Some time ago I wrote a blog about some work I was doing to assist our Conservation team with a survey on modern materials. Although the survey has long been completed, Iâ€™ve continued to make a note of any interesting or â€˜differentâ€™ materials used by book artists that I come across so that I can have them up my sleeve for any future surveys. A recent visit from Maddy of Central Booking left me with several new acquisitions, one of which definitely falls into this category, offering a novel variation on the coffee table book â€“ a book made of coffee.
Martha Haydenâ€™s accordion fold book Coffee Stains (2009) not only provides information on the â€˜health benefitsâ€™ of coffee drinking (something I was very pleased to read!), but is also made from coffee products. By apparently dipping her brush in a cup of coffee by accident, Martha discovered that it makes an excellent wash and started to experiment using various different strengths of coffee. But itâ€™s not just the illustrations that are made from coffee. The book is â€˜constructed of paper made from a 100% mixture of post-consumer paper and coffee content,â€™ and the paper is coloured by using brewed coffee and coffee skins from El Salvador. The distributor of the paper â€“ Costa Rica Natural Paper, is â€˜committed to the idea of environmental and sustainable developmentâ€™ and donates a percentage of its paper sales to support research in this area. The cover of the book is made from Lokta paper from Nepal, which comes from a bush rather than a tree, is acid free, environmentally friendly and provides an income for the villagers in remote areas of the Himalayas. So, a book about coffee, made of coffee, and which is eco-friendly. Our conservators will love it.