Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hello.... could you email me your postal addresses? And I'll circulate the list via email with my address too. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) to post my books out to you before I move house on Jan 4th, but don't hold me to it! Talk to you soon, Sara x

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Libris Awards

I am being a bit cheeky really and I hope you don't mind, but I did put my book in for the Libris Awards and to my complete surprise, I made the list of finalists! So too did Ampersand Duck, with another book called Feel the Fell, and Amanda Watson-Will with her porcelain book called Self (States of Change) so congratulations to Amanda and Duck!

What was really heartening in terms of exhibiting as a group is that Tim Moseley's Codex Projects also has a book in the short list, and Codex is a group project that often results in multiple books, so clearly we should be able to exhibit as a group in this way. I can't wait for that to happen: I think the display of our books is going to be fantastic... Right, enough wiffling, I've got to get the pets off to the vet: our dog has a suspected case of mange (again; he has filthy habits!) and one of the guinea pigs may mites AND be pregnant. Help.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little boxes

I'm still waiting to print out the paper to make the rest of the books but, as my studio gets packed up in a box (agaiiiiiiiinnnnn!) soon I thought I'd better get a move on with the boxes. I felt that the books need some protection and that the box had better relate to the book somehow!

I discovered that the alphabet punches I bought last year are very useful, just in case you thought I was mad enough to cut the letters out by hand... although I did have to extract the dies from their casings and hammer the letters out individually because the hand-operated punch provided with the letters wasn't strong enough to punch the letters out of the paper I chose, and I chose stiff paper so that it shows up clearly when blind embossed under the book cloth! So far, so good. The boxes are glued, filled, filed and ready to be covered. And that's going to have to wait for another day as having been to school twice already today (once to drop off darling daughter this morning and then swan up to our block to take photos of the progress on our house, and then back again at lunch time to help darling daughter's classmates celebrate her birthday) I have to go back again now for a Board meeting. Drat!

Evennnntually the boxes will, I hope, be covered with black book cloth and lined with a digital print, the poem and the colophon we discussed earlier.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just sharing


Randi Parkhurst, paper artist and bookmaker demonstrates her creation, PATIENCE. Original music provided by Laura Inserra. Takes just over 6 minutes.

Kerryn Madsen-Pietsch - Australian multi/mixed-media artist & educator just put this on Facebook. Books and boxes, two of our favourite things. Hope you like it. Carol

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Folded Book

I have finally got something to show. 

It is based on the turkish map fold. More details over at mine.  Jane.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Yes , I know I've just posted something, this is a lovely thing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyXmp-FiPJo

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Well, thankyou, Sara, for being so brutally honest about your tribulations.

Time for me to fess up to similar self-doubt. And the worst of my wanderings is not sticking to my plan. I start out with an idea of what I want; I doodle and re-work lines and when I feel happy and ready to proceed I have an early night.

And toss and turn. And thump pillows. Get up and make coffee (strong) and find myriad things in my plan that will not work.

The things that "will not work" may be simply mathematical glitches (although, given my record with maths, that's probably the big booger!)

But what really bothered me with this piece was that I initially intended it to illustrate a personal absence. But I was too close to my subject.

And , taking that to its obvious next stage, means that none of you knows the background.

By now, the Dobson poem was lost in the mire!

So I have returned to the poem itself and will. not. stray...

(It's not all bad - the tangents, like that road less travelled, may yield other books!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting there

There's a whole dialogue I have with myself when making anything, complete with sniffy asides, rhetorical questions and, if things are going badly, hand gestures. A lot of it concerns unfathomable questions about things like, "Is this any good?", "Why am I doing this?", and, "Is it finished yet?" which is relateded on its mother's side to, "Are we there yet?".

My creative processes might be described as stages:

Stage One: light-hearted failure to appreciate the deadline, coupled with a hopeful presumption that everything will be different this time around.

Stage Two: agonising. Non-stop. Usually involves a critique of my life so far, highlighting failures, minimising successes and feeling very gloomy.

Stage Three: half-hearted attempts to 'start', because I know that if I start 'something' I'll be a few inches closer to finishing.

Step Four: backing myself into a complete corner by allowing everything to pile up around me, literally and metaphorically, until I chase myself into the studio in order to avoid the mayhem on my desk.

Step Five: make something, re-make it and remake it again until I just can't take any more and then feel a small amount of relief. Usually this will be accompanied by technical failures and a realisation that I don't have the necessary equipment or materials and several frantic visits to the shops.

Step Six: deconstruct everything up to this point and slump. Start going round in circles and, after a while, profer whatever it is I've come up with on an outstretched hand to the audience whilst covering my eyes and feeling a bit sick.

