Stopan Newsletter – 15/02/2021 – New Works and Upcoming Projects


Hello everyone! I have some new works and updates to share with you all. This month you’ll find that we’ve been working on all manner of creations, from books, to pens and prints.

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HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH


The highlight for the month is a special edition of Amulet prints, inspired by a particular Bulgarian Manuscript. 

These peculiar amulets are inspired from Manuscript #646 from the Bulgarian National Library “St. st. Cyril and Methodius”. It was written in 1787 for a gentleman named Niketa and is a compilation of various text and stamp amulets for good fortune and protection against various evils. This series pays homage to this exotic written treasure and offers some artistic additions to the otherwise short compilation. These amulets are meant to be carried with the owner or put in special places for continued protection. People from the past had a strong fascination with such object and they came in many forms, either in loose leaf formats such as this one, sometimes scrolls or book compilations, as is the original source.They are available for sale here: https://www.iostopan.com/product-category/prints/
Feel welcome to watch the film of its making process, content and concept here:



They come in two variations:

  1. Printed on white handmade paper with an additional silver medallion with the same design carved upon it. These are a limited edition of 5 prints of each design.
  2. Printed on brown handmade paper without the silver medallion. These are a limited edition of 10 print of each design.

WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND THESE PRINTS?


Some may be out of stock but more will be released in the upcoming months. The reason is that these prints are actually going to be part of a much more complex artistic project that is currently in the works. We have extracted 15 of the original amulet designs from the manuscript and created 25 more ourselves, following the same design characteristics of the originals. This time my whole family is invested in this future amulet book, as work from myself, my father and my mother will all be included.

I don’t want to reveal too much before its due time but following the long work that lies ahead, some of the amulet designs that are to be included in the book will be released as standalone prints, such as this first edition of 5. They will be my way of financing this work, until it is done, maybe a few more months down the line, as most of my efforts are dedicated to it:

CUSTOM ORDERS AND COMMISSIONS ARE CLOSED


Following next week, I won’t be accepting any custom orders and commissions of journals. The custom order form and article will be hidden from the website as well. This may be the case for the whole year. I still don’t have a date I can say that they will again be open. Journal making will also be reduced to a minimum, except if I need to exercise a particular technique.

From this year, blank books will be limited to one special design per year that will be made to order. Each following year will have its own unique book to go along with it. The design for this year is yet to be created.

Speaking of exercising techniques, I present to you

THE WELLS COLLECTION



They were started in December last year and with them I wanted to mark a little step in a slightly new direction. For this year, one of my main goals is to lean more towards Eastern bookbinding traditions and less towards the Western ones. Our Bulgarian manuscript and binding heritage was not developed in the times when Western bookbinding was at its peak. Our roots lie a lot more towards Byzantine traditions of book making and I want to get in touch with that more in order to find a new Bulgarian way of making artistic bindings that is more in tune with its authentic past.

These three books were the first training practice in that direction and take elements from Western, Byzantine and Armenian binding methods to create a leaner little book. As you can see, the key characteristics are that the covers are flush with the book edges, the endbands prоtrude the cover line and their cores are not only sewn on to the spine but the covers as well. A nice little remix is incorporating my signature leather endband with this type of core fastening. I think it produced a very interesting effect.

The spine is smooth but the book body is actually sewn on two tapes, so it has supports underneath. The way the leather was cut in order to make proper turn-ins was inspired by Armenian bookbinding but it was modernized a bit to have in mind the leather joint from the endpaper as well. The result is a seamless leather coverage on the inside cover, where the lino print decorative handpaper is laid.

Two new writing sets made by my father have also been added to the shop last week.



The new items can be found on the website shop here: www.iostopan.com/shop


YOUTUBE MEMBERSHIP AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEOS


A few months ago I became eligible on YouTube Memberships where viewers can support my videos and work with small monthly contributions. As my videos come out rather seldom, I have been filming unedited behind-the-scenes videos weekly for the members, as well as providing a 10% discount on all of my items in the shop for them.

If you’re interested in supporting my work in such a way and receive weekly updates of what’s happening in the workshop, you can learn more about it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeBXXXU-nx6_2akPAJEP7cw/join

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