Last Saturday I met up with some friends to go check out a between-exhibitions event at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh! It was the Artists' BookMarket that featured over two dozen independent presses, book artists and printmakers. It. was. fabulous. I mean, how could it not be, when so many of my favorite things come together in one event? Art/printmaking/illustration and poetry/literature and bookmaking. Gah, it's so great.
I set out to pick up some pieces. I haven't picked up much in the way of ephemera during my stay in Scotland, and I thought this would be the perfect excuse to pick up some things that I can add to my personal library/collection and also work as arty souvenirs over the long-term.
I found a wonderful photography book by photographer Fergus Jordan who was there representing his own work as well as the publisher the velvet cell which has put out some really streamlined, gorgeous photography books.
One of the numerous exhibitors // via //
But aside from the arty photography books and the gorgeous presses, there were some really beautiful independent Scottish publishers as well, some of them with more of a focus on Scottish literature and poetry. I scooped up an amazing little gem called 'Twelve Sea Pictures' by Leonard McDermid, which is something of a concrete poem printed on various papers by Stitchill Marigold Press. Good old fashioned letterpress printed and hand-stitched pamphlets, just gorgeous. And Leonard was awesome.
I could have gotten really carried away, but I controlled my purchasing urges and stuck with a few choice things that I dearly treasure already. I think that printmaking and bookmaking is something, though close to my heart and a part of my background already with experience at the used bookstore, that still maintains an aura of mystery and wonder because I know so little about the process. But the fact that books, so mass-produced these days, can be seen in terms of art... that's just wonderful.