to handle the book with two hands. The straight glued back, covered with black cardboard is the cause of this problem – sometimes the looks just win from the practical use -. Editorial and publishing consultant Tracy Lines is the designer of this special book. She is book lover who publishes and designs books.

About the writer
Tamara Maynes, the writer of ‘The Maker’ is a maker herself, but she is also a stylist and the creative director of The Esthablishment Studios in Melbourne. She worked at this marvelous book for almost seven years. It morphed from a simple book of crafts into an ode to craftsmen and the process of making craft. This versatile lady does not only make books, but she is also a maker herself. Raw materials and their capabilities are her inspiration and she has a special fondness for macrame and embroidery

The Content of ‘The Maker’
It’s a book about craft, but not as you know it! Craft is a fashionable concept these days. It’s all about craft. People are knitting, sewing, weaving, printing like crazy these days, but there is craft and craft. Craft that excites us must have a special magic, a level of skill or expertise that truly stands out. In ‘The Maker’ Australia’s most talented craftspeople get their stage, but the book also contains craft projects designed by Tamara Maynes, to try yourself.
Chapter three gives a preview about what to expect; applique, basketry, ceramics, chair caning, embroidery, fabric dying & printing, felting, glass blowing, knitting, leaded glasswork, leatherwork. macramé, metalwork, papercraft, quilting & patchwork, rug hooking, sculpture, shade making, tapestry weaving, upholstery, willow bending, wirework and last but not least woodwork. So quite an enumaretion. I just can recommend to explore this gadget yourself. Enjoy!

Prien about the book The Maker by Tamara Maynes

Prien about the book The Maker by Tamara Maynes.


Porcelain Covered Book

7 oktober 2015
Prien_ Porcelain cover book_nieuw

How cool is that, a book cover of porcelain paper! This unique book – ‘Kingdom by the sea’ –  is published today in a limited edition of 250 copies.

Each cover of this pretty thick book (448 pages) is individually kilned, signed and numbered. The dimensions of the cover are 34 by 24 centimeters. The porcelain paper is only 1 millimeter thick and first has been baked at 1,275º C. After this first treatment the image has been printed on the solid porcelain paper and baked at 800º c to finish the cover. This super thin translucent cover is now ready for processing.

Writing these facts, I notice that my hands really want to touch this porcelain surface … perhaps my local bookshop (Donner) has one … and I can see (and feel) it live …

I love the idea to adjust the material to the image, and to experiment and to stretch the possibilities of existing material. The porcelain paper has been produced by the Europees Keramisch Werk Centrum (new name Sundaymorning@ekwc).


Events Inspiration Photography

Lotta Jansdotter’s Ă…land 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 Ă…land 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 Ă…land 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 DjurgĂĄrden 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 DjurgĂĄrden. Then hike back to Slussen via KatarinavĂĄgen 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 ….

Bookbinding Inspiration

Masterclass Leather Decoration

18 juni 2015
Prien working with suede workshop Elbel2

Weeks ago I took a masterclass Leather Decoration from Benjamin Elbel. It was such a great course and I wanted to tell you all about it weeks ago … but time was flying sooo fast ….

It was a two day masterclass. The first day we prepared the leather and the second day we made a cover for a notebook with one of the finished pieces of leather.

We started with a thin piece of suede and tissue paper. After pressing and drying we sanded and sanded the layers until we were satisfied with the result. You can play with the color of the suede, the color of the tissue paper and the patterns you press in the layers. Also the way and the duration of sanding gives an extra effect. At the end of the day we put our drudgery in the press and we went home with a head spinning of ideas.


The second day we peeled the suede from the cardboard, it felt smooth, thin and easy to handle. Benjamin had asked us to bring a notebook as a base for a book wrap. After a day of hard work, lots of measuring and of course a lot of fun, we finished our book wraps. I am really happy with mine, I love the color, texture and I will make a bunch of refills, so I can use the wrap forever.
Working with leather and suede is new for me, and I really love it! I bought some leather and suede and at the moment I am working on a new product line. Just follow my blogs, newsletters, Facebook or Instagram for updates.

Laser Cutting ++

8 april 2015
Molly M Designs Necklaces_nieuw

Molly M designs takes laser cutting to the next level. Wow! was the first thing that came in mind when I saw her designs. Multilayered, beautiful use of colors and refined. According to Molly McGrath good design is “a synthesis of a good concept, elegant or creative form, interesting use of material, attention to details and connections, and thoughtful consideration of use”.

A great inspiration for her are pattern and form, including botanical morphology, textile design, building geometries and optical illusions. In Particular, Molly was and is inspired by Morocco. The patterns and colors of a rug bought in the High Atlas mountains were , for example, a base for a jewelry collection. She doesn’t only produce jewelry, such as earrings and necklaces, but also coasters, leather pouches and most beautiful of all laser cuts prints for on the wall.

The focus of Molly M designs is on ethical material sourcing, accessible pricing and conceptual integrity. The designs are made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo, birch from responsibly farmed forests, wool salvaged from surplus army clothing, suede, leather, fabric, paper and even scraps from local cabinetmakers.

What inspires me most in this design is the layering. Not simply a cut out form, but several stacked layers, complementing each other strongly.

Want to see more of Molly’s design, you can find more information at her website.