September 28, 2009
If you check in regularly you’ll know that Saturday was our By Leaves We Live annual artists’ books and small presses fair, one of the biggest, favouritest days in the SPL calendar. It coincided with Doors Open Day in Edinburgh, to entice those folks who maybe hadn’t visited before, as well as a large number of arts, crafts and book lovers. We welcomed 26 stall-holders in total (one ‘stall’ was our cunningly-placed, formerly legless chair, and another was Kona Macphee perched on a comfy wicker chair behind some wooden blocks), but fair organiser and librarian Julie managed to squeeze everyone in.
Over 500 people floated in throughout the day, to tempt their purses with some properly delicious book gear and listen to our talks upstairs. These were free, and filled on a first come first served basis, our audiences alerted to their imminence by our Robyn on a loud horn. We welcomed Isabelle Ting from the Owl & Lion Gallery talking about the process of making a book and answering questions about bookbinding; David Faithfull told of an artist book created on the Isle of Jura in collaboration with the poet John Burnside; SALT + SHAW talked about how location influences the production of their artists’ books; novelist and indie publisher Hamish MacDonald (whose stall boasted the tiniest book of the day!) guided us through making a simple chapbook and Hugh Bryden of Roncadora Press explained how he finds a balance between the poetic and visual elements in a pamphlet.
We had a marvellous day, were thrilled with the quality of the exhibitors and the numbers of folk filling the library, and are still making our way through the M&S flapjacks bought for the occasion. There are loads more pictures on Facebook, if you’re on there, and if not then you’ll pleased to know we’ll be joining Flickr this week I hope… Did you make it along? If so, what did you think?