Saturday, 21 August 2021
Just over half way
The week has been a curious one, devoted to the Book of Birds, trying to get to grips with feathered things, but also there have been a series of events building, and a feeling that perhaps, just perhaps, these events won't be cancelled. So, I thought I would list them here:
I will then be at a rather beautiful and small event in a place called Chapel Lawn in Shropshire. This is an intimate and low key event where I will be working alongside Mike and Tamsin Abbott. Mike is an astonishing guru of the Green Wood Working movement. I did a chair making course with him and he's an amazing teacher. Tamsin is a wonderful artist who paints and works with glass. Both are very good friends. It is the Red Lake Valley mini festival. As far as I am aware there won't be books for sale, but go to your local indie bookshop and bring books for signing. I will be sitting quietly, talking to anyone who might listen, painting. At least, that is the plan.
The following day I will be on stage with John Mitchinson, at Cheltenham International Festival Of Literature talking about the power of story telling, why I write, how I read, what words are and colouring in. Hopefully, I will also be painting and telling secrets.
Meanwhile in November I will be at Stratford Literature Festival (14th, I think).
And before all of this on Saturday 28th August I will be at Shrewsbury Folk Festival with Spellsongs.
The days seem too short. Work was interupted briefly by the wonderful Horatio Clare, who arrived with Laura Barton and Andy Fell. They are making a podcast, and came to talk for a while before moving on.
I bought some signs, partly because I wanted just one, partly because I can use the stencils to write Otter and Fox, but mostly because if this is a verb it becomes the best job description for an artist:
I'm looking forward to playing with them. One says 'CLOSED' I thought I would put that on my front door.
Meanwhile I have been trying to gather thoughts and words to accompany the Accordion Books and am waiting to hear if the original one I posted has landed in Australia with Alison yet...... and I have been thinking of ways to make my own and how I might make them. One of the things I wondered was about having marbled endpapers for them, or covers, so I bought some printed marbled paper from Jemma Lewis. This is to practice, to see if I can make something work, and then if it does I will buy some 'real' marbled paper from her, or maybe see if she would be up for a commissioned piece or two. Meanwhile, I love how the stones look on these pieces.
She makes the most beautiful things. I have decided to paint a fox and a key into a copy of a first special edition copy of The Unwinding, using water from St Non's Well, just outside St Davids, and Deep Deep Light paints, wrap in a piece of marbled paper, and post to someone, in return for some help.
What I would like is for people to share this post, about the Accordion Books, on social media, or by telling a friend, or however, and leave a comment in answer to this question:
If you could travel to a place in a book, fiction, none fiction, where would you go?
I will choose a winner in a couple of weeks time and post the book to them.
My answer is this: I would go to the Rainwilds, a place that lives in the imagination of all who have read and loved the books of Robin Hobb. It is a place where dragons dwell, where magic is a reality, where beautiful things are made and crafted, or were. In my mind, the architecture is reminiscent of Venice, but in a forest rather than a lagoon. Plazas and squares are wide enough for dragons to land in. There is about this place nothing ugly.
( NB: A few weeks ago there was a note on my door that said 'Don't Forget To Go To China'- which I did- go that is, not forget. The result is this podcast from Storyland. I hope you enjoy listening. It's mostly about The Lost Words, a book I made with Robert Macfarlane)
Blue Otter Luggage Tag
- Bookmark (illustrated by Jackie)
Accordion Pack & Postcards
- Bookmark (illustrated by Jackie)