Editor's Note: Vilija has been a supporter of IFOB and especially World Bookmark Day for a number of years. The activities she organizes for her local library are always creative and fun for the children especially. She also makes bookmarks and has other interesting collections and activities. Congratulations, Vilija!.
1. Tell us about yourself – where you are from, your occupation, etc.
My events are for my area. The most famous is "Poetry in blooming gardens" where we read poetry and play music while the 140-hectare apple orchard is in full bloom.
Another, no less famous, is Walpurgis night on Shatrija mountain. On that night, according to legend, witches fly to the mountain. "I fly" and I am a witch, because I am there.
2. How did you start collecting bookmarks? Do you remember your first bookmark?
Since my work is related to books, bookmarks were always there. I don't remember the first one. Once I saw an advertisement for a girl's bookmark exhibition, and I thought that I also need to collect what I have. I collected from all the books and a lot appeared in the drawers. That’s how the first exhibition was born.
3. Do you have any favorite types or special emphasis in your collection?
5. How do you acquire your bookmarks?
6. How many bookmarks do you have (an estimate)?
7. How do you organize, display and store your collection?
I keep my regular bookmarks in binders, organized by country, in clear document pockets. I mark the contents with a special soldering iron so that the bookmarks do not fall on top of each other. In the binders, each part begins with notes. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see how I solder the places of the marks. It's quite a big job, so there is still a big pile of marks received this year waiting for their order. And the handmade ones are still in the box. They are of very different shapes, made of different materials, so it is difficult to keep them in binders, and I often want to show them to others, so I haven't thought of another way to organize them yet.
8. What has been your experience in using the IFOB Swap List?
This is a very good place for like-minded people to meet, that there is a list and we can find each other and who wants to exchange bookmarks. I do that too, but not very often.
9. What do you enjoy about IFOB? Anything you would like to see IFOB do in the future?
10. What did you do to celebrate World Bookmark Day this year?
Kaunatava Library marks this day every year with events, educations, bookmark exhibitions. This year we held book mark workshops, I prepared an exhibition and presented a video of photos of book marks and covers that I drew called "Book Dress".
11. Do you collect anything else?
Yes, quite by accident, little by little, souvenir hedgehogs started to "come" to the house, and that's how 484 of them accumulated in a few years. I even had to make a separate shelf for them. And it started quite unexpectedly - I got lost on a trip and the name hedgehog in the fog stuck, based on Sergej Kozlov's book "Hedgehog in the Fog".
And I still have quite a few cups for tea with poppies, so now the dishes decorated with poppies are my favorites. But I don't know if it can be called a collection. My family eats from these dishes, I serve my guests in them and I happily drink my morning coffee myself, After all, you can choose a different cup decorated with poppies.
12. Do you have any advice for those who are just beginning to collect bookmarks?
Maybe if I just started collecting bookmarks now, I would choose one area according to the topic, production method, specialty or hobby. Bookmarks are endless and it can't end... how to set a limit or have a goal for how many to collect. After all, you can't have all the bookmarks in the world, but if you think you can, I will help you as much as I can!
13. Anything else you would like to share?
I would like to be glad that I was able to get involved in joint activities and participate in IFOB events, sharing bookmarks with the whole world. Until then, I only collected on my own. Thanks to this page I got to know collectors not only from other countries, but also from my own country. Lithuania is a very small country, and I live in a small village in a small country, but now I am open to make my country known to the whole world through bookmarks.
by Rita Colognola
“Michael Kalil (1943-1991) was an educator, interior residential and commercial architect, philosopher and artist. As the Principal of Kalil Studio (1981-1991), he was known for his innovative work with technology and materials, most notably for developing an award winning automated office space for Armstrong World Industries, and for creating a Space Station habitation module prototype for NASA (1983-1986).”(1). He “was known for his abstract designs, spoke of himself as a "space engineer" and was constantly experimenting with space. ... His work has been exhibited at a number of museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.”(2), In 2001 the "Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design" was established in his memory at the School of Constructed Environments (SCE).
