11 February 2014 / The Archive in SAFA Park, Dubai
Michelle Harvey's Bookbinding Workshop

Michelle Harvey’s Bookbinding Workshop

Ever since I can remember I have had this weird obsession with paper.  I think it might have something to do with my Grandmother who always gave me gifts in the form of a Blue Box filled with pictures that she collected over the years.  Each birthday or on special occasion the Blue Box was presented filled with new treasure.

Me and Granny Kate Potgieter

Pictures, cut-outs, Vanity Fair dress patterns, postcards, old photos, paper boxes, paper with patterns, papers with textures or papers and boxes that people threw away.  They took my mind away from my tiny room and arguing parents, into the world of make-believe.  I have been fascinated ever since.  At school I even went as far as making paper out of elephant dung…my mother was less impressed by her gift that year.

Vanity Fair Patterns.

Images, books and photos form part of you brain’s visual memory bank and it is like taking a child on trip around the moon, to the movies or even to a fashion show.  We never watched a lot of TV and I got my first computer only when I was nineteen.  Ridiculous by today’s standards, I know, but there is something to be said about living without social media and all these things we now accept as the norm.  I guess in some ways the Blue Box was my Facebook when pixels where dots of ink on paper. #poke


Designer, Illustrator and bookbinding go-to girl Michelle Harvey

Yesterday I had the privilege of going to a bookbinding workshop at The Archive with the brilliant Michelle Harvey.  Michelle is also a freelance designer and illustrator and recently she did an internship in NY on bookbinding.  The workshop took me straight back to the Blue Box and I am so super happy that I got to make two awesome little books.  Her next workshop will be held at The Archive on 25 February 2014, so don’t miss it.  She discussed paper and some general qualities of paper, grain, thread/fiber and how to cut/tear the paper so it is more durable when it is bound.

Lunch at The Archive - brilliant as usual

Lunch at The Archive – brilliant as usual


She showed us some types of binding and we made a small book by threading the needle in a special way.  I really like the hand embossing and everything is made simple, clear and super fun.  After lunch we made another hardcover book by using the “French Links” method, which is an awesome gift, notebook or that little black book we all have.

The inside of a book before cover is secured.

Paper that tells a story, history handed over.  Don’t buy it.  Find it.  Make it.

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