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 :)