Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Museum of Loss

The Museum of Loss is a series of A6 books about my parents and relatives.

My mother wrote her (unpublished) autobiography in her retirement years, making copies for myself and my brother before she died.  In it she talks about her childhood, reminiscing about traditional family stories as well as baring her soul from times long ago. Having researched family history, back as far as 1750, she also documented details of the lives of her parents, grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles.

The autobiography has been an important source of information from which images and text have inspired my book works. This highly emotive subject has taken a long time to evolve into hand made books and the process has been quite daunting at times.

I have used extracted text, written poetry and hand written lists to form the first three booklets in the series, titled, '...and in memory of my father who never had a son', 'Molly Shaw', and 'Fifield'. There are 10 copies of each.

'....and in memory of my father who never had a son' 2019

A6 Inkjet printed on 175gsm Artcard real grey
and 55gsm newsprint

Molly Shaw 2019

A6 Inkjet printed on 175gsm Artcard pristine white
and 55gsm newsprint

Fifield 2019

A6 Inkjet printed on 175gsm Artcard china white 
and 55gsm newsprint

Monday, 4 March 2019

France 2018

Inspiration for drawings comes almost every time I go anywhere! Usually I am drawn to the countryside and seascapes in the southwest of the UK, but this selection of small drawing came via a visit to France in 2018. 

I took photographs of the beautiful chateaux in the Loire Valley and some interesting buildings in towns in the area. Once home, I worked the drawings onto French newspaper and mounted them onto grey card.

I then made a simple A5 booklet by binding the 12 pages with a bulldog clip. The drawings are all originals and there is only one copy.

France 2018
210 x 148mm 2019
Inkjet printed in newsprint. 
Cover: 270gsm Colorset card.

Inside: Original drawings
Ink on newsprint

Inside: Original drawings
Ink on newsprint


Assemblage is a list of objects found nestled into the nook and crannies in a garden wall in Calstock, Cornwall.

Naturally, seeing a collection of objects like this, I wanted to make a list of them!

I took photographs of each object so that I could make a written list at home. I thought for quite a while about the design and layout of the book, before settling on the short landscape layout. I chose to handwrite the list as a continuation of my interest in repetitive writing tasks.

My next train of thoughts surrounded the ever present use of plastic used in the making of the majority of the objects, especially children's toys. I decided to use bight coloured card for the cover, representing the colours of many of the toys, but also to use recycled card and paper in the books. I have drawn attention to environmental concerns over use/reuse and recycling of plastic in a label attached to each book.

So far I have made two books, each with a different binding.

Assemblage 1 2019
210 x 74mm
Ink on 270gsm Colorset recycled card

Assemblage 2 2019
210 x 74mm
Ink on 270gsm Colorset recycled card

Inside: Handwritten list
Ink on 120gsm Colorset recycled paper


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Journeys End

Another concertina book!

The idea for a piece of work based on the shipping forecast has been brewing in my mind for a few years! Sometimes the actual format and design takes a while to work out and I was keen to make sure that I didn't go down a route that was too obvious, with waves and shades of blue.

I wrote a short descriptive piece about my memories of listening to the shipping forecast as a child. Then I spent quite a long time figuring out the book design! 

I decided to work on a large drawing using a linear process that when repeated, offers an image of gradient lines. I kept this to my usual black ink on white paper. I washed the reverse of the paper with a blue/grey ink and then, using another favoured process, I repeatedly wrote out the shipping forecast, creating undulating pencil lines of text over the wash.

Finally, I cut up the drawing to make 12 books and glued strips of the text onto the concertina folded books.

Finished drawing of cover
A1 270g paper

Journeys End 2019
5 x 7.8cm

Inside Journeys End 2019
5 x 7.8cm, inkjet on newsprint

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Delighted to say that I will be having a table at the Bristol Arts Book Event (BABE) at the Arnolfini Gallery on 30 - 31st March this year!

It's a great book arts event, drawing in many visitors and displaying a huge variety in styles of handmade artist books.

So my life at the moment is all MAKE, MAKE, MAKE!

Hope to see you there!

BABE 2017

Gifts from the Crows

Another concertina book! The current wave of ideas that I have seem to be lending themselves well to the concertina style.

I read a news article about a child in Seattle who fed crows with crumbs she accidentally dropped outside her house. When she realised that the crows were coming for the crumbs, she began feeding them regularly and enjoyed watching their behaviour. She started to realise that the crows were leaving odd items near the feeding tray; something she interpreted as grateful gifts.

The relationship between the girl and the crows continued and the girl kept the 'gifts',(lego, buttons, clips, silver etc)and amassed a collection of interesting objects.

I extracted text from the article by Katy Sewall ('The girl who gets gifts from the crows' formed seven short poems/phrases which gives a sense of a relationship between the girl and the crows. There is also a feeling of deeper understanding of the crows behaviour.

I drew and ink washed a large sheet of 270gsm printing paper with feathers for the cover of the books. The drawing looked very effective by itself, but I had to cut it up, making 9 books in total. 

The ink wash drawing before cutting up to make the covers.

'Gifts from the Crows' 2019
6 x 9.5cm 
Ink wash on 270gsm paper and inkjet on newsprint

Monday, 1 October 2018


Craving is a small concertina book with nine pages and eight folds.

The text is a simple paragraph of prose around the theme of longing for someone.

The design on the paper was made by suspending a large sheet of cartridge paper and dripping ink from the top edge. The ink then ran down the paper creating the drip marks, which to me, offer a sense of waiting for an ending.....a little like a craving.

Craving 2018
6 x 54cm
Cover: Ink on cartridge paper

Craving 2018
6 x 54cm
Inkjet printed on newsprint