Lately in the studio there are some big developments. Those of you who follow my Instagram account would know that I’ve been working on a series of books collectively titled Marvellous Miscellany.
Marvellous Miscellany comprises an A5 colouring book, an A4 colouring book and a 2016 diary in an A5 size. My original artwork been inspired by local native flora and fauna, geological samples and pop art. Different levels of colouring skills are catered for, with some simpler and some more complex designs included.
Each book comes with either a fabric cover (supported with a cardboard backing) or a natural tan coloured card cover. Inside every book is a perforated sheet of postcards that you can colour in and send.
All of the cardboard, paper and cardboard used in the Marvellous Miscellany range of books are either recycled, reclaimed or remnants.
There is an emphasis upon first using existing stock that would otherwise go to waste, or, when it is fabric stock, using fabric that has been used before. Fabrics are usually salvaged from charities’ opportunity shops, industrial offcuts recyclers, remnants bins, garage sales, etc. They are selected for their design and durability.
When ‘new’ cardboard and paper stock is used, it is, wherever possible, 100% recycled, with a preference for paper made from 100% post consumer waste.
It is very important to me to reduce the amount of energy used in production of the books, so whenever I can I source my materials from local businesses. When there is no-one in the Brisbane area who can supply the required materials, Australian suppliers are shown preference. This practice often reduces the amount of energy expended in transporting materials from place to place. In future, I am hoping to be able to transition to using renewable energy in the production process.
All the pages inside the books are currently printed in Brisbane on a printer (we call her Lazy Panda) that has already served many years working for a local draftsperson. Its toner cartridges were leftovers, salvaged from someone whose identical printer had reached the end of its life. Many thanks go to MisterScribble, aka Peter Crees, for his constant support and help in the printing process and for reading my mind half the time (“I have no idea how many copies I need printed!”).
This week I am testing a new glue for construction, which is made from starch and has a very low toxicity. Previously I was using an aerosol spray adhesive, which made production a lot easier, however, this product has some serious environmental drawbacks, so I have switched to manually rolling on the starch based glue. More work, but much more satisfying.
I am using recycled paper for all packaging at the moment, and hope to continue to do so.
Get your own Marvellous Miscellany books at OceanWilsonArt.etsy.com, email me at email@example.com or visit my stall at the Boundary Street Markets, West End, most weekends.
I am sorry that I haven’t been at the markets lately – I’ve been ill for most of January. I’ll let you all know when my stall is up and running again.