Sunday, October 23, 2011

Linear I & Linear II

I only realised the other day that I hadn't blogged on these two books which are in Melbourne at the moment in our exhibition.

I really do like the sense of metal books - the steadfastness and resilience implied by the material, and the structure that is clearly so bookish; yet you just don't really expect metal books.

I also like to work with rusted steel; somehow the worn nature and patina of it appeals more than bright shiny new copper or steel.  I had these pieces of rusted steel sitting around for ages, and laid them out and thought they would make lovely pages.

I then shellaced them to protect them a bit and to stop the rust falling off all over your hands. I quite like the long thin nature of these books. Whilst I am inordinately fond of squares, if a rectangle is called for then I love it to be long and thin!

Linear I is a book that reads a bit like a western book; it is stitched on the left hand side and opens in a beautiful and sculptural way.  I have engraved lines and paths along each page and like the contrast of the shiny metal appearing in a meandering manner.

This book can be read like a book, or can act as a sculpture in its own right and I love how it displays.

©2011 Fiona Dempster Linear II detail
©2011 Fiona Dempster Linear 1
Linear II is deliberately stitched more in the Tibetan style; flipping from the top in effect. Again it has similar markings to its sibling, engraved with a dremel tool, and stitched using waxed linen thread and a single page binding.
©2011 Fiona Dempser Linear II
©2011 Fiona Dempster Linear II detail
©2011 Fiona Dempster Linear II opening detail
Linear I has found a new home, but as far as I know, Linear II is still looking!


  1. Gorgeous. There's a quality about them that looks like they were found rather than made. What you've added and shaped sings with the nature of the materials so well.

  2. I think these are my fav of all the works of yours I've seen (that's perhaps in part because I'm incredibly drawn to long thin things..... oh and to rust!)

    lovely fiona

  3. I'd like to be able to write something intelligent just now, but all I seem to be able to do is look at your incredible rusted books, take a deep breath and say "Oh" as I exhale. Simply breathtaking.

  4. Thank you Annie - I'm glad you think they look found and natural. I didn't think they needed much more mark-making than I made...but I am such a less is more kind of gal that I have to take care that less doesn't end up as nothing!

    Hi Ronnie - thanks! So glad you enjoy these - I too am fond of looooong and thin and it makes them so sculptural when you play them.

    Oh Jennifer - thank you. It's the rust thing isn't it? So wonderful to find such rusty kindred spirits across the globe...

  5. Fiona,as a fellow 'rust' fan you know these books strike a chord with me. Not surprised that one has already found a home . I suspect Linear II won't be far behind it.There is something so enticing about that long thin rectangular shape and the fine tracery of lines. Makes me want to go and make a book in the same format... for no other reason than to just enjoy making and painting into it.Wonderful work.

  6. Wow, wow and wow! I follow your work and am SO inspired by it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and the heart behind it. Happy indeed.

  7. The rust and the engraved details .... just wonderful!

  8. Such strength in these pieces, yet they also seem fragile... perhaps because the etching is so light and free.

  9. These are absolutely gorgeous works Fiona, everything works so well, every element necessary and complimentary. Congrats, such beauty.

  10. Absolutely stunning work Fiona!

  11. these are stunning. they sing absolutely right.

  12. As always with your creations, I wish I could touch them, flip the pages myself and revel in the texture and colors first hand. These are beautiful!

  13. Apologies all I have been on the road again and its never as easy to post via phone etc....

    Hi Leslie - yes us rust folk build a bit of a bridge cross the globe with rusty bits don't we? I'm glad you like the format and are inspired!

    Thank you Anna - the metal does make it strong in a way doesn't it?

    Hollis - thank you so much for commenting - its great to have folk participate in the conversation; so glad you like it.

    Robyn - thank you and glad that you enjoy its little bits and pieces...

    Thanks Jo -there is a bit of a contrast isn't there? I also like the tension between the rusty and the shiny.

    Thanks Jane - so glad you enjoy!

    Liz - thank you. I'm glad they work - not too much, not too little...

    Hi Louise - thank you! Lovely to hear you like them.

    Thanks Velma - I'm glad they have the right feel for you - they sing tome too!

    Thank you Jo - it's lovely to know people want to touch and feel them- that's exactly how I am and how I feel about books - they should be touched and moved and flipped...go well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.