Hello lovely Maddabling Blog Readers - I can't believe it's Friday already ! Where has this week gone to ? This weekend holds no grand plans for Maddabling which is kind of nice in a way. No pressures or deadlines ! Oh except for getting a start on a new DUST Team craft swap parcel :) I hope you all have nice plans for the weekend. This week it is my great pleasure to introduce to you Joe from luciandjoe.
|a paper garland made from a recycled maths textbook|
|this beautiful Upcycled book - art journal or notebook|
|a cool Custom Bus Roll Blank Card|
the luciandjoe storybook
Who is luciandjoe?
luciandjoe has been formally in business from late 2010, although I’ve been making books and paper products for a lot longer. The name is deceptive – it’s just me dabbling into bookbinding and papercraft in and around the hours allowed by my ‘real’ job. I’m Joe and the Luci component is my dog, a little white fluffball who is currently asleep on the floor nearby.
How and When did your handmade/artistic journey begin?
I had undertaken some bookbinding courses held locally (South West Victoria), one with a bookbinding artist and the other with a professional bookbinder whose apprenticeship was with the Federal Parliament printery. Both experiences showed me a lot of traditional techniques, as well as some ways that I could adapt things to suit my own needs and ways of making products. I tell people that I butcher traditional techniques, which is mainly to discourage inquiries about “fixing an old book that I have at home”. They should probably look closely at what I’m doing to old books before they entrust their family heirloom to me!
I got started in the business side of it when my friend who had just opened a new independent bookstore, asked to stock some of my books and journals. The interest in those led to a stall at regional markets last year and then onto the etsy store, which opened in late 2011.
What inspires you?
There are so many sources of inspiration for me at the moment. When I visit or have a stall at markets, it’s amazing to see the idea of other artists and talk to them about both their products and ideas, as well as their business journeys. Talking to customers at markets also gives you a lot of feedback – what they’d like to see in products available, as well as just good old-fashioned praise. Sometimes you forget to listen to that, especially if you’re like me and always looking to improve and build.
Online there is a tremendous amount of inspiration available. I’m a huge fan of Pinterest (username: joe logan) and regularly check in there for all sorts of ideas, both for my business and craftiness and homeliness in general. Spending time on Pinterest actually makes be feel productive and creative, even if I’m only looking and compiling.
At Etsy, becoming members of teams is very important and I’m happy to be involved in the DUST team as well as a Victorian sellers team. Both are very active and supportive for new and existing members. Creating treasury lists and taking the time to induct other members into your circle all creates more of a sense of connectedness and sharing – so important for artists who can more than often feel isolated with their work.
What mediums do you work with - do you have a favourite ?
I love paper. I love discovering the beautiful cover of a dirty hardcover book, that’s been dumped at the tip shop ready for disposal. Or when you open an old, abandoned reference book that has beautiful plates and diagrams literally falling into your hands. When I discover materials like these, it’s usually them that ‘tell’ me what I’m going to be doing with them.
It’s also very difficult to not keep buying more and more new products. Especially with the beautiful ranges and ever-improving quality of paper and fabrics that are available now, you have to (unfortunately) set limits and use up the supplies that I have at home. [I’m not always nearly that disciplined though!].
What kind of things do you make/create ?
My first love/creation are books. I make books from scratch, usually using all new materials.
I also make upcycled books – books that re-use a hardcover from an old book, and also pages and insides from other books and paper sources as well. My books are all unique and due to the nature of the raw materials themselves, often I’m not sure how they’re going to finish up when I begin the project.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have made/created ?
I have made a lot of custom items for people, so it’s always very satisfying to create those pieces.
Usually my favourites change all the time, depending on the fabric that appeals to me the most that day, or the worn texture of an old cover. There are a few books in the etsy shop at the moment which are particular favourites, just knowing part of the journey that the book took in order to get to my shop. That’s why markets are so good as well, I can take the opportunity to show them some neat features or surprises inside them.
What are your future plans/dreams/aspirations ?
I’m going to continue to build up my Etsy store and watch that (hopefully) grow over the course of this year and beyond. I’m enjoying the whole market experience, so I’ll be returning to old favourites and looking for new haunts as well. I love talking to people at markets so I hope that it will always be part of my creative business. Eventually, down the track, a looooong, long way away, perhaps luciandjoe bookbinding will become my full-time job. That would be just lovely.
Maddabling readers, do you want to see more ? You can connect with luciandjoe here :
Follow the luciandjoe Blog : http://luciandjoe.blogspot.com/
Buy lovely things on Etsy : http://www.etsy.com/shop/luciandjoe
or at the little bookshop, an independent bookstore in Portland: http://www.thelittlebookshop.com.au/