Wednesday, 11 May 2022

BABE 2022

The Bristol Arts Book Event (BABE), is a handmade artists book fair held every two years in Bristol. It's `n exciting event, thoroughly well organised by Sarah Bodman, Angie Butler and Tom Sowdon from UWE.

A large number of stands displaying a huge variety of handmade books can be enjoyed, browsed, chatted about and bought. A number of talks and workshop activities are available over the two days. It's a free event open to the public.

I have attended as a stall holder before, but have visited many times to meet with 'my tribe' of people and gain inspiration to make more of my own books.

Historically, the fair has taken place at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol city centre, but this year saw a relocation to the Bower Ashton campus at UWE. This gave more space, allowing a safer distance between stands, as well as easier parking and unloading.

It was a fabulous weekend! I was based in the printmaking department, which was a lovely meeting place for my bookwork and printmaking (

I enjoyed great interaction with UWE students, book artists and the public, explaining my concepts and processes. Sharing inspiring conversations with Jeremy Dixon, Timothy Shore, Chevington Press and Pressing Matters Magazine and others was a good way of expanding my interest and knowledge.

Now I have many new ideas and I'm already looking forward to 2024!!

BABE 2022

Friday, 15 April 2022

The Forgotten Song of the Regent Honeyeater

The Forgotten Song of the Regent Honeyeater handmade book was inspired by a news report about this critically endangered bird from Australia.

Young Regent Honeyeater songbirds learn their song from adult males. The song is used to attract females. A loss of habitat and a decline in numbers has meant there are fewer males passing on the song, leading the younger birds to pick up tunes from other species. The females are less likely to pair and nest with unfamiliar songbirds, causing an even greater decline for these beautiful songbirds.

Conservationists are playing recordings of their song to captive Regent Honeyeaters, hoping that they will re-learn their song and, on release, will sing, repeat, survive and thrive.

The eight books were made by stretching a large sheet of cartridge paper on a board, then painting decorative images of the birds in ink on one side. Once dry, I used ink and pen on the reverse, decorating with leaf, branch and stave motifs. After researching the story online, I wrote a poem about the story, which I printed on newsprint and glued into the 8 concertina books.

The Forgotten Song of the Regent Honeyeater Cover
12 x 12cm
Hand pained in Indian Ink on 170gsm cartridge paper 
and inkjet printed on newsprint.

The Forgotten Song of the Regent Honeyeater 

The Forgotten Song of the Regent Honeyeater by Clare Rogers

the language of the songbird

lullabies and love songs
chorus and canticle

black and gold
between the airwaves
spinning and weaving

sing and repeat
sing and repeat

a fragment leaving
a promise too rare
silently to its end

forgetting the song
as it crosses the sky

lost for words

rest and refrain
rest and refrain

leaves between fleeting
silence or melody
like a feather descending

we know the song

a call to the savers
the healers and hearers

return and rebound
return and rebound

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Winter Comes

I wrote 'Winter Comes' in November 2021 and, with a few alterations, have now made it into a hand made artist book.

It was one of those pieces of writing that start off as a word or two or a line in my head, and then it grows to form something more solid and complete.

I chose the cover when I was looking through some monotype prints that I'd made a few months earlier. The ink colour of the prints wasn't as strong as I had hoped, but when scaled down to fit the A7 book covers, they gave a lovely pale, ethereal quality, especially when printed on  beautiful Japanese Hosho paper.

The papers on the inside are recycled packaging, hand-made craft paper, tissue paper and newsprint.

There are eight copies.

Cover: 'Winter Comes' 2022
Hand drawn title and tree on Hosho paper
Original monotype print on Hosho paper

Inside: 'Winter Comes' 2022
by Clare Rogers
Inkjet printed on newsprint.

Winter Comes

One of those still days
where the earth in respite,
rests its bones
and the loss of leaf is a reprieve,
for trees,
who sigh their last breath into
breathing space.

And the wind's intermission,
like time holding its breath, waits
as birds without song
on filigree branches
as the muted drizzle
rolls a veil over the year.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

15: Ten views from the Windows and Doors in my House

This handmade book has been reworked from a piece of writing I made as part of a body of work 'From here you can almost see the sea: A response to living in Plymouth' in 2012.

The previous ten pieces of writing were individually framed, but I think they work better as a handmade book. The new title '15' refers to the house number.

Reworking the pieces from 10 years ago has given me an insight to some of the changes within the views; changes that have either been taken for granted or gone unnoticed. By using plain white copier paper, I have given a feel of anonymity; a feeling that the mundane views could relate to any housing estate across the country.

'15', 2022 cover

'15: 10 Views from the Windows and Doors of my House', 2022 
inside front cover

Inkject printed on 90gsm copier paper

Calstock Tales: Arrival

My first 'Calstock Tales: Departure' handmade book was in response to a stone and slate wall in Calstock in which every nook and cranny had been filled with small objects and toys.

There were, at the time of counting, over 400 items, of which I listed and took photographs.

I have always intended to make a second (and possibly 3rd and 4th) book, so after quite a while, here is 'Calstock Tales 2: Arrival'.

I have used the same method of picking an object and writing a short tale inspired by that object.  The theme for the four selected items is arrival.

There are 10 in the series.

'Calstock Tales: Arrival', 2022 cover.
Inkjet printed on china white Artcard.

'Calstock Tales: Arrival' 2022 inside.

Teaching Myself to Write with my Left Hand

Although most of my handmade artist books are typed on a pc and inkjet printed, some are made using my own handwriting, (Journeys 1 and 2, Journeys End, Eavesdropping).

Using my hands creatively through book making, drawing, printmaking and craft projects has always been a constant, probably vital, part of my life, so an interest in learning to write with my my non-dominant hand comes as no surprise!

'Teaching Myself to Write with my Left Hand' follows a daily practice over 37 days to watch my progress as I copy out alphabets and passages from books.

I found, as always, a repetitive task such as handwriting exercises, brought a quiet methodology for a brief time each day. 

There is only one copy of this book.

'Teaching Myself to Write with my Left Hand', 2021 cover.
Handwriting on lined paper, brown paper and card.


'Teaching Myself to Write with my Left Hand', 2021 inside.
Handwriting in pencil on lined paper.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Winter Comes

I have been wanting to make some more hand-made artist books for a while, but commitments to making prints for open studios and an exhibition for next year, has meant they have had to take a back seat!

My latest monotype prints continue to have a moody, atmospheric feel to them, which I love. Many have focussed on themes of light in the landscape and have additional hand drawn trees as their final layer.

The two processes of hand-made books and printmaking compliment each other so beautifully. I never throw away prints which don't make the grade, preferring to keep them to cut up later for book covers.

I love being absorbed in the ideas I have, especially when the overlapping print and book processes collide with my creative writing! 

I have just been inspired to write a poem about winter and this, I feel, needs to be made into a book soon.....!

Winter Comes.

One of those still days

where the earth in respite, 

rests its bones

and the loss of leaf is a reprieve

for trees

who sigh their last breath into 

breathing space.

And the wind's intermission,

like time holding it's breath,

listens to birds without song

who watch

as the muted drizzle

rolls a veil over the year.

Clare Rogers 2021