The Lady Books III

I created the 1st version of the Lady books (Tantböcker) in Nov 2017. The content is a very simple verse in Swedish, using 37 words of four letters only. Each book tells a lapidary-style story about a Lady. I created eight different characters: The Cruel Lady (Grym Tant), the Party Lady (Fest Tant), the Grief Lady (Sorg Tant), the Away Lady (Iväg Tant), The River Lady (Flod Tant), The Light Lady (Lätt Tant), The Mean Lady (Snål Tant), The Cunning Lady (Slug Tant). The 48 pages of each book are printed on ordinary yellow copy paper. Page size: 43×33 mm. The covers are simple imitations of real book cases.

In Dec 2018 I began work on the 2nd version, aiming at adding 64 new pages to enhance the book-like quality. I made minor changes to the verses. One book got a new title – The Mean Lady is now The Poetry Lady (Dikt Tant). I added 47 illustrations that mirror the character of the Lady in question. The images are based on a single vector line doodle that I manipulated into several variations and repeated in all books. Hand painted red dots are added to the illustrations. The book cases are now in line with the real craft of book binding, using spine board and endpaper. Boards are wrapped in a print on the same yellow paper as the textblock. The red design on the spine is created with a rubber stamp.

During the binding of my 2nd version books I ran into trouble. The way the textblocks behaved after sewing the signatures was unsatisfactory. They would not stay closed and flat and I tried to figure out why. It was of course due to a basic mistake – the folds (spine) ran across the direction of the grain of the paper. I had to reposition all the pages of all the books and print new sheets to cut and fold, etc. It was an important lesson in my learning the craft of hand made books.

In May 2019 I started on a commission to make three Lady books for a gift. This prompted a revision of the three books: Cruel Lady (Grym Tant), Party Lady (Fest Tant) and Grief Lady (Sorg Tant). They now exist in a 3rd version. Still 112 yellow pages, with a redesign of the layout and a new second verse of four-letter words, offering the Lady’s helpful recommendations. For the gift I also made a clamshell box to keep the three books. This is an idea I will elaborate on for the future of my hand made books. This project was completed in June 2019.