The Nathan Project
My friend, Nathan, saw one of my books -- a sketchbook covered with Lokta paper from Nepal with a Coptic binding -- and asked me to make a book for him. (My first commission!) He practices Won Buddhism, which originated in Korea, and he needed a notebook or journal in which to write his notes and thoughts during classes and dharma talks. He was using a spiral-bound school notebook, but wanted something better, both aesthetically and functionally (hard covers would make writing on his lap much easier.) We talked about what he wanted: a larger size (6x9) than the book he had seen, covered with similar paper in an earth-tone color. The collaboration continued over several days of emailing -- I suggested that he consider using Hanji paper from Korea, as it would fit with his intended use of the journal. He asked for slightly lighter weight paper so that he could have more pages. I suggested incorporating an Il Won Sang, the circle that serves the Won Buddhists as a symbol, into the cover. He sent me a couple of images that he had pulled from the internet. One was a regular geometric circle, the other was a circle formed by a calligraphic brush stroke. I suggested that he do his own calligraphy, but he was not comfortable with that and we decided that he would ask one of the reverends (clergy) at his temple to contribute the calligraphy. It took a couple of weeks, but you can see the result above. Quite satisfactory, I think. In the meantime, Nathan came by to choose the color of his Hanji paper for the cover. He also looked through my paper and picked an old wallpaper sample with a rather Asian-looking print of a flowering tree for the paste downs. Yesterday he brought over the Il Won Sang and I have begun assembling the book. It has been fun to collaborate on a book project. Stay tuned for updates.
1/28/2015 03:37:09 pm
Collaborating with you was the best part! I really enjoyed the creativity, enthusiasm, openness and trust you brought to my book project. I appreciated that you did some research into Won Buddhism, suggesting that we tailor my book's design and function to its purpose by using Korean paper, adding the circle image to the cover, and adding pages. Suggesting that doing the calligraphy myself would add panache led me to ask Rev. Ginger to participate. I didn't tell her what it was for, and really enjoyed the little mystery and showing her the finished project today. Only 1 other person saw my book today - and asked how she could get one! Time to start hiring:-) With gratitude, Nathan
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After retiring from 36 years as a public school educator, I am practicing book arts.