Marbled journals

We’ve been keeping our best marbled canvas as a private collection, but I recently decided to use them as book covers and send them into circulation.

4marbled chart block

Material is cotton canvas, marbled on cassava starch size with industrial acrylic paints.

5marbled edition

And as usually, once I start making books, I carry on. We have so much varied material on board, that I don’t have to buy anything. The next book has timber covers, a fancy Japanese noodle box out of “aodamo” wood.


1noodle chart block

It is the first book cover I ever made, about 14 years ago, and I kept the original manuscript of “Monsoon Dervish” in it. With the book now in third printing, and the manuscript gathering dust in a storage box,  it’s time to use the covers for something else.

2noodle mandala

Polish is beeswax mixed with kero, then a light coat of shoe-shine.

3inside chart block

Text block is made out of old navigation charts. I went through my eclectic collection of old charts and got rid of around thousand of them. That sounds like a lot, but many were photocopies on bond paper, a thick stack came from prawn trawlers, so charts were dirty, damaged and worn out, contemporary Australian charts are printed on thin paper of poor quality that is no good for book binding. Even though, I ended with 16 thick text blocks of good paper, white on one side, a bit of print on the face, mostly the empty bits with a lot of sea and no land.

7mada cover

This one is a custom-made log book with “pageant” paper text block; covers are hand painted interpretation of old charts from my collection. Madagascar on the front.

8far east cover

The Archipelago on the back.

9jarra shell

Another box in the bilges that got a chop was my shell collection. There is only so many shells I want to keep, especially when I only see them once a year. Timber is recycled jarra from an old door.

10shell detail

I cut the murex with an angle grinder, diamond tip blade.

11three for size

Just for comparison of size: noodle box at left is 200×300 mm (8″x 12″).

Photos by Nat from

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