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ABCD: Frozen

April 4, 2018

We could hardly have picked a more appropriate topic for this month. Some of us made more than one book inspired by the weather.

Clare brought a book “Rough Ground” incorporating paste-papers and a tiny poignant poem-fragment.

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She re-made her “Loose Ends” with a quilted cover, a book-cloth frontispiece and blown-ink illustrations to her poem about a friendship that started with quilting.

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Janine folded some photographs of frost on window-panes into a map-folded star-book.

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Pauline finished her book of prints “Over the Edge”, with a cut-through cover.

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She made two books for this month’s theme. “Frozen in Time” is a stab-bound book of little artefacts from museums printed on pages from a 1980s magazine. The pages are folded at the fore-edge. “Frozen” is a zigzag of Mokuhanga prints mounted on heavy paper, with the words of the title cut from a collograph and pasted onto the cover.

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Jane’s hanging book is her response to being trapped indoors by snowy weather. She splashed white paint onto brown wrapping-paper, folded it ingeniously and added a frame-like cover and a stick from which to suspend it. It is quite a large book, perhaps a foot wide and upwards of 4 feet long.


Judy brought two “Over the Edge” books: one is a fan-like folded accordion with mini-books  hanging from the lower edge, and the other is a Secret Belgian binding with geometrical shapes taken over the edges of the cover and pages. Her “Frozen” is a recycled painting in acrylic on canvas. When opened or closed it makes creaking noises reminiscent of cracking ice.

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Caroline made a book of “Frozen Dove-droppings” (my monthly found-poems composed from the day’s eavesdroppings). She has been in Lisbon recently, and told us about a company there that collects and cleans and re-uses waste plastic to make beautiful and useful items. Their range of hand-made products can be seen here.


You may remember Nina’s use of old letters found in a discarded box for her contribution to “Letters”, our exhibit in Bridport Art Centre. This time she made a flag-book and a cover for it from a 1918 Inland Revenue statement from the same source. For the theme of Bridges, she  made a delightful “Severn Sandwich”, inspired by meals eaten during journeys across the Severn Bridge to and from Wales. Naturally, it is bilingual. Unfortunately I did not get any photos of these books.

I made three books. “Thaw” is a nested accordion pop-up containing a poem written during a recent thaw. I found this structure here. “Frozen” is a double-accordion structure  based on something I saw  on Peter and Donna Thomas’s website. It contains a series of photos of frozen cobwebs, and a tiny poem. “Roost” is a tunnel-book using a photo of a neighbour’s hens sitting on a snowy branch during a recent blizzard. I  added a short extract from Dave Bonta’s Morning Porch blog. Due to my worsening eyesight, none of these books is entirely satisfactory. It’s hard to measure accurately when you’re seeing double with one eye and a fuzzy blur with the other!

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Judith brought some examples of a sewn-board binding that she learnt recently. The one illustrated is a book of Mokuhanga prints inspired by a visit to Iceland. The spine is covered with a piece of Icelandic fish-leather.

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Bron found that a book she had made during the last time we had prolonged snow fitted the theme admirably! “Ten” is a stab-bound A4 journal of ten days of being snowed-in at The Dove in January 2010. Another book “Caves of Ice” was made from Coleridge-inspired etchings. The structure is based on one of Keith Smith’s in “Books without Paste or Glue”, a textbook from which we learnt much in the early years of the book group at the Dove. Instead of glossy colour illustrations it has clear and detailed diagrams.


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Karen could not be with us but she has sent me some photos. She writes: “The first two are from my workshop at ACE with Angela Morley. I made a small hanging from prunings. . I then photocopied it and made it into a book-cover. The other threee are for Frozen.  I based my book on the poremise that each snowflake is unique. I made a case for the book from some indigo-dyed fabric. The book is an accordion with two double map-folds with snowflake patterns on one side and on the reverse is the scientific explanation of why snowflakes are unique.

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Thalia was unable to come to the meeting but has sent me a couple of photos of her book “Frozen”.

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After lunch Judy gave us a brief but exciting workshop on stick calligraphy. We wrote with two widths of balsa-wood strip and learned about cola pens, writing through water and the different properties of Indian ink and acrylic ink. All of us were keen to go and try it at home!

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We talked so much about the plastic problem that we decided to make “Plastic” the theme for next month. The meeting will be on Saturday May 12th.

Finally, here are the latest eavesdroppings.

March Dove-droppings

Jack Frost in map-folds
cut with a scalpel
frozen in time

little artefacts
trapped indoors
with a circle in a square

secret Belgian
random rhomboids
with sound-effects

I like dangly things
all that plastic for one dog
good for Lisbon!

my old man actually was a dustman
more paper from the skip
it’s all about paper

in hibernation mode
the shop ran out of chocolate and wine
not bread and milk

empty book syndrome
feels like the real thing
with fish-skin leather

a man in shorts out there
it felt quite odd really
just the three of us

Flyer for email



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