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ABCD February 2023

February 5, 2023

Ten of the thirteen members of Artists’ Book Club Dove met yesterday morning in the Print Studio to share recent work and to learn a fiendishly baffling Guy Begbie variation on the piano-hinge binding that Carol had bravely volunteered to teach. (Thank you, Carol!) All of us were glad it was not a Zoom meeting and we could help one another along. And eat Clare’s nonpareil flapjacks. (Thank you Clare!)

Nina is still working on her dream-book, BEETLE, which is becoming very colourful. Photos will be posted when it’s finished. Here are some views of her long accordion-spine book made from blue-painted folios. This is the structure we were learning last month. The sections are pamphlet-stitched into both mountain and valley folds. Nina’s book has a lively, bouncy quality.

Judith‘s large-format Buttonhole binding is made from a huge charcoal drawing done in 1989, torn apart and machine-stitched onto washi paper. The charcoal cover and pages are sealed with beeswax polish. The book smells wonderful!
Miraculously, after all these years, Judith has found a photo of the drawing, and of the Dartington field it was drawn from.

There are echoes of Jane‘s earlier work on graters in her monochrome abstract sculptural Dream-book. With inspiration from Richard Long and Picasso, it is painted, rubbed with crayons, and printed with bubble-wrap and fingerprints. It is a perfect marriage of structure and content. It has 8 hinges and nine panels. Photos show both sides.

Ama. Here are some photos of my Buttonhole binding. On cotton rag paper pages dyed with vegetable waste I have handwritten a found poem written on a dreadful day when I avidly consumed the news on BBC Radio 4. The silk for the book-cloth was alum-mordanted and dyed with red cabbage leaves and onion skins. The cover is lined with a piece of marbled paper that has been lying in a drawer for years.

Pauline‘s “Massimo” book-in-progress is shown below. The pages are woodcut prints monoprinted on the reverse side.

Pauline brought two buttonhole books. One is a blank journal with a print on the cover. The other and its slip-case are painted and collaged with natural inks.

Caroline too used a print to cover a blank buttonhole-bound journal. her Dream-book has a Tibetan theme, with inscriptions and prayer flags.

Clare has started making a lovely Dream-book, reminiscent of architecture, or light streaming through woodland.The diagonal cuts are innovative but make for hinges that don’t quite work as hinges. However, it does fold flat.

Carol showed us a sample of the intricate structure she was to teach us after lunch.

Bron showed us her buttonhole book of ink recipes and samples. A section for each plant. It’s quite substantial – satisfyingly large and heavy.

Below are photos of Bron’s Dream-book, in progress and finished. “A new version of an old etching.”

Quote of the month: “If you have to take a Valium every time you sit down to paint, perhaps you should consider a different hobby.”

Our next meeting will be on 4th March. Meanwhile, here are the gleanings from my notebook:

February Dove-droppings

back to the cheese grater
and the gin boxes
I’ve got too much in there

it’s a triangular thing
it throws itself at you
but I like strings

the perfect red
a narrative thread
in Copenhagen

exploit the cardboard
it has legs and wings
body and soul

in Flinders Street Station
a diagonal dream
had a car crash

memories woven in
where the circular saw used to be
in the Music Museum

the butterfly’s right by the door
an idjery bit less than a centimetre
ease it up with a scalpel

heavy flaps don’t work
I can’t get it straight again
it’s coming out the back

you’ve got them back to front
it’s crept up on me
sailing a barge to Australia

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2023 8:07 am

    These art books are amazing. What a tremendously talented bunch you are! And thank you for sharing photos of your work here–such joy and marvelous inspiration they provide.

  2. pattyrat permalink
    February 8, 2023 9:36 am

    As Clare’s sister, and artistic encourager, I’m wondering why her sculptural interpretation of light through woodland didn’t feature in your blog?

    I love to see the variety of creative pieces the group produces, but I have to say that it isn’t the first time I’ve looked in vain for what I know Clare has been working on!

    All the best, Trisha

    Sent from my iPhone


    • February 8, 2023 6:02 pm

      I hang my head abjectly in shame. Thank you for pointing this out, Trisha. I would never intentionally overlook Clare. I left Carol out too – I turned over two pages at once in my notebook and missed them both. I have reinstated their pictures, and added some new ones from Bron and Judith.


  1. Poetry Blog Digest 2023, Week 5 – Via Negativa

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