Pictures will describe better than any word this beautiful, attractive set.
(1) Jen Larson, Michael Kalil, An Introduction
(2) Joan Cook, Michael Kalil, 47, An Innovator as an Abstract Interior Designer, obituary published in the New York Times, July 4, 1991
Editor's Note: A few short articles advertise the bookmarks as stylish reading accessories.
This article does not have photos but reveals that Kalil also designed another intersesting bookmark:
Darlyn Brewer. “Helpful Hardware: Metal Bookmarks.” The New York Times. New York, N.Y: New York Times Company, 1985, Late Edition (East Coast) edition.
The Museum of Modern Art sells a set of three satin-finished brass bookmarks. Designed by Michael Kalil exclusively for the museum, each is round with decorative cutouts and measures two inches in diameter. The set costs $17.50. Also designed by Mr. Kalil is a sterling silver bookmark. For $40, it comes packaged in a black pouch made of Japanese rice paper, which is designed by Morishima Hiroshi. The bookmark is two inches in diameter and the pouch measures approximately 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches. The museum store is at 11 West 53d Street. Museum members get a discount.
This article simply says that the three bookmarks are available for $17.50 from the MOMA store.
Editor's Note: Vilija has been a great contributor and supporter of IFOB and now we can see why. Her creativity and love of bookmarks is evident in these examples and her story about making bookmarks.
And since I really like handicrafts, I am learning new technologies. The bookmarks are also very diverse: painted on fabric, from gift ribbons, metal, with natural dried flowers, with silk tassels and pendants. Beaded pendants, holiday shells, burnt glass pendants or clay molded with fragrant oils. (After all, the very first scripture is about scents, when the scent plant was wrapped in a piece of material for fear of forgetting important events).
But no matter how sophisticated they may be, they all carry out the same mission - giving the work being read even more charm, helping us to remember where we read and returning to the story being read, and increasingly bookmarks are becoming works of art.
Telšių r. Lithuania
Librarians and teachers devise many creative activities and incentives to encourage reading among school children—contests and prizes, charts of progress and gold stars, puppet shows, plays and parties all to make reading fun and interesting. Of course, bookmarks play a role as small prizes and mini-teachers of book etiquette. They may possess more power than we thought, as we learn from Jeffrey Edel, a semi-retired woodworker (and voracious reader).
He lives in Bryson City, North Carolina, USA, a small but beautiful town, which as he notes is “tucked up against the Tennessee border amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains.” He used to live in Jacksonville, Florida where he met his friend Karen, an elementary school librarian. She dresses up as the Book Fairy and has had success in getting young children inspired to read by using the bookmarks he makes - her magic wands! Jeffrey says she is “astoundingly creative” and also works with the Scholastic Book Fair program.
More durable for children than paper, the bookmarks Jeffrey makes are from all types of salvaged wood including oak, poplar, black walnut, cherry or whatever he has saved from his years as a woodworker. He adds bits of broken jewelry, coins, watch fobs, jewelry pieces or whatever might make them interesting and ornamental. When asked if he makes them for sale, he said, “They are meant to be encouraging gifts and if someone wanted one I would try to accommodate them if possible.”
Jeffrey would like to hear from our members — “who better than the experts” — on ideas and feedback for improving his designs. He would also like to know of other initiatives to inspire children to read using bookmarks. Please respond by making a comment below or to the webmaster and we will be sure they get to Jeffrey.
And the next time you use a bookmark, think about its magic powers!
\You may have noticed that there has been hardly any activity on the IFOB-website or you are maybe wondering why you got no reaction from Asim. There is a simple but very sad reason for all this: on the third of June, Asim's daughter Jenny informed us that Asim had passed away quite unexpectedly and suddenly during their holiday at Sardinia.
Asim and Evi, his wife, were at the beginning of a new period of their life after the retiring of Evi from her teaching job. The trip to Sardinia should have been only the beginning! They did enjoy their stay at Sardinia--the sea all around, brilliant weather, nice villages and unspoiled nature. They might have crossed even the footsteps of Napoleon at this isle. Too sad and cruel that the sudden death of Asim ended all expectations.
