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ABCD December 2022

December 11, 2022

Six of us met yesterday in Jane’s house on Chalice Hill for our last meeting of the year. I don’t think the temperature outside rose above freezing all day, but we were warm, and happy to be together again. We looked at some Buttonhole books. Here is one by Bron. The pages are products of her experiments with botanical inks, sourced from trees at the Dove, on Khadi paper. At a guess the book is about 30cm square when closed.

Jane’s buttonhole book is roughly the same size. It holds a variety of Himalayan handmade papers dyed by Jane mainly with indigo and rust. The signatures are pamphlet-stitched onto an accordion which is then buttonhole-bound. It is a thing of great beauty.

Another buttonhole book by Jane documents our extraordinary first collaboration, De Fence Pages, an installation made on the fence behind the Dove Print Studio at the time of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq nearly twenty years ago. See also Bron’s buttonhole book on the same subject in my previous post.

Janine has made a pretty little buttonhole book covered in silk book-cloth. It’s A6 size.

After our sumptuous bring-and-share lunch I demonstrated what I have learned from experience (not tuition) of making Mark Wangberg’s Dream Book structure. It was an afternoon of playing with cardboard and skewers and exploring possibilities. It’s liberating to work with materials that cost little or nothing, and to measure everything by eye or by the width of a ruler. Below are a couple of photos. First open and then folded flat.

Here are a couple of dream-books I made some years ago. The central panel of Corvus Corax has a bird that can be revolved, pivoting on a hidden paper-fastener. Both books are painted and collaged on both sides of the pages.

Lastly, the edited eavesdroppings from the day.

December Dove-droppings

two magpies in the little tree
one is in leather and a bit fancy
not exposed to the light

the Japanese archivist’s method
with a bit of deckchair canvas
a bit of ribbon

I love you on a strip of paper
for that five minutes
in a war zone

get the x-rays
the ballet and the music
but not Tchaikovsky

all the cultural treasures
they even took away the tomb
the skull of the golden man

how many countries between there and the sea
even in Shropshire I feel uneasy
see the Severn Estuary from Chalice Hill

the imprint of the stones
we need a henge here lads
chalk pits the depth of a house

everything is an invitation
bring them back the way you took them in
tapdancing in the attic

little pots of ammonia
all round my garden with a listening stick
they send a rat down with a camera

kites flying from the roof
birds on springs
a revolving door

build the Sagrada Familia
looking like gold
a library of dreams

Posted by Ama Bolton on 11th December.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane permalink
    December 11, 2022 9:02 pm

    Thank you, Ama. A lovely recollection of a very happy day.

  2. January 1, 2023 3:28 pm

    Totally enamoured by these beautiful books As always, an inspiration!
    Julie x

  3. January 3, 2023 8:53 am

    Thank you, Julie. I always enjoy your blog.


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