In the last hours of the Cut & Paste Market last month, I met Michelle of Shelbyville. She was asking if I had an industrial sewing machine, she had printed a book about laundromats on calico book leaves, and was in need of someone to machine the binding across numerous calico french folds.
A book? About Laundromats? On fabric? My mind was racing, I was grinning from ear to ear – this project sounds mad enough to be entirely fabulous. And I wasn’t wrong.
You can find the Lil’ Laundromatic paper zine version of the book at her shop on etsy.
I found it and organised to pick up my copy in person in order to find out more about her and her work, and I’m ever so glad we did, because she had brought with her a calico copy of Laundromatic to brainstorm binding options in the absence of an industrial machine.
That book, ladies and gentlemen, is astoundingly beautiful. The ink is so very clean and crisp on the calico, which is fraying heavily accross the top and bottom of each page. The words are written by a series of friends, everything else is pure shelbyville. To be honest I don’t think I’ve read every page, the font and typsetting tell their own story, it could be written in latvian and I would still have an inkling of their content just from the right shade of red, the bleed of ball point blue font… I may not have read every page, but I have touched every page and marvelled at it.
This is the page that sold me on the book – hand drawn and watercoloured washing machines
Yes I am gushing, but I am just so happy that someone can put together a book about laundromats for godssake, and elevate it to an art form. It is Wabi Sabi in it’s essence – finding beauty in the every day – but as usual, that is another post.