Thursday, September 15, 2011

 More copies available in the Atlantis Bookshop

The book sold out in Atlantis, Watkins and Treadwell's bookshops, but there are now more copies available in the Atlantis Bookshop. I had some copies left from the medieval fair and they were happy to stock them.

Im also looking for more retailers for the book, I will keep you informed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

 England's Medieval Festival

Two weeks ago I participated toEngland's Medieval Festival in Herstmonceux near London. I regularly sell books in Finnish medieval fairs and it was very interesting to participate on one abroad for the first time.

The festival turned out to be quite different from the ones in Finland. Allthough the number of visitors was roughly the same as in the two largest Finnish medieval fairs there seemed to be more reenactors and traders, of which surprisingly many were foreign, probably some 20-30%. It was especially nice to meet some traders from Sweden and Estonia.

It was extremely interesting to get to sell the Magic Songs in a live event for a first time and chat up with the customers, which I really love in market events. It was bit problematic to have just a single title for sale, but it worked out allright.

The fair was a fun experience and im definitely going back next year. By then I should have 2-3 more books ready and plan to participate also to other medieval, folk and pagan festivals in UK. I would love to hear some recommendations if you know a good one :)

This trip was also my first to Sussex countryside which turned out to be very picturesque.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

 The Magic Songs is now available in London's esoteric bookshops

Im happy to report that the Magic Songs is now available in the top three esoteric bookshops in London:

Atlantis Bookshop
Treadwell's Bookshop
Watkins Books

Sunday, June 5, 2011

 PBFA and ETC antiquarian bookfairs in London

I just returned from the two bookfairs held at Russell Square bags full.

The ETC fair held in Royal National Hotel turned to be a great place for buying books. It had maybe some 50 stalls. The stock was quite diverse and prices very low.

I had planned to buy just a couple of books since I have to carry them all the way back to Finland but there was just too many great finds. Especially one seller with a 50% discount had all kinds of goodies. Here's some listings:

The Spectator, 1717. Articles and writings on all kinds of topics. Half of the title page is missing, price 2£.

The Bee, or literary weekly intelligencer, 1792. Also interesting when I want to read something completely random. 2£.

A solicitor's accounting book from year 1884, leather bound, folio size and almost empty. I have been looking for one like this for making some notes. 24 £.

D. B. Updike: Printing Types - Their history, forms and use I-II, 1962. This is a very useful set for my publishing work since it has many old typeface samples. Price 6£.

The Ingolsby Legends, 1887. Great illustrations. 5£.

Godfrey Golding: The Book of Good Devices. Interesting early self-help book. 2£.

Bliss: A History of Wood-Engraving, 1928. 120 illustrations. 4£.

He also had a lot of Baedeker's travel guides for 4£ each.

After the ETC fair I went to PBFA book fair just few hundred meters away. This fair is very different from the ETC fair as the books are very selected and priced accordingly. The fair is held in the marvelous Russell Hotel built in 1898 and has a great atmosphere.

I didn't do any more buying, but got tons of new ideas. This is what i really love in expensive fairs. You don't need to buy anything, but still get something much more valuable. I especially investigated some old illustrations and typefaces I could use for future projects.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

 Flying to London today

I'm doing some packing at the moment and have the flight to London in a few hours. It's really exciting finally get to distribute the new book and visit all the antique and antiquarian fairs there :)

I will be staying in London for the first 4 nights and after this visit Birmingham, Nottingham and Newark. I haven't yet decided the destinations for the last days, but will probably visit some smaller towns.

I will post the first pics from London on the weekend.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

 The Magic Songs has arrived from the printing press!

The books finally arrived from the press on the other day. This is the first time I have used gold- and blind-stamped (artificial) leather binding on a book, so it was a really exciting moment to open up the first box. This combination turned out to work marvelously. I'm really happy with the results. It seems now that most of my future books will follow similar style.

More pictures will be provided later on when I get to borrow a better camera and do some photo shooting.

It will be a joy to pack a suitcase full of these and head to London in a few days :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

 UK Antique and Antiquarian Fairs in June

The Magic Songs comes from the press tomorrow and I just booked flights to London for next week. Besides doing some marketing it seems there will also be ridiculously many antique and antiquarian fairs to visit. In a little over a week there are 6 fairs in London alone.

Here are some listings:

5 June: London, Bloomsbury Summer Book Fair, Royal National Hotel. 160 stalls.
5 June: London Hotel Russell Book Fair, Hotel Russell. Perhaps around 150 stalls also.

These two medium sized fairs have been quite good the two times I have visited them. Moderate prices.

9-11 June: ILAB London International Antiquarian Book Fair. The main fair of the year. Expensive but interesting to look around.
8-9 June: Hand & Flower Book Fair. New book fair right next to ILAB fair in Olympia. I haven't visited it before.
10-11 June: London Novotel Book Fair. Medium sized fair also next to Olympia . Moderate prizes.

In Olympia fair centre there is also a huge antiques fair at the of the antiquarian fair:

9-19 June: Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair. Expensive but also interesting.

But even more than these I am intrigued to visit Newark Antique Fair in Nottinghamshire on 9-10 June. It seems to be the largest antique fair in Europe with some 4000 stalls. I've never been there before and that number is quite staggering.

