Pretty paper projects from the Hello Sandwich Craft Book!

Pages from the Hello Sandwich Craft Book!

You’d have to be living under a rock if you didn’t know Sydney-born, Tokyo-based artist / designer and cult crafter Ebony Bizys of Hello Sandwich is in town (Melbourne, that is) doing a residency at Harvest Workroom, and hosting a bunch of workshops and speaking events (all Ebony’s events are sold out now, sorry!).

As many will know, before Ebony made the big move to Japan and fell head-first into accidental craft celebrity (!!), she worked as Deputy Art Director for Vogue Living.  But in 2010 she followed her heart to Tokyo, where she now lives, working on various freelance design jobs and inspired extra-curricular crafty projects!  Her very first published BOOK is out next month through Japanese publisher BNN books.

As you might expect, the Hello Sandwich Book is filled with insanely cute craft projects (40, to be precise!),  covering paper craft, fabric projects, upcycling projects and more.  Whilst the text is in Japanese, the step-by-step pics and sweet styling will I’m sure result in many Australian readers too.

We asked Ebony a few questions about the making of her amazing book! -

Hi Ebony! You’re currently in Melbourne for your Harvest Workroom Residency and Craft Cubed, but word circulating Instagram is that your new Hello Sandwich Japanese Craft book has hit the shelves. Can you tell us how did this book come about?

BNN made contact with me not long after I moved to Japan in June 2010 and asked me to be featured in their Girls Zine book. Since then, I have been featured in a few BNN books and kept a lovely ongoing relationship with them. I hosted a few workshops with BNN and mt tape and started regular craft workshops at Kusakanmuri (a florist and zakka space owned by BNN in Ebisu, Tokyo). One day, after working with BNN for a while, I asked if I could show them my design work in the hope that I could design a book for them, at the same time they had also received a copy of my Hello Sandwich Gift Wrapping Zine from my printer, and during the meeting they told me that rather have me design a book for them, they would like me to make my own book for them. I was blown away!

The book features so many of your intricate handmade delights, which begs the question – How long does a craft book like this take to produce?

I had been working on the projects for a about six months, but the majority of the book was made in about three months. I shot all of the ‘how-to-make’ images myself in my mini-me apartment, but my photographer shot the full bleed images and the rest of the book in about four days.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Japanese crew/publishers behind the book?

My first meeting with my editor was incredible. She spoke in Japanese, I spoke in English and a tiny bit of broken Japanese but somehow we got through the meeting with only looking up one word in the dictionary.

I had worked with my photographer and designer on other book projects and so when my editor asked me if I had anyone in mind to work together with on my book I was able to suggest them.

What are you looking forward to?

I am about to head off on a book promotion tour around Japan including Kyoto and Osaka. We are getting ready for a book launch party in Tokyo too! My publisher was talking about ordering cute Hello Sandwich cookies! Also coming up is the Tokyo Art Book Fair, a Hello Sandwich workshop at Tokyu Hands and then I am starting work on my next book. I’m also working on a new Hello Sandwich Tokyo Guide!

A limited number of signed copies of the Hello Sandwich Book are available now from Ebony’s online shop, and will be shipped next month as soon as they’re back from the publisher!

Hello Sandwich Craft Book!  Pre-order now from Ebony’s online shop!