Review: Handmade Journal by Deafmessanger

“Deafmessanger” is Kucin, an artist living in Prague. He sells his notebooks, diaries, sketchbooks and postcards in lots of locations around Europe, as well as at Bluestockings and Spoonbill and Sugartown here in NYC. He contacted me a few months ago and offered me a sample journal to review– when I took a look at his work, I very excitedly said YES! I love his graffiti-inspired style and use of found materials.

The notebook I was sent has a thick cardboard cover, scored to allow it to bend around the inner combbound pages. There are elastic closures at each corner.

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Inside and out, there’s a wonderful mix of spray-painted splatter, stenciled images, rubber-stamped phrases and quotes, and surprise bits of recycled materials, including an old postcard, a transit ticket, book and magazine pages, and a small black and white photo.

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It even comes with a pencil!

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If there’s one criticism I’d have of this notebook, it’s that the binding is a little over-stuffed with too many pages, which makes it hard to open the pages fully without them getting caught in the plastic binding.

All the unique extra bits are interspersed among sections of blank pages, made of a grey-ish recycled paper with a slight speckled tone to it. The paper reminds me of the Leonardo journal I reviewed a few months ago. It feels a bit thin, but holds up to most pens relatively well, and the surface is fairly smooth.

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The book seems like such a work of art, you’d almost not want to write in it yourself, but there are plenty of blank pages on which to do so. And indeed, at the end of the book is the handwritten note “to be continued,” which to me means not just that Kucin’s Deafmessanger work continues, but that the book is a work in progress, containing Kucin’s creativity, the user’s creativity, and even the contributions of unknown random people in the found images and writings that are included. Each notebook is unique from start to finish.
Kucin also makes some very cool 2011 diaries that would make great gifts:

Just beautiful.

Check out the Deafmessanger online store, and list of retailers. And hopefully distribution will be expanded to a store near you!

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3 Responses to “Review: Handmade Journal by Deafmessanger”

  1. Wow these are beautiful. I wish I could make something like this on my own. Hmmm, maybe I’ll play.

    -Victoria

  2. I love these. His artistry is incredible. I would love to fill one up with my musings!

  3. […] Deafmessanger? I reviewed one of these handmade notebooks from Prague a while back and loved it, but they were […]

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