Sunday, 17 October 2021

Etching again

I finally finished my edition of prints for the Hot Bed Press 20:20 print exchange.

It must be more than a year since I made my last etching and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the process of getting the image onto the plate.

The drawing

 And the print 

 I also managed a simple book in response to the ‘areyou bookenough’ prompt for October which is ‘Rings’

Friday, 3 September 2021


I wanted to make something out of the blackberry monoprints but I didn’t want to cut them up just yet.So I scanned the best of the 4 layered prints and used it to make double sided digital prints to make a flag book. 

I wanted to give the impression of the vigorous prickly shoots that the bramble bushes give out.

I was struggling for words so I used a section of a Seamus Heaney poem on one facing page and my recipe for bramble gin on the other.

Thursday, 19 August 2021


 Studies from the bramble hedge at the allotment. Drypoint and monoprint. Tony says I've spent the day reinventing wallpaper!

Thursday, 5 August 2021

A couple of books

I’ve not managing to do much recently, a combination of stupidly hot weather (for the north of England) and an allotment that needed cropping and watering.

But I have managed a couple of single sheet books

The first was a trial for a workshop that I’ll be giving in the New Year. 

The spheres looked like planets before I cut and folded the paper but I think they turned into viruses

And on Tuesday we had a messy workshop on the MBAG zoom which I turned into a book last night

I'm enjoying this way of working at the moment. I can feel a few more books coming on





Sunday, 4 July 2021

Inspirator for Book Artists

I’ve been struggling for inspiration lately. I went on the web to look for ideas for overcoming artists block and found all sorts of drawing and painting exercises. A lot came with a time commitment, a drawing a day type thing, but I know from past experience that these will go the way of keeping a sketchbook, started with enthusiasm and then fizzle.

I also found sites offering packs of cards that have prompt words on , the idea being that you deal out a certain number and work to these. I always work best to a project or brief so these looked like a better fit.

Then I thought a book artist ought to have these prompts in book form. So I’ve spent the past three or four weeks making the ‘Inspirator for Book Artists’

 I wanted to get away from the towering pack of cards and also to try and make it so that I couldn’t cheat and pick out my favourites but I thought it would be useful to be able to put the chosen prompts out together on the table and be able to move them about and rearrange them

I decided to make volvelles (turning discs) to show the chosen words.

For making books I decided that there two categories of words that needed choosing, technical things like text, image, structure also more creative prompts. I also decided I needed a number generator. I thought about using a die but decided that a volvelle worked better , I didn’t need to work out how to incorporate it into the structure.

The first mock up looked like this. The discs slotted into an adapted  crown binding

Unfortunately when I’d made the volvelles out of card and the binding out of canson paper it was too bulky and springy. I rethought and decided on a box structure on its side so that it is displayed and opened as a book.

Now it is made I need to use it

I used the ‘rules’ to dial up some words. Now I just have to make it happen

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Find the Lady

The theme for NWBA this month was ‘Puzzle’ and the theme for PAS was ‘Inspired by...’

I was struggling with both but while I was watching a repeat of Jonathon Creek I saw him fiddling with a magic box and thought you could put a book in that and it grew.

The idea of the box seemed to fit well with close magic and card tricks. ‘Find the lady’, a card trick con, fitted with the idea of disappearing.

I thought this worked well with the idea of the turn of the century (19th)travelling show sideshows  and circuses . I found copyright free images of clown from around this era and made cartes de visite with the clowns on them (very often photographers produced these cards with celebrities of the day as a money making exercise) to use instead of the number side of my playing card inserts. These are all men.

 It’s not enough to produce the book out of the magic box, to ‘Find the lady’ you have to dismantle the drawer to find her hiding underneath.