I’m making artist’s books at the moment, which I think is probably one of my favourite activities. I love the way a theme can be explored and developed with a book, and the huge creative variety of structure you can experiment with.

This is a hanging book called Gold, based upon a poem I wrote some time ago. It’s a mixed media piece on circular Khadi paper sheets.

A digitally printed moth that I photographed in a Manchester museum, with, I think you’ll agree, rather a lot of stitches. It’s on a base of painted and printed fabric and paper, with hand and machine stitch.

This little chap is a duck billed platypus skeleton I photographed in Oxford Natural History Museum. I played around with the image on Photoshop and digitally printed it. Mixed fabrics and papers, again, with hand and machine stitch.

Hand stitched ginkgo biloba leaves, that were preserved in glycerine, porcelain ginkgo leaves, paper and machine stitch.

The poem, more porcelain leaves, paper and stitch. And a moth, also porcelain.

Three porcelain moths and a nest, mixed media with machine stitch. I do like the texture you can achieve with machine stitch on Khadi paper.

These are the components of Fossil Moon, another hanging book. It is stitched and done now but I’ll put the whole thing in my next post.

The two books above will have their components strung together, and will hang vertically. This is my least favourite part, but it must be done. I’m planning to show them in the Art Textiles: Made in Britain gallery at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham in July-August this year.

These are some papers ready to be made into a book project that’s fairly changeable at the moment. Ha, what’s new! It started as printed papers made from a little screen of stuck down leaves [previous post] and has moved from possibly being a zig zag book, below,

to possibly being another hanging book, below.

Here are the basic components laid down as a hanging book. I stitched the butterflies last year, and there are also porcelain elements. But, the zig zag with some extra elements, such as the acetate sheets, still appeals; a good long zig zag is a wonderful thing, at least for the maker. So it’s likely back to being a zig zag, based on some words of mine, The Paths to Trees.

To save making a zig zag support, I’ve bought an A4 Seabright ready made book, which is very sturdy; some of these finished pieces, with all their additions and so on, will need something strong to hold them up. I admit to not wanting to spend my time making said necessary sturdy book; also accuracy isn’t my strength, and I do want it to stand straight.

I have a plan to finish each component with stitch, additions and so on, lay them all out on a suitable background, photograph them and have the image digitally printed professionally to finish as a hanging. I usually do my own digital printing but can’t do bigger than A3.

A couple of close ups.

And to round up, below, a couple of small pieces I’m making to fit into A4 frames, fabric applique on linocut prints, hand stitched.

Leaving sad news to the end seems to be a tradition, so here is mine. We lost our rather wonderful little dog a couple of weeks ago. He was, basically, a force of nature in a small woolly body, and has left a big gap in our family life.

He was nearly 14, we had hoped for a few more years.

Here he is, George in the night garden.




17 thoughts on “Books.

  1. Beautiful work as always. And dear little George, I’m so sorry. We are so lucky to share these beautiful lives with our own. Sending pawposeful hugs.

  2. Really interesting work. Look forward to seeing it at FOQ. So very sorry to hear about your little dog. Their loss leaves a huge hole in your life. It’s hard to think they won’t go on forever. After 6 months without, a little dog found us. One may find you too one day, when you are ready.

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderful images of your latest work. Truly inspirational.

    And many hugs coming your way for the loss of George. We can share your pain.

    Love galore Bonnie xxx

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Sorry about your sad loss of your little dog. I can sympathise with you as we lost our beloved Megan. We rescued her six years ago so didn’t know her age.
    They bring such love and joy into our lives and leave, just as you say, a very big hole in our lives. We have our names on the list to rehome another border collie. I wish I could send you a photo of her.

  5. Hi Ann, our dogs are such a big part of our lives, and are so supportive. Contact me via my website contact form and I’ll send you my email address so you can send a picture of Megan. Border collies are a wonderful, intelligent breed.

  6. Such beautiful work! I especially love the moth/ginkgo page with the poem.
    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of George. Having had a number of cats, I know how it hurts when you lose a little friend. It sounds like you helped him to live a very happy life!

  7. Thanks Ann, that’s very kind. George was a good companion in the house and garden. I’m hoping to find another dog to garden with, although his idea of helping in the garden was to ask me to throw his ball over and over.

  8. Love the books Steph. I’m doing a collage and writing course on Tuesdays and we’ve been making chapbooks so the book format is very much on my mind. What a poignant photo of George at the end – so sorry he couldn’t stay with you longer x

  9. Hi Jac, lovely to hear from you. The collage and writing course sounds really interesting; I can’t keep away from making books for long, even though I intersperse the activity with the making of other work.
    The new studio looks fantastic, I hope it’s all going well. x

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