Our sincere condolences have gone to Evi and her two daughters, wishing them much strength and courage for the hard times to come. They have lost a remarkable husband and father who was also very important for the community of bookmark collectors all over the world, full of energy and creativity, with a million ideas for the future. The kind thoughts of many IFOB-members will be with Asim.
Laine Farley is looking for possibilities to continue the IFOB-website, at least some parts of it, and I will try to assist her. Please follow the news on the website.
Sorry for the bad news,
Regards, Georg Hartong
I would like to add to Georg’s message my own condolences to Asim’s family. This web site and the idea of an online forum for international bookmark collectors was his vision, and he fulfilled it not only with enthusiasm but also with much generosity to me as a co-editor and to the entire community. Asim was also very creative in the work his company did to create beautiful bookmarks. Only recently, he completed a series of six bookmarks based on the works of Claude Monet in conjunction with an exhibition at the Foundation Beyeler. I wanted to mention them in the last newsletter, but Asim did not want to mix his business with the web site. He always demonstrated integrity in all matters concerning IFOB. He was full of plans and ideas, even as he was anticipating the changes resulting from his wife’s retirement. All of that makes it even more difficult to comprehend his sudden death.
Although we have lost our leader, a fellow collector, and a friend, Georg and I hope to honor Asim’s dream to encourage bookmark collectors worldwide to communicate, share, exchange and learn about bookmarks. We will be posting soon about changes and plans that are in the works. It may take us a little while to sort out the various components and activities of the web site, so we ask for your patience.
As some of you know, Asim had begun to sell some of his collection. He daughter, Jenny, would like to sell the entire collection, and we will post more information about that shortly.
by Keti Gabaitze
Keti is a 15 year old student and nascent artist from Georgia who loves to draw as a hobby and also likes to read books a lot. Recently, as she had to create a project at school she came up with the idea to connect her hobby with her reading passion and to produce illustrated bookmarks matching popular books. Let's hear what Keti has to tell about her project and it's outgrowths after she has finished it.
Mark the Book
What do you think about bookmarks? Personally for me and for the readers generally, bookmarks are important accessories. They are interesting, functional and beautiful. My hobbies are drawing and designing, therefore, I decided to make a project about bookmarks called “Mark the Book”. The aim of the project was to create bookmarks from different popular books among my generation such as: Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, The Devil Wears Prada, The Mortal Instruments, Sherlock Holmes, The Little Prince, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pride and Prejudice. The bookmarks were created with my own illustrations and on the back side they had quotes from these specific books.
After I had the bookmarks ready, it was time to show it to society and prove that even nowadays bookmarks can be fun, interesting, beautiful and trendy. At that stage, I came across the website of International Friends of Bookmarks (IFOB) and saw that some artists and several people had submitted free downloadable bookmarks to promote the very first World Bookmark Day (Woboda). It was easy for me to contribute some bookmarks for this event, I just had to replace the title of the book on the bottom of my bookmarks with the wording and date of Woboda.
Bookmarks I have submitted to IFOB for the promotion of the World Bookmark Day
Later, I decided to distribute some of my new bookmarks in the local city library, mostly to teenagers and younger generation people, because the books I created bookmarks about are popular among them. I also left some copies in a local bookshop, so people could buy them and I sold them at school as well. I got positive feedback, people liked bookmarks and they were sold really fast. With collected money at school, I bought some books and took part in a project in which the city library was collecting books and delivering them to small libraries within the country.
In conclusion, with this project I didn’t just create the bookmarks but I also took part in popularizing them among society, I showed them the importance and the role of bookmarks and that they have to pay attention to bookmarks, and I also helped society and delivered some books to the library.
We from International Friends of Bookmarks (IFOB) wish to congratulate Keti for her wonderful project and to thank Keti for her contribution to our project World Bookmark Day. Keti's project shows how bookmarks can be a employed in a creative way to spark enthusiasm and can be messengers of messages over the borders of countries.
