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ABCD February meeting

February 11, 2019

Ten of us met at the Dove on Saturday. We all missed Clare’s flapjacks, but Pauline brought a jar of Birch-sap caramel, which we passed round and sampled … it was rather like a very soft fudge with an unusual after-taste.

Pauline has been visiting a downy birch on Exmoor (Betula pubescens, one of our two native birch species), and has produced some beautiful drawings, prints, embossings and monoprints, and a delicious little chunky book of lino prints, with a wrap-around hard cover fastened with a birch-twig. She returned from Cuba only a fortnight ago but has been very producive since then!

Thalia has been studying, photographing and drawing alder trees. She is planning a book based on an Iron-age life-size alder-wood carving from Scotland.

Janine has made a second model for her hazel tunnel-book, and a stitched landscape to use as a book-cover.

Judith has been to a letterpress workshop at Double Elephant in Exeter and a paste-paper workshop with Nesta Davies. She’s also been dyeing with plant materials, and brought a gorgeous little library of dyeing experiments. Since we last met she’s been travelling. In India she saw 17th century printing presses, and bought two lovely Tara Books and a book of block-printed fabric samples. From the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht she brought examples of Riso printing.  From Riga she brought Roots by Eva Saukane; hauntingly mysterious images from a mould-damaged photographic film processed after 20 years in her grandfather’s camera.

Judy has made a set of Ogham sticks and some more book-models. Her research into her tree, the Guelder Rose or Water-elder (Viburnum opulus) has turned up some interesting material. Coincidentally, Pauline also brought some Ogham sticks.

Judy model and ogham sticks

Karen has added to her willow book and has made a back-to-back double accordion book with pamphlets sewn in the folds – an intriguingly flexible structure. She also made a scroll from a photocopy of a Bath Journal from 1771. It’s a good read!

Carol brought two versions of an interlocking accordion structure for her rowan book.

Carol model

Bron was the only one of us who successfully made a block (MDF) to print Caroline’s design for an ABCD logo in Ogham letters.

Bron ogham

It was good to have Pat back with us after some months’ absence on her botanical travels and work. She has taken on the task of making a book of the elder tree. She told us about a project that she has initiated and invited us all to join. It involves studying a short stretch of hedgerow close to home over the course of a year, recording the plant species, the wildlife and the seasonal changes, and making art – not necessarily a book.

I have been doing much writing and little art. I did find a photo of a collage that I made some years ago of two species of oak leaf on handmade papers, one of which was made from the soft rotten heart of an oak tree I used to know.

Two oaks small

We stopped for a rather late but very delicious lunch but NO PUDDING due to Jane’s absence.

In March and April we have two bookbinding weekends at the Dove taught by Tom O’Reilly and our next ABCD meeting is on 16th March.

PS: If you’re interested in paste-papers and Japanese papers, this lovely post from Elissa Campbell (Blue Roof Designs) is well worth a look.

Lastly, a selection of eavesdroppings from my notebook.

February Dove-droppings

in the absence of flapjacks
a bitter after-taste
can I have a spoonful

quite musical
a previously invisible tree
it turns orange and bleeds red

women in the woods with axes
found by dowsing
where the axe fell

a tree theatre
stitched on bonded silk
haptic is the word of the day

old presses in India
the first Tamil bible
Riso printing in Riga

embroiled in book-boiling
the hawthorn was already green
the tincture balances the heart

indicators of ancient woodland
guardians of the five provinces
hyssop and amber

willow warbler
willow ptarmigan
the bird of Alaska

protector of the house
rowan was the first woman
to read the words through the holes

books in calico bags
all gone before Christmas
what does the hedge say

Ama Bolton


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    February 11, 2019 8:39 pm

    As always Ama, absolutely captured our rich meeting of words, pictures, books and yum yums!
    Thank you

  2. February 12, 2019 8:24 am

    Love the work!

  3. February 12, 2019 9:47 am

    Thank you! I love your jazz rubaiat!


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