It’s been a tricky project to work on… lots of unforeseen technical hitches, but my edition of 15 small Frankenstein books is finally complete. Digitally printed versions of my embroidered illustrations, with hand-detailed frames and an accompanying extract from the original text with each one. The books have vintage endpapers and cloth-covered hard covers with laser foiled belly bands. Some are already spoken for, but there are now five available in my online shop. Just £20 each, so snap one up while you can if embroidered dead people are your thing...
Latest rubber stamp illustration in my Anglo-Swedish ‘exchange of words’ collaboration with Eva Hejdstrom ... S is for scission - the action or state of cutting or being cut. The more I do of these, the more I like the wonkier registration, and the use of negative space seems to becoming a bit of a thing.
Today marks the centenary of the death of my great great uncle, killed in action in the First World War. John Douglas Robertson, known as Dougie, was born in Reedsmouth in Northumberland in 1898, and was just 19 years old when he died on a battlefield in northern France. The middle name Douglas has subsequently been carried by my granny (born just two weeks after he died), my father and my nephew. I visited his grave in 2007, and was touched by an inscription I read in the cemetery: ‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die’ (from a poem called Hallowed Ground by Thomas Campbell). I have been gathering material for a small book to commemorate his life... I’m starting work on it today, and I hope to complete it by Armistice Day. Gone but most definitely not forgotten.
R is for 'rivning' meaning demolition in Swedish. The latest rubber stamp illustration in my 'exchange of words' collaboration with Eva Hejdstrom.
Many thanks to everyone who came along to the Make Space at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery yesterday. Cathey Webb and I had a busy and brilliant time teaching, exhibiting, selling and enthusiastically chatting about books all day. A real pleasure! Thanks also to @bristolmuseums for organising the Make Space programme alongside the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize exhibition - it’s been an inspiring showcase of local creative talent... it’s running until 2 Sept, so catch it while you can...
A box of book samples all ready to take along to the Make Space at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery tomorrow (23 August). If you’re in Bristol, come along and join @catheywebb and I for lots of bookish inspiration. We'll be teaching how to make five different single-sheet books, and you can also see (and buy) books we've made. Should be fun... The Make Space programme is running alongside the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize exhibition until 2 September, and is open daily 10.40 - 4.30. Find out more at www.bristolmuseums.org.uk
My book 'Memento mori' has been exhibited in Liverpool Central Library for the past few months (many thanks for the photos above from organiser Simon Ryder, taken by Robin Clewley). The exhibition finished this week, but will be moving to the Kirkby Gallery from 17 September - 26 January 2019. After that my book will be heading back to Bristol as the exhibition will be transferring to Bower Ashton Library at UWE. In the meantime, I'm working on a small edition of digitally printed concertina versions - the first of which is in another Frankenstein-themed exhibition in the US, at Asheville Bookworks in North Carolina which opened this week. As always, my books are more well-travelled than I am!
Having finally tidied my studio a little, I came across a pile of offcuts from my Frankenstein book earlier in the year. The original book they were cut from was The Journal of the Society of Architects from the 1930s... lots of incidental crops of different buildings. I decided to make a small one-off concertina book of these building crops with collaged text from other offcut pages. Inspired by the collage books of Daniel Lehan and the found poetry workshop by Jeremy Dixon I attended earlier this year... think this will fit the brief for ABC’s ‘Found’ book exhibition at UWE this winter.
Have just spent my ideal couple of days on a book making workshop at UWE run by the inimitable Guy Begbie. Snappily titled ‘Book Cartography: Using the Map as an Artistic Strategy Within Book Structures’ it was cutting, glueing and stitching to make books with old maps. Really enjoyable, and I’ve come away with lots of new ideas. Lovely group of fellow book makers too – very inspiring to see what everyone produced.
Latest rubber stamp illustration in my Exchange of Words collaboration with Eva Hejdstrôm - Q is for querist: someone who asks questions.
Miniature, digitally printed version of my embroidered Frankenstein book ‘Memento mori’ finished and posted off to North Carolina to be part of the Asheville BookWorks exhibition ‘It’s Alive: Frankenstein, 200 Years’. An ironic title in my case because the content of this book is most definitely not alive. Flat sheets were printed by printed.com on gesso paper, and I've bound them with bookcloth covered hard covers, vintage endpapers and a laser foiled belly band. I'm planning on making a small edition of these...
Completed just on time (as always) an embroidery for the very grand occasion of my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday in early July. Original flower designs by Yumiko Higuchi, adapted from his excellent book ‘Zakka Embroidery’.
In an attempt to do something vaguely creative each day inbetween being glued to my computer screen for work, I've found some instant gratification making repeat patterns with polyprint. Even quicker than rubber stamps (although not as long lasting). I quite like the rough and ready print quality you get from fast stamping.
Some early morning carving and stamping... the latest rubber stamp illustration in my exchange of words collaboration with Eva Hejdstrôm ... P is for ‘pratglad’ – Swedish for someone who is talkative. Nice textures printing onto laid paper, and a chance to use some of my many rubber stamp alphabets.
Bit of catching up to do on the blog, so a flurry of posts in one go... Here's the latest rubber stamp illustration in my collaboration with Swedish artist Eva Hejdstrôm. O is for O is for obstacle – a thing that blocks one’s way or prevents or hinders progress. Influenced by a misspent youth in the 1980s playing early computer games.
There have been a lot of books in production over the past few weeks in preparation for the BS9 Art Trail this weekend (9 and 10 June). I'll be at the Stoke Bishop scout hut again (venue 11) - so come along and say hello if you're in Bristol
A brilliant afternoon yesterday spent making polyprints of houses with year 4 pupils at Westbury CofE Academy. Using my new book 'home' as a starting point, we made prints of houses, dream homes (including castles!) and shops. So much fun, and really impressive results from classes 4BC and 4HN. Many thanks to the school for inviting me along. The prints will be on display at the school as part of the BS9 Arts Trail this coming weekend. . . .
A new book created for an exhibition as part of the Athens Print Fest 2018, on the themes of nostalgia and interruptions.
It is a catalogue of the ten places I have called home – the depictions of these houses represent punctuations in my life. The houses are originally illustrated with carbon paper – a transient medium that fades over time – but digitally reproduced for longevity. The concertina format reflects the chronological nature of the content, and the use of cards and pockets is reminiscent of childhood memories of library books: checking in and out of each place. The visible information (house number, road name and date) is factual, with typewritten personal memories of each place hidden within the pockets. I chose to cover the books with woodchip wallpaper – a common feature in all of my childhood and student homes, and a wall covering I have spent many hours scraping off walls of homes I have renovated as an adult.
I've only finished three books so far, but it will be an edition of 20 (once I can carve out a little more time to make them!)
After some procrastination, my latest rubber stamp illustration in my Anglo-Swedish exchange of words collaboration with Swedish artist Eva Hejdstrom. N is for Nickedocka, meaning a puppet and also someone who says yes to everything.
A really fun Show and Tell session for the 'Redesigning the Medieval Book' exhibition at UWE Bower Ashton last Saturday. Twelve participating book artists came along to talk about the inspiration and production processes behind their book. It was also an opportunity to see the books up close and to handle them – always a treat. Still amazed by the diversity of responses to the same brief, and it was so interesting to meet other artists who have been inspired by the same subject matter. Many thanks to everyone who came along, especially Professor Daniel Wakelin who came over from Oxford to join us. Photos by Sarah Bodman, who also helped to organise the session… I'm very grateful to her and the library at Bower Ashton for offering the opportunity for this exhibition to take shape.