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Paper Art by Maude White

2 februari 2015

… sometimes you see things that just make you speechless … the paper art of Maude White is such a thing; white, delicate and fairylike.

 Maude started cutting paper as a way to communicate to the observer what her words could not do effectively. She feels that if she peels the paper back, the outer superficial layer of our vision reveals the secret space beneath. The negative space tells it own story.

What appeals me most in Maude’s story is her great respect for paper. She sees the paper as something strong, reliable and constant. Paper is everywhere and it has been telling stories for centuries. By respecting and honoring paper Maude feels like she is communicating some of the pleasure it brings her.

In an interview with Ted Baker Maude says that the longest she ever worked on a piece was a month – but not full time -. Working is a kind of a meditative exercise, so she don’t exactly knows how long she works on each piece. Each fine line and swirl has been meticulously sliced out with a sharp knife and a steady hand.

She is inspired by illustrators such as Maxfield Parrish, Arthur Rackham and Gustave Dore, illustrators from the end of the 19th century.

You can buy Maude’s art at Etsy.



Bookbinding Inspiration

Edible Books

26 januari 2015
Prien zoet boekje_nieuw

A few weeks ago I made small edible booklets from marzipan and fondant. When the fondant was still soft my logo could easily be pressed in the cover. These miniature books, as sweet as honey, were a great success at the networking event where everyone had to take something eatable to represent his or her company. Besides that it was fun making these books and receiving a lot of eatable gifts from other entrepreneurs, it also brought me into a new world; the world of edible books.

Books are made from paper, ink and cardboard, so my first search was targeted at these ‘ingredients’.

  •  Edible paper, also known as ouwel/wafer is made from potato starch, vegetable oil and water. The manufacturer can add flavours, colours and the thickness can be adjusted. It is also possible to print with edible ink
  • Books are often sewn with thread, a quick search yielded several edible ropes. For example dried Japanese Japanese bottle gourd or ropes from the fibers of nettles.

This is only a very short enumeration of the possibilities. Each project requires its own ingredients.

In my search I found several interesting examples;
  1. The Land Rover survival guide. The basic idea of this book is that the owner can survive in the Arabian Dessert. It describes which animals and plants one can eat, but not only the content helps one to survive, also the book itself. The packaging is reflective, so it can be used for signaling, the metal spiral of the binding can be used for cooking and last but not least … people can eat the book. The nutritional value is close to that of a cheeseburger. This book was first printed in limited edition, but soon it became a hit and now there are 70,000 books in circulation … how many have been eaten … no one knows 🙂

  2. Design and inoovations agency Korefe made a cookbook that can actually be read and eaten. The book is made out of fresh pasta and can be opened an read. Afterwards you can fill it with ingredients and put it in the oven.

  3. The Dutch cook, Pierre Wind, made an edible book from ouwel/wafer, marzipan and licorice laces called Doekoe voor boekids.Pierre-2BWind-2Bdoekoe-2Bboekids

Do you have a special example of edible books or ingredients, don’t hesitate to let us know in a comment.
Looking for a special book? Prien is always in for an adventure. Please contact me, so we can discuss the possibilities.

Photos like fairy tales

12 november 2014
Prien about Oleg Oprisco 4_nieuw

wow … that was the first thing that came in mind seeing these pictures. I wish I could do that … those colors, the composition, the atmosphere of the picture …

Oleg Oprisco is the maker of these fine art photos. He doesn’t take snapshots, every photo is the result of hard work. First Oprisco sketches the image, than he starts looking for the props at flea markets and when everything is ready, the photo shoot takes a day or two. The photos might look fairylike, but they are the result of hard work.

I could tell a lot more about this Ukrainian photographer, but an image says more than a thousands word … so just look and enjoy! I hope the situation in Ukraine doesn’t have too much impact on this artist! Hopefully he will make a lot more of these beautiful fine arts photos. By the way the photos are for sale at his site.

Prien about Oleg Oprisco
Prien about Oleg Oprisco

Prien about Oleg Oprisco

Irma Boom about the future of books

5 november 2014
All you need is_nieuw

Last week book designer Irma Boom won the Johannes Vermeer Prijs, the Dutch state prize for the arts. In an interview with De Volkskrant Boom says that she sees the prize as an appreciation for the graphic arts industry in The Netherlands. This industry can use some encouragement, because fewer and fewer books are printed and bound.

Luckily Irma Boom believes that the book has a future, even in this digital century. She thinks that a book is more necessary than ever, to bring slowness and deepening in people’s lives. A book slows, it makes you choose another rhythm. Boom sees a book as ‘frozen information’, with a fixed order, so that the reader can reflect and derive meaning from the design choices of the compiler. In contrast, internet is chaotic, without focus and temporary.

Boom says it is not only the order that gives a book extra value, but also the touch of the pages and the book edges. Her Chanel book is all white with blind printing, so you can see the content at floodlight, or you can feel it with your fingertips. The book edge of the Sheila Hicks book is frayed and feels like cotton.

The juryrapport about why they granted Irma Boom this big prize:
In the world of the internet and virtual communication, Irma Boom’s greatest achievement is that she has made the book a physical experience once more. She continues to impress with her ambition to push the boundaries with each and every book, her unbridled desire to reach beyond the original wishes of her clients, and her ability — maintained for decades — to deliver work of the highest artistic quality. For all these reasons, the jury has chosen her as the deserving winner of the Johannes Vermeer Award 2014.’

Just like Irma Boom, I believe that books have the future. I love to read and of course I own a e-reader and a tablet with hundreds of e-books … but reading a real book remains the best! It is not only reading which is special, writing is as special as well. Making plans in your notebook, write down your most brilliant thoughts or dreams in your diary … the hand bound book certainly has a future 🙂

Bookbinding Inspiration

The beauty of Rust

2 november 2014

Sometimes little wonders just happen. Do nothing .. be a bit lazy … and … tadaa … the magic is there.

Last summer my father in law gave me a lot of iron heavy weights to press booklets and other stuff. The only thing I had to do was paint them, because they were really rusty. The cardboard I used as underground was put aside and forgotten … until I found it again and was stunned by the colors the rust had left.


Paper Sculptures

5 oktober 2014
prien about rogan brown

‘I have chosen paper as a medium because it captures that mixture of delicacy and durability that for me characterizes the natural world.’

With this quote Rogan Brown even inspires me more. Paper art is something I love! You can create such beauty with simple plain white paper. Who needs gold and silver and other expensive and rare commodities. Of course paper also has a footprint. A lot of trees and chemicals are necessary to create our simple plain white paper. So think before you use it and recycle!

Rogan Brown creates interesting beautiful kind of micro organisms and plant life with cut out paper. Topographical charts – such as the Norwegian fjords –  are also a big inspiration. The immense complexity and intricacy of natural forms is what fascinates Brown most. He sees the ‘story of the understanding of the subject and the making of the artwork’ as a prominent part of the artwork in total.
 Prien about Rogan Brown - Paper Sculptures
 Prien about Rogan Brown - Paper Sculptures
 Prien about Rogan Brown - Paper Sculptures


31 juli 2014

Lille … also known as ‘Paris of the North’ … nice to visit for one day! Last Tuesday we took the Thalys from Rotterdam and in two hours we were in Lille. Arriving at Euralille isn’t exactly the best way to enter the city. This modern concrete monstrous environment doesn’t give you a warm welcome … but within five minutes you forget about that. Lille is a beautiful French-Flemish city, very nice to stroll around.

There are plenty of nice boutiques, salons de thé and restaurants in ‘La Vieille Ville’, the old city. Winding cobblestones streets, ancient facades – often very colorful -, hidden passages and nice squares. In short it is a feast for the eyes to walk through Lille.

Unfortunately the museums are closed on Tuesdays, otherwise we certainly would have visited Le Palais des Beaux-Arts or the museum of modern art. Fortunately the shops were open, and we managed to find a really nice one; L’Atelier La Sorciere Verte, a boutique for paper artists, writing and bookbinding. In French it even sounds better: Boutique de Créateurs en Papeterie, Ecriture & Atelier de Reliure. A lovely shop to nose. A lot of beautiful paper! When you are in Lille and you love paper, don’t forget to visit this shop!
Since we were in France we couldn’t go home without some really nice French (smelly) cheese as well, so we saw (and smelled) a lot of funny cheeses that day 🙂

It’s definitely worth visiting Lille! .. I had a lovely day … and now … back to business … I have some books to bind today 🙂


Prien at Lille
Prien at Lille
Prien at Lille



A beautiful second life for books

19 juli 2014

… wow … Swedish bookbinder gives old books a beautiful second life!

Cecilia Levy, graphic designer, bookbinder and paper artist makes makes stunning objects of second hand books. Instead of creating books she tears books apart and cuts the pages into small pieces. Those pieces are reassembled in new dreamy delicate objects, such as teacups, bowls, eggs or boots. Some of these products are off-white, others show text, or text details … just take a look …

Prien about Cecilia Levy Paper Art


Prien about Cecilia Levy Paper Art


Prien about Cecilia Levy Paper Art


Prien about Cecilia Levy Paper Art


Prien about Cecilia Levy Paper Art


Prien about Cecilia Levy Paper Art



Japanese Patterns

13 juli 2014

Japan – land of the rising sun – inspires me in so many ways. When I visited Kyoto and Tokyo I bought a lot of beautiful Japanese paper, with all kinds of patterns. These patterns can be found everywhere; as decoration in temples, at fabrics, pottery and porcelain, paper and a thousand other things. But where do these patterns come from? What do they mean?

Prien Japanese Patterns Seigaiha

Seigaiha or Seikaiha

A wave design made of the arches of concentric circles placed upon one another so that only the upper portion of each set of circles is visible.
The four arcs are meant to be the four oceans (north, south, east and west) surrounding Japans islands. The calm waves symbolize our days repeating calmly and peacefully forever.
It was used in China to depict the sea on ancient maps. In Japan this pattern was used to decorate temples, halls and gates from the 16th century.
Prien Japanese Patterns Shippo Tsunagi

Shippo Tsunagi

This pattern is an abastract shippo tsunagi. Shippo means ‘seven kinds of treasuries’ and tsunagi means ‘with interrelated objects’. The diamond shape can be associated with a sparkle, that is connected to a jewel or treasure.
The pattern comes originally from China.
Prien Japanese Patterns Same Komon

Same Kommon

Same Kommon means Shark Skin Pattern. Sharkskin-like semicircles are placed one of the top of another. Fabric with this pattern is believed as protecting from evil or illness. Traditionally, the bride will bring a new Same-komon Kimono with her.
In the Edo period, each feudal lord had his specific pattern of kamishimo (samurai cloth) and the Kishu family owned the Same Kommon pattern.
Prien Japanese Patterns Gyougi


Giyougi is a derivative of the Same Kommon pattern. It is also derived from the Edo period. Characteristic of this pattern is the diagonal allignment of the dots.
The komon patterns were made by forcing rice paste throught a stencil of tiny dots, then dying the surrounding fabric, so the dots stay white. In the early Edo period komon were commonly white on indigo.
Prien Japanese Patterns Matsuba


Matsuba means pine needles from the matsu, the evergreen pine. This tree is considered to be a symbol of longevity and principles.
Of course this is just a small selection of Japanese patterns, there are many more I’d like to show you! Coming weeks I will be working on some new booklets, using these fabulous papers I bought in Japan. Check out my blog every now and then for an update an sneak peek …
If you have any additions or corrections, please don’t hesitate to react!