"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Monday, 13 February 2017

Bird Hide

Another small experimental book about the Spinney. This little book describes part of my route through the wood where the old oaks grow. Part way along the track are the remains of a fence, once for some limited purpose as there was only ever one strand of wire, now missing in parts. It’s another remnant of some other time, rather like the old oak trees.

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Initially I planned this as just a dense, tree filled, background with the fence, but as I worked on the block I thought it more apt to incorporate bird shapes “hidden” in the background. I am acutely aware that the wood is full of watchers, birds, squirrels and even perhaps the trees. You are never alone in a wood .. are you ? Also along the route there are signs to the Savages Spinney Bird Hide.

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First rough design based on my sketchbook drawing

Adding the reference to the nearby Bird Hide by the water seemed apt. Who is watching who I wonder??

So should anyone care to take time to look into the image, there are 16 birds worked into the background, some a little abstract but then how difficult is it sometimes to see the inhabitants in a wood?

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Two flying birds on the fold and the walking figure at the very end of the book.

The concertina form is joined by a thread of “wire” kept in place by two small twigs from the oak trees and is backed with linen, like the old maps which had that very satisfying strength and pliability. The covers are hard and quite weighty and the whole thing folds very nicely.. It is all hand printed so has a tactile surface so much more pleasing than the digital print.

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It’s a very satisfying thing to hold in your hand too, that is so important for a book.

It’s not often I am pleased, but, despite the many things that could be improved,  I like this little book very much.
It has taken a few weeks to work out and I have more prints to play with,  but at least one is actually finished.

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Hurrah!!  I am managing to stick, in part, to my 2017 resolution of finishing things!
More finished things soon.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Paper, paper, paper.. and more paper

This week I have been experimenting with some paper dyeing and decorating alongside attending a great little course at City Lit in London led by Nesta Davies, all about dyeing and manipulating paper. The course was particularly interesting to me because Nesta is a bookbinder and so has books in mind when creating these papers. The scope is endless.

I tried some paper decorating many years ago but nothing with dyes, which is a whole different thing.

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Dyed and decorated papers

At home I tried some natural dyes and inks, as well as commercial brands. I made a few trials of paste papers, edge dyed folded papers…

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…and even a bit of eco dying with the steamer. Fascinating.
The lovely thing about the eco dyed papers is that they are, not only double sided but a complete surprise.

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I have promised myself that the next time I do it I will make notes as to what went where and how. I am just too excited to get that organised.

I have no conclusions or plans as to what exactly to do with them yet, just having a lovely time playing with stuff!Next weekend, after the final day, I should have some more resolved items. Maybe not, because I have another week of experimenting ahead. :)