Every now and again something a little bit different comes into the studio.
When Mary Kelleher turned up one afternoon and spread out on the floor a HUGE handstiched tapestry mural, and said she wanted to turn it into a book, we realised this was going to be one of those occasions.
Based on a true story, the life and times of Bert Williams has been told through hand stitched panels, patches and well loved toys and bits of Meccano.
Up close it really is a work of art, and the challenge was going to be how to keep that WOW factor in a book format.
The detail is amazing – so the first task was to get some great photography done to capture as much of that as possible.
The other important element of this project was how to incorporate the historical text that supports the mural. The initial thoughts of a separate notebook didn’t really do the job, and we eventually settled on a double sided pull out banner, that folded into a cover. This also meant we could hold the CD on the cover flaps (yes, there was a song too!) and it was a format that could be flexible enough to display other murals!
With a glue stick and some origami we were able to piece together a dummy, and work out some print options.
The designs for the historical panels borrowed the button road from the mural, along with the patches and some lovely old B/W photos.
The finished book has been matt varnished on the folded pages, and a matt lamination on the cover- so it has a tactile feel that suits the original tapestry.
Last Saturday, it had a fantastic review by Kate De Goldi on the Kim Hill show, which is fitting recognition of a good idea, a quality artwork, good design and production and an overall very satisfying project to be involved with. Have a listen to the review
or visit Mary’s website and find out more about the second book The Mill is Kaiapoi, also available in the same format