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ABCD May 2022

May 15, 2022

Nine members of Artists’ Book Club Dove met IN PERSON in the Dove Print Studio yesterday. Back and front doors were open, letting in air and birdsong. Clare’s flapjacks, which sometimes seem to be our raison d’etre, were as good as we remembered.

Clare showed us her new Herbin (established 1670) fountain pen, whose engineering we all admired. Her three bottles of Herbin ink have delightful names: Corail des tropiques, Bleu myosotis, and my favourite, the delicious Larmes de cassis.

Here are a few glimpes into Clare’s sketchbooks. Click on any image to enlarge it. The fourth shows an exercise in turning numerals into cats.

Janine brought her three Coptic-sewn double-concertina books of family history. The photos and text are printed on artists’ transfer paper and ironed onto silk pasted to Khadi paper.

Here are Janine’s three small square books of abstract painting in oils on Khadi paper offcuts from the project above. They embody her emotional response to a recent bereavement.

Judith has been busy with online and in-person courses. One was on paper-marbling. Marbling the head, foot and foredge of ledger books was a safeguard against pages being removed, added or substituted – a thoroughly analog anti-fraud device! Judith chose her colours to match the covers of these paperbacks.

It was good to see Judith’s big blue book in the flesh.

Three views of Judith’s ‘Leaves of Broadley’ and its slip-case.

Jane has made a batch of lovely-looking Sewn Boards bindings. Photo below. She is researching the far from ordinary life of her father, Loughnan Pendred, wood-carver and sculptor. Affpuddle church in Dorset is full of his work.

Jane Paterson sewn-board bindings

I (Ama) showed some recent books from late last year, and a new one. ‘Broomfield’ is 10.5x15cm, six double pages folded at the foredge. ‘Postcards’ (my life in 50 tercets) is 15cm square and ‘Shining Sister’ is 15x21cm: thirteen poems with full-page titles painted by John Rowlands-Pritchard.

Carol has made two cut and folded books from multi-layered lino-prints; one very precise, lively and surprising in the hand (front and back views shown), and the other more random and unpredictable.

Carol was impressed by a Kurt Jackson exhibition, ‘Biodiversity’, at the Natural History Museum in Oxford. It finished today, but there is plenty to see in this interactive online show, and it will be opening in Southampton City Art Gallery soon (27 May). We talked briefly about a forthcoming exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol, ‘Forest’ (9 July-2 October).

Thalia has painted another big banner – the Madonna of Glastonbury – which will be out and about on Jubilee Day.

Bron showed us her big book ‘Essence of Trees’, and an informative sketchbook in which she recorded the various botanical dyes and inks she made to colour the pages, spine and sewing threads. We talked about the many variables, the use of mordants, the importance of the paper’s pH, the need not to over-boil berries (releasing too much tannin and browning the colour).

Kate has spent the last two and a half years visiting, interviewing, drawing and painting thirty local craftspeople for her latest book, ‘Crafts’. She called it “My tribute to people who make things.” A magnificent tribute it is, too, a mistresspiece. She very generously gave each of us a copy. The big charcoal drawings and smaller paintings are on show at the Somerset Museum of Rural Life in Glastonbury until 5th June. More information and photos here. You can meet Kate there on 29th May.

We went out to the tree-house corner of Dove Meadow for our picnic lunch. The meadow was once again knee-deep in buttercups.

Scots pine shadows on the marquee roof

After lunch we went out to admire the progress of the recently-planted wood in Wild Lea.

The next two meetings will be on 25th June and 23rd July. Then before we know it the summer will be over and we’ll be into Somerset Art Weeks. Meanwhile here are some snippets from my notebook:

May Dove droppings

a miniature Central Park
in broccoli and cheese-graters
birds and potatoes

starting with yellow
one colour a day
can elevate a book

I’ve dropped out of castanets
to turn numbers into cats
positivity can be wearing

with hatchet-faced officials
raking up the last brain cells
in reverse order

printing on spoilt paper
I disobeyed all the rules
in a basement in Bloomsbury

I finished the Madonna
that’s the bamboo again
between aluminium plates

little purple mushrooms
chew it a bit
pop it in the undergrowth

talk to the wasps
trapping ideas
hunting for the impossible

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2022 11:55 am

    I always love your reports and reading the Dove droppings, thank you Ama for bright creativity on a despondent day.

  2. pattyrat permalink
    May 16, 2022 3:36 pm

    Hello Ama,

    I enjoyed your blog, especially ‘Dove Droppings’. But I couldn’t get the images to enlarge by clicking on them, which was disappointing. So they remain as lovely slivers, tantalising glimpses of a wider world.

    A bit like Alice in Wonerland, peeking through the keyhole at the garden, but unable to reach the key to the door.

    Love, Trisha (Clare’s sister).

    >

    • May 16, 2022 4:12 pm

      Sorry to hear that, Trisha. I guess it depends what sort of device you’re using. Works ok on my Samsung phone. Lovely to hear from you … it’s been a long time!

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