Redesigning the Medieval Book

I am intrigued and thrilled to be part of this Workshop and the eventual outcome.  The Medieval Book has so much of interest from the fabulous Book of Kells or the Book of Durrow to the humble account books of the 15th Century.  Embroidered bindings, girdle bindings … one could go on.  For myself I get excited by the simpler books of records, accounts and other notebooks.  They open in a pleasing flat way and can transpose themselves into something very contemporary.

Magic Wallets



I have made two Magic Wallets for ‘Killed in Action’ in memory of Private Ellis Briggs, Yorkshire Light Infantry.  Enclosed is a poem and a copy of an original letter from a brother to his sister.  The art work and printing is done by Ellis Briggs’s granddaughter.  This work will be taking part in Pages International Contemporary Artist Book Fair in Leeds 4th/5th March, 2017.

Wobage Artisan Market 2016

If you are in the Ross on Wye area this is a wonderful event in a most delightful setting of rolling Herefordshire countryside.

Wobage Artisan Market 2016


This Market was such an enormous success last year that this year it will be a 2 day event on 17th and 18th September.  Do come along as its the most delightful venue with wonderful crafts, arts and things to eat on offer.  Plenty of parking !!

There will be Workshops during the day too.  To book a slot go onto the Wobage website as above.  I will be doing a bookbinding Workshop on both the Saturday and Sunday.

SEB – Spiritual Excersises Book

Next week my husband and I are off beyond the Tamar Bridge to do a week of Spiritual Exercises as advised by St Ignatius of Loyola.  It has been suggested that a notebook will be useful.  I have a feeling a large notebook will be useful.  Having being recently inspired by the story of the Lampedusa Cross which I then went to see at the British Museum  I put the two ideas together and hopefully have come up with a useful book for the week.  The Lampedusa Cross was the last artefact that Neil MacGregor sanctioned for the British Museum before he left.  It is the most moving story of Eritrean Christians being shipwrecked off Lampedusa in 2013 and only a few of them surviving.  A local carpenter  has carved a number of crosses using the wood from the wrecked boat.  The front of the Lampedusa Cross has all the colours of a typical Mediterranean boat that has been to sea on many an occasion.  So the cross on the front of my book is many layers of leathers that is then sanded down to create a smooth surface and one colour blends into the other.

I like the suggestion of a image in the centre of the endpaper.  The paste paper endpapers are made by a friend of mine.

Suribachi bowl

I have been recommended by a few people to buy one of these bowls for my paste which I make myself.  Eventually I have got around to ordering one and it arrived the other day.  Very excitingly with Japanese stamps and post marks !  It has a charming resonance to it with a high glaze on the outside and rough on the inside with the characteristic markings on the inside to smooth out the paste.  A delightful addition to my tool kit.

Dying with Pomegranates

At Christmas we had a few pomegranates.  They seem like such a seasonal fruit with their crimson skins and luscious seeds sparkling red.  Then I discovered that dying paper and cloth with the skins and pith of the pomegranates can produce a most rewarding colour.  Funnily enough yellow !  So with a bit of internet research I came up with a recipe of sorts but really by trial and error.So here are the skins and pith soaking in water for two-three weeks to soften and ease up.  I then mashed them up to extract more of the necessary ‘juices’ to produce a good colour.  The softened pomegranates were then boiled, strained and alum mordant added.The fabric added to the dye bath and left overnightPaper dipped into the dye bath.  I left the paper in for approximately 10 minutes and that gave a good colour.

The paper is dried, pressed overnight and ready to bind into some sort of book.  I think the paper will justify a vibrant piece of leather and suede.

Last Chance for a Unique Christmas Present

This Blue Cross Structure which is for sale on my Website is a much travelled book.  Well this one isn’t but this style is !  Due to its flexibility, leather and suede laminate, it can be tucked into a large pocket, day bag, handbag, rucksack or whatever.  The leather will mellow with age and it will become a true friend.

I recently took the plunge and opened a Shop on my website.  It is an exciting time to explore the world of global shopping. As a result I find I have to take more photographs of work. This is proving to be quite interesting because you see different aspects of your work through the photograph.  I find that taking more and more photographs of each book helps me to be more objective and to develop new ways of doing things.  I might see a small detail that could be developed or enlarged on another book.  The fall of the light on colour and the juxtaposition of the colours plays up quite dramatically.  For example the edge colouring on this Cross Structure book plays better than I thought it would.


The Goudhurst

A neat and small little book with six sections of clean cream paper.  A leather laminate cover with contrasting onlays.  It fits snuggly in the hand.

Wobage Artisan Market

Wobage Artisan Market is this Saturday Venue Number 9 on the h.Art map or www.wobage.co.uk.  Do come and join us.  Some images of a few of the leather bound books that I will be showing.