Not sure how I'm going to be able to visit all of these, but it'll be interesting to try. :D

Besides fairs I will definitely visit three lovely esoteric bookshops in London: Watkins Books, The Atlantis Bookshop and Treadwell's Bookshop, which also hosts many interesting events. I will try to be able to visit three of them:

03 June 11 (Friday)
Book Launch Party: Austin Osman Spare's Book of Pleasure

11 June 11 (Saturday)
Foraging for Herbs: A Hedgewitches' Teaching Walk
Natasha Richardson, Herbalist

14 June 11 (Tuesday)
Hermes Trismegistus: Fall and Rise of a Magical Figure
Gary Lachman

Saturday, May 14, 2011

 The Magic Songs of the Finns is available for pre-ordering

The first book of the Pagan Archive serie is being printed and ready in less than two weeks. I'm really excited to get my hands on it and see how the final product looks like.

The Magic Songs of the Finns is a translation of a large collection of Finnish folk magic, which was collected in the 19th century from the rural parts of Finland and Karelia. Most of this material was collected and edited by Elias Lönnrot, who also assembled the Finnish national epic Kalevala.

The book contains 639 spells covering most of the material of the original collection. The themes of the spells are really diverse ranging from healing magic to last traces of shamanistic practices among the Finns.

The book has a hundred woodcuts designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, the most famous of the illustrators of Finnish folklore. I have also used ornaments and typefaces designed William Morris for the book.

The book was almost ready for printing when I found some quality artificial leather. Most of the synthetic leather has a very plastic-like feeling, but when I got my hands on this batch I immediately wanted to use it for the book. The covers are decorated with foil stamping and blind embossing.

I just booked flights to UK for the beginning of June. I will be staying mostly in London, but will also visit an antiques fair in Newark and some smaller towns along the way. More about that later on.

There is more information on the book on our website:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

 Nuuksio National Park

Last week we went to the Nuuksio National Park for two nights. We had rented a cottage there, and it felt really good to get there after the long winter. It's finally spring here in Finland also, but there was still some ice around.

I spent most of the second day trekking around the national park. In total I visited 6 lakes of which none I had seen before. I walked around for some 4 hours and never heard any human sound except for a few airplanes.

The terrain in the park is really diverse with plenty of rocky hills, swamps and dozens of lakes. I just counted 8 lakes in an area of just 1 square kilometer!

In Nuuksio there are two public cottages that can be rented for just 60 euros a night. They house 6-8 people and are both in great locations beside lakes. Neither has electricity or road connection, so they're also good for getting a break from the modern world. We visited them both once last summer for the first time.

It's amazing how Nuuksio is just a little over 30 minutes drive from the center of Helsinki. This summer I plan to visit there a lot, together with Sipoonkorpi, another National Park on the eastern side of Helsinki that starts from just 15 minutes walk away from where I live.

It was also a perfect place to try out my new hammock.

And oh yes, the first book of the Pagan Archive series is finally at printing press and should be ready in 3 weeks. I will write more about that in the next few days, and the website should be up in a week :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

 Antiques Fair in Bleiswijk

Today I visited an antiques fair in Bleiswijk and it turned out to be the best antiques fair I have seen so far. The quality of stock was good and there was plenty of it with the fair's 250 stalls. The prices were also very low.

The most wicked thing I bought from the fair was this skillfully carved skull of a horse from Borneo. I have never seen one like it before so had to buy it even though it turned out to be quite a farce to carry it around the city. Horses have big heads. On top of that the post offices are closed tomorrow so I have to carry it again tomorrow to Amsterdam.

Kalevala Koru is the largest jewellery company in Finland. Most of their jewels are reproductions of prehistorical archeological finds. It was fun to see one of the sellers having good number of them for sale. I bought these viking age buckle and Ukonvasara, or hammer of Ukko, the Finnish god of thunder. These amulets were worn in pagan times same way people were crosses today, and they were believed to hold protective powers.

These metal clasps are always needed when presenting books, but they're surprisingly hard to find.

This fly-themed ash tray was fun so I bought it even though I don't smoke.

The most interesting group of items on the fair were krysses, Indonesian ritualistic daggers. I got interested of them few years ago but haven't found them for sale before. Indonesia was a Dutch colony for 300 years which explains why they seem to abound here.

I need to order a few books on them and look more into them. Unfortunaly I ran out of cash so didn't get to buy any just yet. The age of the krysses at the fair stretched between 50-150 years, but one collector who sold his spare krysses had even two 800 year old krysses in his personal collection.

I also heard today that in the next weekend there's a massive antiques fair with some 2000 stalls in Utrecht, but unfortunaly I have my flight back home just few days before. Need to visit it November or next spring.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

 Keukenhof Flower Garden

Where as the Quinta da Regaleira garden in Sintra, near Lisbon, is the most mystical and esoteric garden I have found the Keukenhof garden near Amsterdam is the most paradise-like. I visited Keukenhof today for second time, and it was again a great experience.

Keukenhof is the world's largest flower garden where over 7 million bulbs are planted each year. Unfortunaly it rained today, but on the other hand it was interesting to see the garden in different weather from last time.

Here are also pics of the garden in full bloom from a sunny day in middle of April 2009:

I love it how most of the garden is planted among the old forest with small hills instead of the usual flat farmland. This is something I want to try out in Finland someday. The water element is also in good use in Keukenhof with plenty of curling lakes and small streams.

Especially for the people who have spiritual respect for the nature a visit to Keukenhof is really a powerful experience.