19 March 2017 Asim Maner, webmaster
by Ana Matos
Hi, I’m Ana from Portugal and currently producing custom and handmade bookmarks under the name CraftsforYou.
Before talking about the work that I do and the types of bookmarks that I create, I want to share a little bit about my experience with books. Last Christmas I had a flashback about those times when buying a book was rare and receiving one was amazing. I had a lot of books in my school backpack but few, for leisure times, on my shelf. Back then having a book was so precious that I used to read the same book more than once during summer vacations. Later, in university, I had a lot of technical books to study asap and still no money (as a typical broke student) to buy and add books to my library, or should I say shelf. Fortunately, between friends, we would trade books which was a good solution and a way of increasing the sense of responsibility for shared things. I treated the books with care and tried to read them fast to give them back. But with my own (few) books I didn’t use such exemplary treatment. I used to underline the text and bend the corners of the pages – no bookmarks in my vocabulary! I feel so ashamed! Last week I was picking some books to give away for charity and again revisited my horrible crimes. Underlining was a bad habit I got from school, to facilitate studying and concentration.
Things are different now. I have books all around me, use bookmarks (paper and my own handmade) and have never bought so many books as before. They are still expensive in Portugal, at least for us, but now there’s more competition and so more good deals. Despite all you can see that books are special to me but the start of creating bookmarks didn’t arise from that - it was not at all premeditated.
In the end of 2015, before Christmas, I decided to reproduce some simple bracelets I saw on Etsy, so I bought materials but encountered so many cute charms that I ended up buying more than needed. The bracelets didn’t attract much attention, although now and then people still order. One day my other half was thinking about a present for a cousin and asked if I could do something with my materials. The person in question liked books, so why not a bookmark? Later I searched on Google to see if there was something that seemed like our ideas and there it was: bookmarks in cord, leather, etc.. So I made one and a few days later selected charms, and other stuff I had, and made a bunch of bookmarks. I posted on Facebook with friends and they bought as Christmas gifts. I really enjoyed the results and people buying more than one item to give. Like I usually say, money shouldn’t be a reason for not giving a present to someone. That was not the case because they were affordable, and still are (LOL), and above all I was spreading my handmade items, and so my dedication/energy. That is a lovely feeling, believe me. Am I forgiven for my crimes now that I do cosy bookmarks?
After Christmas time I started to have requests to make custom bookmarks. A client showed me book covers and asked me to do specific pieces. So that’s how it all continued.
In the last year I have been producing three types of bookmarks: custom with faux suede cord, zen and cork bookmarks. Along with these materials I use charms, pendants, stones and crystals, things I pick from mother nature, and sometimes things customers send me to re-use or because it has a special value to them.
Custom bookmarks usually are made in faux suede cord so it can match the colours of the book cover.
Zen bookmarks are the ones where I incorporate crystals, stones and charms related to zen, spiritual and healing vibes. For this type of book marker there’s also a partnership with an online store that sells stones and crystals – Prenda Natural. They choose these last parts and the rest is pretty much up to me. We have created a unique style and for now they are selling these pieces exclusively.
The last type I'm assembling are the bookmarks made in cork. Portugal is a leading country in exporting cork, so how come I did not have this idea before? These [bookmarks] don’t need to match the book cover colours. People just have to choose the combination of charms they prefer or ask for a specific one. I hope cork bookmarks one day become a vintage item, like some old and exclusive bookmarks IFOB members have been sharing.
There’s a world out there of people like me creating bookmarks or even doing for themselves, because there’s no limits when it comes to imagination and materials to use. And who ever likes books likes to accessorize them to enrich the entire experience of reading. Because picking a book, contemplating the cover, smelling the paper and diving in the story is a sensory experience I don’t intend to switch entirely to ebooks. Besides, how could I use my bookmarks in this case?!
Bookmarkly yours ;)
My website: http://crafts-for-you.site123.me