Friday, 24 July 2020


I’ve been playing with a limited palette of materials - four types of paper (brown, tracing, cartridge and the pages from a discarded book), white emulsion paint, PVA, two types of tape (double sided and selllotape), linen thread and a laser printer for the black line.

And using a simple motif

To make a coptic sewn accordian book for the NWBA theme of Collections.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Isolation and keys

A mixed week this week. At the beginning a long, socially distanced walk with friends, in the middle rain, grandchildren at the allotment and redcurrant picking, and hopefully today more currants and seeing the youngest granchild in their garden.

And in between some bits of playing.

Isolation is developing, from this,
which with the brambles all the way round feels a bit like a tissue box to this
It looks like a minor tweak but I'm also going to put solid covers on the back two faces of the cube, and make the central triangle a bit larger.
I've also made the first draft of the text for the inside.
And realised when checking it that I'd used wil instead of shal all the way through so that needs adjusting.

And I'm working on another book for Collections. This time I'm using keys. Who doesn't have a collection of orphaned and abandoned keys somewhere in the house?

Sunday, 12 July 2020


I’ve been walking round this book for too long. I still like the original rough idea but it needs plates longer than I can print at home so I’m going to shelve that structure for now and try a new aproach.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of the garden in medieval literature. It was a place of beauty, a safe manageable cultivated space, an enclosed space. It was a contrast to the wild, savage, dangerous forest outside.

I‘ve also been wanting to use the words of Julian of Norwich, “al wil be wel and al wil be wel and al maner of thyng wil be wel” , in a book for a while now.

Not much is known about her personally but she was an anchorite who wrote about the visions she experienced when near death. She lived in Norwich at the time of the plague and there is speculation that before she undertook her calling she had been a wife and mother and had lost both husband and child.

The two themes seem to fit well together.

I need to make the book out of sections that I can cut out of A4 paper because it’s the only printing paper I have enough of to make an edition.

At the moment it’s looking like this. No doubt it will change.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Book play

Ok, so why do two different print processes that I thought I'd nailed when experimenting stop working when I try to apply them to make a thing?

I was confident enough to print 'plates' at different sizes to make two meander books. One using gum arabic and the other for gelli plate.

I used exactly the same methods as last time but neither worked properly. Some of the text and image printed but it was patchy and not clear enough for making a book. The same happened with both techniques.

The only common variables that I can think of are the weather, it had got hotter (but I don't see why this should affect the oil based method) and the laser prints.

The cartridge empty light has been on for several weeks now (it carries on printing for a good while when this happens) and although the prints look dense enough I'm wondering if it's not actually laying down enough toner for making printing plates

The problem is I'm actually bored with this book and at the moment I don't seem to be able to summon up the enthusiasm to try again.

So I gave myself an afternoon's play instead.
And for the NWBA challenge 'Collection' I made five five cm square books that fit in a five cm square box, each book a different structure. The only materials and tools used were an old book, an Amazon box, knife, ruler, cutting mat and glue stick.

On a different note while playing arround with a new header for the blog I noticed that it had set comments to members only. No idea why. I've set them back to normal now. I'm sorry if you've been struggling to leave a message but normal service should now be ressumed. Please try again.