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ABCD: December 2019

January 19, 2020

I couldn’t be at this meeting, but here is an extract from Bron’s and Clare’s messages to us afterwards.

Seven of us met on 7th December: Caroline, Jane, Clare, Carol, Kate, Nina and Bron. So we had quite a free form discussion and show & tell. I didn’t take notes, but will try to report back faithfully!
It was lovely to welcome Kate – for me it was as though she had never left; for her she has been on a very long journey since she left. Whatever the perception, it was good to have a new, fresh voice in the mix.
There was a strong feeling in the group that we need new making ideas and  techniques, and also to revisit of some of our more familiar book forms.
The conversation then veered towards the texts/books that some people had chosen, so we went round the room: as I remember it, Caroline had brought Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and Time of Gifts (and AN other); Nina had a lovely piece of writing she had found; and Carol had T S Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’. Jane thinks she will use Gerald Manley Hopkins’ ‘Glory be to God for dappled things…’ as the inspiration for a series of woodcuts and letterpress, doing this for Robin’s course as well.

(Clare: My text was my own note-taking on the hedge and fields. 


Nina’s was from the beginning of The Wind in the Willows: … ‘he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.’  


Carol’s hedge is the edge of a wood.)


Getting quite ‘abstract’ when reacting to the text was mentioned several times.
Then, during the ’round the room’ , we got onto Hedges. Clare was inspired by a hedge near where she lives, on one of her favourite walks. She has started a detailed sketchbook with writing and illustrations including watercolour, of her trips to the hedge, and also sounds and sights that accompanied that. Caroline had photographed the various hedges round her property, most of them planted by them, one for the birds, one a traditional beech hedge. Carol, did you have a hedge? All I can remember is your description of holding bolt cutters under your long skirt and between your thighs to aid the Greenham women to break into the base!! That gave us the biggest laugh at lunch.
So then we discussed how to proceed, with all these ideas flying around. Kate suggested that we should bring pages, perhaps to do with the hedges or our texts, and sit and sew them next time together. Bron suggested single coptic as there was a general feeling this would be useful to revisit. The following meeting it may be the Blizzard Book from Hedi Kyle’s book. and so on.
So we have a plan. To get on with our individual projects and bring pages to the meeting to sew or fold together. So next time is Single Coptic.

And Clare picked up the
December Dove Droppings

I’ve been a slug
I’ve been a slug too
hedges are pottering along

I’ve been going out
with some tradespeople
hedgerows as a side thing

good pee hedges
now there’s a project!
The Beautiful Oops

I’ve got a pie in a basket
it ended up as a fold-y thing
you stick things into

insects on the endpapers
you can tell they’re book artists
they were banging the trees

the creatures affected
everything in my life
a big journey

I picked up a strange insect
I shall be an expert after that
whatever it is

it cannot be something simple
those kettle stitches
are the start of a French link

save your envelopes
snippets of writing
the book we want to make

draw the sound of toffee
an abstract cat
a big bowl of mercury

wouldn’t it be lovely to be in May?
red white and blue ribbons
tied round my bed

they’ve moved May Day
I can see it in my head
the slug will hatch then

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