Skip to content

ABCD: Sailing

February 1, 2014


Much of the Somerset Levels is under water after the wettest January on record. But Karen managed to get to the Dove from Stoke St Gregory last Saturday without a boat. Her book was an odd-shaped Coptic sewing, a boat of four pages carrying a poem “More than Sailing” by her husband, Ross. It comes in a paper envelope that also does duty as a patch of sea to sail on.


Jane rummaged in her collection of driftwood and came up with pieces to make a unique galleon with Masefield’s “Sea Fever” printed on her sails.


The group photo near the end of the post shows its splendid orange prow, just visible also in the shot below.

The text of Janine’s book “Gulnare” is printed in an evocative distressed-typewriter font called 1942 Report.


Janine delved once again into family history and made an accordion book about a boat that was owned by members of her family from 1906 to 1960.


Gillian Booth, a former member of the Book Class that evolved into ABCD, made a welcome return to the Dove, bringing “Mind Sailing”, a folded painting on Khadi paper of a flower from New Mexico floating on a Somerset rhyne.


It is fastened with a sinnet cord and a pebble from a Welsh beach.


Clare’s elegant stab-bound book “Leaving” has a cover made from paste-paper over-painted and waxed – it smells of beeswax-and-tupentine polish!

IMG_8383 cropped

Inside, drawings on tracing-paper alternate with pages of Clare’s poem about leaving the Scilly Isles, printed in Zapfino.


Caroline brought a round box (I think it originally contained chocolates) with a compass-rose pasted on the top. Inside is a spiral of photos from her voyage on the tall ship Lord Nelson, in which she crewed last year from India to Singapore.


Caroline has also completed an erasure/altered book project in the month since we last met. A ship-in-a-book. The book is “The Time Before This” by Nicholas Montserrat, author of “The Cruel Sea”.


Pat said “I drove across the levels, and it was all water …”
She brought a construction that I failed to photograph and cannot adequately describe. It is a wide painting, partly landscape and partly waterscape, which can be slid within its card frame to show one or the other.


Rowena described her book (above) “Jury Rigging” as “a chance for Quentin to get his own back on Marcel Duchamp.” Its sail is a brief history of the International Artists’ Workshops at Shave Farm, Rowena and Quentin’s home.

Bron’s latest book “Waltz for Olivia” has already gone to her grand-daughter in Venice. I’m hoping we’ll get to hear the music sometime!


I made a flotilla of nineteen origami boats to carry, line by line, the Orkney poet George Mackay Brown’s poem “The Sea”. In the spirit of erasure I have taken one word from each line to make the small poem that is carried, word by word, on the sails.

“Sea” – it is energy.
Sailors know well their terror.
Sea is whales, is horses, voices,
salt, children,
lovebed, cold.

After reviewing the fleet, we had food! Later we made origami boats and sinnet knots. Next month’s theme is “Borderline”.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2014 11:11 am

    Wow! I love seeing and reading about what you fabulously creative women get up to. Thanks as always, Ama. xx

  2. Nina Fenner permalink
    February 2, 2014 11:05 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: