Moustache! Got an event to do!

So, you’re in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, and you’ve nothing to do… Why aren’t you at The Grand Pavilion looking at all the lovely Steampunk goodness?

We’re here today and tomorrow between 11 and 4.30, so get your brass goggles on and get down here right now!

Come and see the curious crafts, and stay for the bands!

Posted using Tinydesk blog app

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

The Hatching – work in progress

Work in progress - album cover with tentacles.

Work in progress – album cover with tentacles.

One of the first works for the upcoming Steampunk Solstice event in June. Something unearthly is trying to emerge from the cover, and dark ichor stains the supple leather as it eats its way through.

Posted in Work in progress | Tagged , | Comments closed

Steampunk Solstice What Ho!

Steampunk Solstice poster

Steampunk… just the word brings to mind an image of rich leather, gleaming brass, strange maps and turning gears. A time that never was, in a world that’s only partly recognisable as our own. I love the steampunk ethos of creativity, of living in a world where people still spend time making things, and making them beautiful (and I think beam engines are beautiful, so that’s where my aesthetic sensibilities sit on that). I also love the variety – everyone’s own personal idea of what makes something steampunk seems to be slightly different. You’ve got everything from re-enactment quality metal and leatherwork to pick-a-thing-and-stick-a-cog-on-it (yes, I’ve fallen into that trap and what of it).

Although I’m a relative newcomer to the growing genre that is steampunk, I’m happily casting aside the ‘dip my toe in the water’ approach and am launching myself bodily into the upcoming Steampunk Solstice event in June. I’m also working with the fabulous Helen Rich of Xothique Designs to develop a new brand specifically for our steam-related creations, so watch this space for more about that.

If you’re a fan of Steampunk, or simply the owner of a magnificent moustache, why not come along to the Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath between the 28th and 30th of June and shop at the market, listen to the afternoon acts, or even buy tickets to watch the splendid evening entertainments. According to the Facebook page, there’s still ‘one more big announcement to come’…



Posted in Events | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Codex: Between This and That…

If you happen to be near 17 Pitfield Street, Hoxton, LONDON N1 6HB on the 26th of April, you might want to check out the launch of a fascinating project called “codex: between this and that”. The project, a collaboration between artists Egidija Čiricaitė, Chris Gibson and George Cullen, explores ‘the codex’ as a concept, and is funded by the Arts Council.

Part of the project includes the publication of a book, and, according to Egidija : “It will form a cinematic collage of thoughts (in the form of codex, of course) based on our work as well as on the thoughts of a range of professionals who work with books: binders, writers, artists, academics, curators, accountants, publishers [and] collectors…”

I was delighted to be asked to make a small contribution in my capacity as a bookbinder, so if you go along to the launch at Bookartbookshop between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, be sure to look out for the book, and my small addition: Codex: between material and meaning.


Posted in Events, In Print | Tagged , | Comments closed

On commissions, and why I can’t make you The Neverending Story.

As some of you know, I have Multiple Sclerosis. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it does mean that I have to take a figurative run-up at projects these days. A couple of years ago, when I was attending the Fairy Market down in Dartmouth, I managed to create about eight original books over the course of five months. That’s probably the most productive I’ve ever been.

Lately, things have deteriorated a bit, and I’m devoting my time to writing, which makes less mess, and can be picked up when I have the energy, and edited when I do something that – on reflection – doesn’t work as well as it did the night before. You can’t do that so easily with books. Once the glue has dried, you’re stuck with it. Pun intended.

That’s not to say I won’t be making any more books – I have plenty of paper and leather waiting for me when I have the energy and the inspiration to take on another project. But at the moment, I’m letting my bone folder cool down and focusing on less energetic projects, like the writing.

Speaking of writing, I’ve had a surprising number of lovely emails asking if I can make a replica Neverending Story book. Some people have asked for blank pages, some have asked to have the Michael Ende story reproduced within. Some have had a deadline of weeks or months, one person wanted it the following week!

I’ve had to turn them all down, of course, but I feel that I should explain my reasons, as not all requests are equal, and my polite stock answers don’t always go into detail. So here are some points regarding The Neverending Story, and why I won’t be able to make you one:

  1. I don’t have the energy. See above. You weren’t to know that my health was rubbish, so that’s entirely my fault for not updating the ‘commissions’ page sooner to reflect this.
  2. If I did have the energy, I don’t have authentic materials – I may be able to find a piece of leather that looks the part, but you would have to resign yourself to art clay decorations, until I find a willing metalworker to create trimmings that don’t push the book’s cost to unsaleable levels.
  3. The original book has gold-tooled lettering. Gold/gilt tooling requires special equipment I don’t have, and training I definitely don’t have. I might be able to carve the letters and apply gold leaf, but I couldn’t guarantee a neat finish, and I don’t like to sell anything that doesn’t look right to me.
  4. Even if I had the energy, focus, materials and expertise, you still can’t have it in a week. I work full time – the only time I don’t work full time is when I’m too ill to do so. A book can take 25-30 hours to make. You get the picture.
  5. I definitely can’t make a copy with the text of The Neverending Story inside. I’m tapdancing on the edge of the abyss for reproducing the Auryn, and I’m only happy with that because the book was an unsolicited gift, with no money exchanging hands. If you look inside the cover of most books, there will be a line that reads something like ‘you may not circulate the contents of this book in anything other than the original binding or cover’, or words to that effect. In other words, I’d be setting myself up for a lawsuit if I made money from selling the book.

That goes for Harry Potter-related work, too. As a gift, I can sleep relatively easy, because Warner Brothers are less likely to scent blood in the water if nobody is making any money. But the minute I turn somebody else’s work into profits, I’m in trouble.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I do write fanfic. I don’t sell that, either.

Not that anyone would buy it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Black Wyvern portfolio now for sale!

Like my books, but couldn’t eat a whole one? You can now buy a portfolio of my designs for only £12.95 by clicking the ‘buy now’ link. Go on, it’s very shiny…

Posted in In Print | Tagged , | Comments closed

Dartmouth Faerie Fair

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be at Dartmouth Faerie Fair & Masquerade Ball this weekend (26th – 28th November 2010), with my friend Helen Rich of Xothique Designs. Come along to meet us at The Flavel in Dartmouth, Devon if you can.

Posted in Events | Comments closed

These Are Not Just Books…

These are hand-sewn, hand-crafted unique and exclusive Black Wyvern Books. Welcome to my website – and thanks for visiting so soon after I’ve set it up! I’d love to know how you found me so quickly, and what you think of my work. Please, leave a comment below, and check back soon for more news and updates – this is just the beginning…

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed
  • Follow BlackWyvernArts on Twitter