• domino papers

    interiors, natural world, old things, photography • Jan 27th, 2019


    I’ve always loved decorated notebooks, more craft than fine art with techniques like stenciling, block printing and hand colouring; they suggest a time honoured quality that’s no longer our everyday and they’re very inviting of creativity however modest.

    This week I was at the V&A looking at the loveliest miniatures, an early version of photos on your phone I guess. They were replaced by photographic prints pasted on cardboard called cartes de visite with decorative swags and festoons next to the photographer’s name. My great grandfather made a good living creating these in the Suisse Romande at a time when people didn’t have their own cameras.

    There were journals in the glass cabinets too, cloth covers, end papers, calligraphy all very lovely. I’m more of a writer than a reader so there are a lot of notebooks at home, printed books on the other hand, are few since sorting out a vast collection not so long ago; only a handful passed the do you love it? Kondo test so I gave them away. I’ve kept a separate collection of children’s picture books though and I’m going through them quite regularly at the moment. My grandson is still only 7 months old but his library is waiting for him.

    You may be wondering why this post is called domino papers which is a translation of papiers dominotés meaning decorative papers for books and journals in particular. I’ve always been a fan of  18th century interior design when papering furniture, boxes and walls with botanical motifs became popular. I just love the delicate drawings and colours of the papers and the unusual shapes that counter the plant life.

    I’m putting up a photo on Instagram this week of two designs from Antoinette Poisson in Paris. (I asked for permission first) The artists have reinterpreted old designs and make them by hand, they are truly beautiful. The company Antoinette Poisson is named after Madame de Pompadour, confidante and adviser to Louis XV, sweet recognition.

    The photos this week are of some of my everyday journals with pages from a water damaged Little Observer which I’m using to mark the micro seasons, I paste the page with the plant’s description once I’ve seen it on my wanderings. Non natives like this magnolia get a written entry with the date, place and a short description.

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