Sweet nothings

The cleaner looked at it and declared - “沒戏了”. 

She literally means “no show”, or “the show has ended”. It’s a good way to describe the plant - “show over”.

I told her that the Hoya Linearis’s native setting is the Himalayas and my recent enquiry with a plant seller for a very beautiful specimen that was over 2 meters (mine was perhaps just over a meter) revealed a price of $250. Her reply to me was this - “不急,等著遇” Which means “No hurry, wait for a meeting.” It’s both wise and poetic advice.

This morning the printed pages of a new book project arrived! The book is called 密語. Image 1 shows all the component parts - ink drawings of plants I made during the “Circuit Breaker” month, the text that accompanied the drawings, and companion IG posts by James @jampulets. This, I promise, is the absolutely LAST book project I will make with his input. A plant book of his plant photos was also the very last project we had discussed, and so, it feels good to not owe him this.

The book is A3 in size, so you can remove the pages and frame the drawings. The 50 copies will be handbound in the coming weeks with hand dyed yarn I bought at a fair. The book design, hehe, is by me. Some may say it’s a little fussy, but my gut says it is right. Grateful to my bro for helping me print and emboss, and to Jeanette for recommending the various papers. (Next post I will show off the finished book!!!)

密語(MiYu) is a book of 32 ink drawings of plants I made, mostly during the “Circuit breaker” period in 2020. The drawings are accompanied by short reflections inspired by the plants. If you open the fake/pseudo French folds, you will find reproductions of IG posts by @jampulets, a companion piece of either the same plant or related ideas, and translations if necessary.

In a numbered edition of 50 only, blind emboss, printed on various papers and wrapped in rice paper. DM me if you will like a copy. SGD80 incl postage but not the rose 👹(sorry).

1) Measure out the correct length of binding thread. I am using this really soft indigo hand-dyed yarn I bought at a fair with the thought “one day, I will find a use for it”. Yeah.

2) Make fake/pseudo-French folds on 33 A4 sheets to make 132 pages or text/images. Score and punch holes on the spine-side.

3) Score and punch holes on 32 sheets of A3 drawings. This single-hole punch is one of my fave tools cos it reminds me of the days bus conductors would punch holes on our bus tickets…. #AgeReveal

4) Score and punch holes on the cover and end paper using an 0.3mm awl instead. It makes smaller, less obvious holes. An awl is like an ice pick, but for non-violent craft people.

5) Arrange the pages in correct order and line up all the holes as accurately as possible.

6) The final step is the actual “sewing” to bind the pages. I use a common binding method for Chinese and Japanese books, and without reinforcements for the corners. It’s something I learnt when I was a teenager and have never been drawn to other fancier binding styles.



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