Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time Out!

Some of you may have seen this article on my workshops in the latest issue of Time Out Delhi. For those of you have not, here is the article below. For the online link, click here.
Yes, about the photo. I am in fact stitching and talking at the same time.

Make a book
Some binding commitments are easy to make, says Aayush Soni.

Reading a book is the easiest way to kill summer afternoons. Turn on the air-conditioning, sprawl out on the bed and lose yourself in Salman Rushdie’s Luka and The Fire of Life. But if you find your fingers itching to do more than just flip pages, you might want to think about making a book yourself.

Radha Pandey is an expert on the physical aspect of books. She’s a graduate of the Srishti School of Art and a former apprentice at the Still Water Bindery in Vermont, USA, specialists in handmade books. In December 2009, she spoke about the structural evolution of the book at the CMYK bookstore. Since then, Pandey has been teaching Delhi how to make its own books.

The typical process for a palm-sized book involves folding sheets of paper multiple times, aligning them properly with a cover that’s wider than the sheets, piercing three holes and stitching it all together with embroidery-thread. Initially, you feel like a novice surgeon debuting at the operation theatre as you fold, align, pierce, re-fold and stitch sheets together. But by the end of it, you’ll marvel at how you created something right from scratch. It’s non-sticky, non-greasy, easy to do and the workshop can keep you occupied for at least three hours. Equipment isn’t an issue – Pandey will bring all the material over and all you have to do is follow her instructions.

Should you get nervous about the fiddling and folding, Pandey will give you a crash course on the vitality of paper. “I tell them how paper is made and how it has a good memory,” Pandey said. “Whenever you do something with it, it never forgets. And once they realise that what they’re actually holding took such a long time to make, they respect that.”

Contact Radha Pandey ( a week in advance to arrange a workshop. Charges Rs. 1,500 per person for a three-hour workshop. For details visit