We just got back a few days ago from our first ever cruise. It was with an AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) group and we went to Rhodes and Crete. The on-land visits were a bit short but enjoyable none the less. We had been to Rhodes before so it was sort of fun to be back again. They arranged a special visit to the synagogue for us. They had done some renovations since we were there before and the museum was greatly improved. The people there were quite excited that we actually had a quorum for prayers (which they don’t) and were able to pray the afternoon and evening services.
We really liked Crete and are hoping to return there for a longer visit. It is extremely beautiful. Our tour was to an island that was in inhabited for 700 years and then became a leper colony for 50 years. The whole story was very interesting. Google Spinalonga.
Of course most of the time we were on the boat, sorry ship. There were about 600 passengers and 300 crew. It took me a few hours to get used to the motion of the ship, especially on the 8th deck where we had prayers. There were a couple of pools one of which Maurene took advantage of. She was expecting to spend the entire voyage on a deck chair in the shade, but there weren’t that many deck chairs and not all that much shade. There seemed to be something happening all the time - lectures, meals, entertainment, etc. The food was bountiful and tasty, although there could have been more protein for us vegans. The entertainment was of the Los Vegas variety - not entirely to my taste but I sat through it for Maurene’s sake and didn’t regret it.
One highlight for me was a private visit to the bridge to see the working of the ship.
The most important thing about the trip was that it was VERY relaxing. No phones, no e-mail, just following the schedule and then being rocked to sleep at night. I was a bit dubious at first but went along for Maurene’s sake and then enjoyed it immensely. I would be happy to cruise again.
I gave a short intro on marblling to the conservation staff at the National Library and they ran with it. Here are some of the results:
It is more than 25 years since I did any serious marbling but last week I got back into it. I have given a couple of demos, but nothing worked well and I suspect that my materials were too old. So… I bought new colours and carageenan, turned off my phone and took a week off to try and marble again. It took a few days to get back into it but finally everything worked and I was very pleased.
I got a five-volume set to bind and had to make one slipcase for all five. They were the same height but not the same width or thickness, and the client wanted to be able to take them from the slipcase easily without damaging the top of the spine. He suggested a flap at the top, but I didn’t think that would work, so I made a case with five separate compartments and a gap on the foreedge but that didn’t work either.
I finally came up with this idea, which worked and which the client really liked. I made a platform that fit into the bottom of the slipcase and attached small blocks at the end to stop each book at the proper distance from the foreedge. There is a tab at the front of the platform to pull it out, bringing all the five volumes with it.
Does anyone have a better idea? I’d like to hear it.
Don’t comment on this blog. If you have a suggestion or comment, please send it directly to my e-mail address.
Last week I gave a demonstration of paper marbling in conjunction with the exhibition of my collection at our synagogue gallery. From my point of view it was a total flop. The colours woundn’t float and when they finally did they were all grainy. The paper I was using (which I bought locally) wouldn’t hold the colour although the Classic Laid that I got from Iris Nevins did much better. However, the crowd loved it! There were many WOWs every time I lifted a sheet.
After the demo I screened the Schleicher movie and everyone sat with eyes glued to the screen.
There were more than 60 people at the demo and many of them expressed an interest in taking a workshop.
I invited Zushia Dudin, the only person in Israel who marbles for a living, to display and sell his papers and he did a brisk business.
A first ever in Israel exhibition of marbled papers was mounted at Kehilat Yedidia synagogue. See details at http://yehudamiklaf.com/galleries/exhibits/
Hanan the magnificent appeared two and a half weeks ago of Friday evening at 9 pm. That means he was born on Shabbat and as they say “The righteous are born on the Sabbath Day”. We are very happy with him and hope that his parents will keep him. He is eating, sleeping, pooping and peeing (sometimes on me!); all the things that he is supposed to be doing. Tonight at her 4th birthday party, his sister Resheet baked a cake (imaginary) in his honour, which we thought was a wonderful gesture.
I think this was my fifth SoB conference and it was a very special event. First of all I was doing a presentation about the K118 binding structure, and this was the first time I had given a presentation. I was very nervous - couldn’t sleep the night before or eat on the day - but once it started and I saw all those friendly faces before me, I calmed down and it went very well. At least I had a lot of very positive comments both afterward and during the rest of the conference. I had agreat time hanging out with old friends and met some wonderful new ones. I was asked to write up the presentation for the journal, but someone beat me to it (bless her heart!) and wrote a detailed description of my presentation which will appear in the next issue of The Bookbinder. Hopefully it will someday make it onto the web and I won’t have to write that up either!
If you have never been to a bookbinding conference, I urge you to make the effort and come to a SoB conference. The people are lovely, the organization is tops, the places are always wonderful and I’ll buy you a drink.
The third highlight. After Wigan I visited my friend Simon Prais in Birmingham. When Simon visited me last year, his daughter Ronit came along and asked me, if she wrote a book, would I bind it. I agreed of course. This year they came again, and Ronit brought three copies of her book for me to bind, which I did.
When Simon heard that I was going to the SoB conference at Warwick University, he kindly invited me to visit him in Birmingham to see some of the wonderful samples of Hebrew printing that he has. I had a chance to see Ronit again and to meet the rest of his family and I spent a very pleasant evening with them. However, when it was time to retire, I found the most lovely ‘Thank You’ card next to my bed. It has a photo of Ronit holding one of my bindings of her book and a sweet message inside, complete with drawings of Ronit and her friends admiring my work.
The next morning Simon drove me over to the University and left me with the bookbinders.
When I mention to Brits that I’m going to Wigan, they usually say “For what?” Well, my eldest sister Kay lives there, with a number of her 11 children. But, to be honest, I have grown to like Wigan. I know it quite well - where the shops are and such.
This time I had a wonderful visit. My niece Marie and her husband Dave have taken over Kay’s house and are looking after her. They made some great improvements on the house (which are on-going) and the situation there is ideal. Of course, the amazing collection of wine which they have smuggled in from Spain is not to be sneezed at. We ate out (Indian) and Dave took me to St Helen’s to buy some materials for our beer-making club. Basically, it was a very nice visit. A pity that Adam was not with me - he loves Wigan and the relatives there love him.