The art of bookbinding caught my interest ever since I first heard of it. Imagine the amount of DIY stuffs you could do with it!
At this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire, we are fortunate to have with us Pooja Makhijani, who will be conducting a workshop “Bookbinding 101”. Read on to learn more about her.
Pooja moved from New York to Singapore nearly three years ago and is currently a “work at home parent”, balancing the parenting of her daughter and her freelance work. She conducts bookmaking classes, writes and edits, and serves as an early childhood education consultant to a host of non-profit and institutional clients.
Pooja first learnt basic bookbinding at the Centre for the Book Arts in Chelsea, New York City, and continued her studies as a creative writing graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
Her avocation became a vocation in 2010 when her partner and her left their beloved New York City for an adventure in Singapore, leaving behind a strong book arts community in the States and eager to find or create one in her new home in Asia.
Her current endeavour
With that in mind, Pooja launched a series of classes via her blog in 2011 and was soon featured in the Straits Times as the person to look for on book arts. Currently, she is working with the National Arts Council to bring the book arts to as many as possible.
Pooja shared that in classes, she encourages her students, whether they are children, adults or senior citizens, to look at the book or book-like structure as an art object and not merely as a vessel for their content. She always highlights to her students that all the elements of an artist’s book – from the paper to the text and/or images – are deliberately interconnected and work in concert.
Besides teaching bookmaking, she is also currently editing a book, to be published by Math Paper Press, a small press publisher of poetry, new wave novellas, full-length novels, and essays by Singapore-based writers.
At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend, Pooja will be teaching a unique concertina-spine structure that she had learnt from a master book artist, Barbara Mauriello, on her most recent visit to the States!
As Pooja is from New York, she shared that she has attended the Maker Faire there several times. She felt that it is important to encourage everyone to think and tinker, to explicitly critique consumer culture (which emphasizes that the solution to our needs is to purchase things) and instead encourage people to take art, craft and technologies into their own hands.
Pooja’s workshop on 27 Jul, 1 – 2.30pm, SCAPE Situation Room (Level 4) was fully signed up at an early stage of publicity, but if you are keen to speak with her, do drop by and hang around after her workshop is over!