|My notebook box|
On the assumption that our Village Art Week will be going ahead at the end of June, I need to begin creating the paper and textile books I intend to demo and sell. I need to plan what I am going to make, and when. I am notorious for writing lists and ideas and not seeing a complete project through; so I decided that initially on each evening in January, I would jot down my thoughts - for I could visualise what I wanted to do. Most evenings I have managed this. I brought my 'quilt journey' box into action, moving into it my current notebooks and word-whispers, a small box with pens and tiny paint box, my 'burnt sugar diary'. 'Quilt Journeys' (my 12in x 12in pages that will be linked into booklets) are ongoing, but my workroom is out of action, noted from time to time on Facebook. I suddenly realised that making sufficient textile books of this size was impracticable, they would take too long, cost too much and in any case are a personal record of aspects of my life.
|One of my finished fabric books (a gift for a grandchild in 2009)|
Far better would be 6in x 6in (15cm x 15cm) which is a size I have frequently worked with. I had my theme - landscape and gardens, using my photos and my own word-whispers but adding collage from old books. Notes proliferated but gradually some parameters emerged, stimulated by the arrival of a catalogue from my favourite second-hand bookseller who specialises in my chosen subjects. Her special offer was enticing and a parcel soon arrived (I was determined that pages from these would be ripped up and used for stitched collage, but now they are here I just may have to keep one or two intact!)
|Second-hand books purchased for collage|
I am keeping a diary, and have prepared a series of A4 cards outlining themes and tried and tested methods that will save me from endless experimenting. Time to begin - and then on Monday evening came a breakthrough: in searching for photos to match my poem-spills that I intended to use, I came to the conclusion that I find it easier to create words to match an image than the other way around. (Though it is immodest to say so, this ability comes from endless exercises when I was young, a technique I subsequently used when teaching my classes of eight-year-olds. Here's what you do - select an image or object at random and without thinking jot down some words, adjectives particularly; just whatever comes to mind.) I rarely change my poem-spills and word-whispers, though I may tweak them slightly for their look on the page.
|Tree image, cropped from a larger photo|
Today I set this in practice: my dear husband Raymond and I took a picnic and drove a few miles in search of the images I wanted for a 'Winter Trees' book. Previously we would have sat eating out picnic and I would have looked at the scene and words would come into my head. Today I started from the visual aspect, looking for trees that could be cropped out of a larger picture, leaping in and out of the car into the strong wind, taking a photo and using the 'enlarge' facility on my camera to view where I could enlarge a section, even though the image was a long way off.
|Top road into village|
I scribbled a few words, but will probably 'write to fill' - i.e. print the image I want to use, collect pieces of collage and any ephemera I want to use, arrange them speedily on the fabric background and assess how many words will be needed to fill whatever space I allocate within the layout for text.
|Down the hill into the village|
Dusk is imminent, but trees on the skyline can be cropped and enlarged
Here's the final image, trees on the skyline; I took lots more, but these that I have posted best illustrate what I am talking about, and the method that I will be using to put these first books together; not just one but three or four the same; batch-production saves time but each will vary slightly. And that's just one theme. I have others lined up.