Accordion Books

By Jackie Morris

The first pair in a series of illustrated folding gift books featuring foxes and otters.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

An exciting day

Today the advance copies of the Accordion Books arrived in the office of Unbound in London. The first I knew of this was a brief email from John Mitchinson saying .....

" Just arrived and surpass my widest expectations. I AM going to want all 50!

I'm taking that as my first review. They've been a long time in the making and for that I am sorry. One of the difficulties was finding a printer who could do it, but also the paper, to make it thick enough so they will stand up on a windowsil or bookshelf, and not  need to be framed. Anyway, soon you will receive an email asking for you to confirm your address so they can be delivered, so look out fo rthat towards end of March. 

The beauty of the arrival is that I had just sent John his Christmas present, which is an original accordion book painted through with silver cats..... been trying to learn the shape of cats for years, and it still eludes me to a degree. Elizabeth Blackadder knew the shape of a cat. Love her images of cats and flowers.... hmm..... So, while John was in the office with these, the pitch for the next one was waiting for him at home. I was helped with John's version. Lady Spit decided to walk across the wet paint, so it is very authentic. 

Anyway, here's what John sent to me. Alison O'Toole has made such elegance of them.

The next thing for me to do is gather up the pledges to send to the office. You can order copies soon from Seven Fables, if you want more, and I am hoping they will work their way into bookshops and galleries, sell well, so I can play with more, now that we know what we are doing with them. There are also still original versions available if anyone wants one, small and large, at Seven Fables, who sell most of my artwork.

And while I am here, let me just give you a 'heads up' on a couple of things. The first is that The Lost Words exhibition is going to be at Oriel Y Parc in St DAvids from June, and in Snowdonia National Park also. So good that the artwork will be desplayed and celebrated so close to home. The emphasis is on the glorious language of Wales, for the book is translated/adapted by Mererid Hopwood. I cannot wait for Mererid and Robert to meet and hope  there will be an event at the gallery with them ( for which I want to be in the audience!).

Second is that next year I will be having an exhibition at the Rheged Arts Centre in the Lake District. Hoping to have another two Accordion Books to launch then, at the opening of the exhibition, and run a series of events throughout, and paint in the gallery. So exited about both of these exhibitions. Amazing places to have work shown. 

Third is, I have a new project with Unbound. I am working on a book with a great and good friend, Tamsin Abbott. The book is fully funded, but there's loads of time to come on board with it and get your name in the back, and we are hoping to build a real community of Wild Folk around it, with regular updates about progress, other things we are doing, stories, readings. Some of the updates will be subscriber only, some more general. I'm seeing Tamsin next week, so expect something to come from that. Here's a link to the Wild Folk page. Do watch the film, beautifully crafted by Seven Fables with a wonderful soundtrack by Tamsin's son Dougal. 

And I guess there is a 4th thing as I have illustrations in a book by Tom Bullough, coming soon. Published by Granta, it is out in February. It's a love story to the Earth really, and a cry of pain and a rally call, and a travel book, and if you must 'nature writing'. But mostly it is an honest creature of great beauty. Sarn Helen by Tom Bullough, who is one of the best of us.

Oh, and one more thing..... isn't this beautiful! Words by me, illustrations by Cathy Fisher. Publishing in autumn in UK with Otter Barry Books, world rights available.

Sorry if this is riddled with typos, typing with lap top balanced on sleeping cat. x

Oh, and thank you, all of you. It is because of you that the Accordion Book series exists. I hope it will grow, would love to see them published internationally. Imagine a glorious Chinese version, Japanese, German...... wow.

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Ceri Womack
 Ceri Womack says:

So looking forward to these arriving, they look stunning and I'm excited about the next pair of Accordion books to come...hoping hounds may feature in one!

posted 30th January 2023

Shona Littlejohn
 Shona Littlejohn says:

An exciting day indeed Jackie. These look absolutely stunning - as does the rest of the work you share here. The wait has just meant rising anticipation levels. So, so glad they don't need to be framed - feels like they should be in the wild! Roll on March for address checks. Grateful for your beautiful work.

posted 30th January 2023

Top rewards

£15  + shipping
148 pledges

Accordion Book No 1: Fox

An eight panelled folding book featuring painted foxes. Haikus of the wild fox on reverse (twilight wild words). Folded between two postcard sized cover boards (100 x 150 mm), foiled with debossed fox image. Printed on 400 gsm uncoated white card.


  • Bookmark (designed by Jackie)
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£15  + shipping
60 pledges

Accordion Book No 2: Otter

An eight panelled folding book featuring painted otters. Haikus of the wild otter on reverse (river words). Folded between two postcard sized cover boards (100 x 150 mm), foiled with debossed fox image. Printed on 400 gsm uncoated white card.


  • Bookmark (designed by Jackie)
Pre-order this reward