I'd like to think that every time I end up with something I'm really, really certain about, but that doesn't often happen. This time for example I have ended up with something, but I haven't got enough distance from it yet to be able to look at it properly.

So what do I have? Well, it's about my mother's death. The shape - a rotating tetrahedron* - evokes for me the sense of loss in 3 dimensions, as it rotates around itself and a central space. The substrate is koshi handmade Japanese paper which has a rough side and a smooth side, and I've printed on both. I very rarely venture into digital, partly out of sheer technical ignorance and partly through a bloody-minded insistence on autographic mark-making but this time I've used text. At the moment I just don't have the wherewithall to etch text onto copper and so I've finally made use of my lovely Epson Stylus 2100 A3 inkjet printer which has been languishing in a corner, and it's done a good job for me. The paper is printed on the back and the front with the text of Rosemary Dobson's poem and a catalogue of words evoking loss and associated emotions, over a photograph of my mother taken in her early 20's, I think, on holiday in Norway.

I wasn't even a twinkle in her eye when the photo was taken but it's how I like to remember her: happy, smiling, young, beautiful. She died suddenly, 4 weeks before my daughter (her first grandchild)was born, just before Christmas 2001. It's not as raw now as it once was, but I find her death and my daughter's birth difficult to process, and this time of the year can be hard.

Despite the fact that I am rarely autobiographical in my work this piece does have an antecedant: I first made a rotating tetrahedron in 2002, printed with photographs of the woodland where we scattered her ashes. So in many ways this piece isn't an aberration, it's just had a long gestation. I'm not sure if it is fully resolved yet, but I need to stop working on it now and say "this is what I've got". I still need to design a box ("slipcase") for it, but the form of the 'book' is finished. I just need to make 9 more of them!

* developed by Tomoko Fuse and illustrated on p16 of "Origami for the Connoisseur" by Kunihiko Kasahara and Toshie Takahama, published by Japan Publications Inc, 1987. ISBN 4-8170-9002-2.

Monday, November 23, 2009

marbling up a storm

I've just returned from a very hot weekend in Sydney where I spent 2 days in a watercolour marbling workshop with Joan Ajala

Aside from picking up a wealth of valuable tips and tricks and info about watercolour marbling I managed to create some papers for the book-art-object project - and I'm really pleased with them - hope you like them too as I expect them to feature in the book edition...

I've created a simple stormant or stone pattern - in variations of blue (blues on blue paper - blues on purple - blues on white...) If I'm very very careful and thrifty I might have enough for the entire edition - if not - well I have a back up plan....

(when I recover from the long trip I'll post somthing about the workshop over at art & etc for interested bystanders.... right now I'm far too exhausted!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You may enjoy this

Beth Lee has posted a video on her Painting Speech blog which shows a book from go to whoa. Look here. If you don't see it while it's still first up, it's on Friday 20 November. To quote Beth " Wonderful stop-motion video of the making of The Complex of All of These, made by Abigail Uhteg at the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY." Hope you like it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In between folding my "scrappy" paper and re-jigging some plans and arguing with my printer...
I sometimes make some coffee and read other blogs.

And this is how I came across this (URL, in case the link doesn't work!)

I know some of you probably read the same blogs. This is Green Chair Press and if I ever make it to San Francisco...

Now, about "Absences." I have been messing about with some transfer prints. Note the word "messing" in that sentence. I have managed some interesting transfers in other work, but what I was aiming for in this case just aint gonna work.

I was hoping to get transfers directly onto some rather heavy paper (Fabriano Artistico, which is swoonworthy for lino work), but it's a bit too much for my printer to cope with. So now I must decide between transfers on lighter paper or some other method of illustration on my heavy paper.

Having a little more time to get this right helps!

After 5 aborted attempts to get a picture up here I have given up!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Do you know, I spent half an hour writing a long post about the whys and wherefores of what I'm doing at the moment and Blogger crashed and lost the lot. It was funny, too. Well I just don't have the energy to try re-writing it so here are the pictures...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Planning meeting

So... just in case anyone hasn't been paying attention to the comments of the post a few doors down, I thought I'd bring this debate up to the surface:

Have we decided unanimously to skip this looming Libris deadline and just make the book in our own time? If not, we need to work out a submission. Pronto.

...but... if we ARE releasing the pressure valve, then can we give ourselves another deadline? Otherwise I will never get around to doing the book! I need a deadline of some sort, you can blame my bad high school study habit of doing things at the last minute.

My suggestion is the end of March. If you finish before then, FANTASTIC. If you need more time by then, we'll have to get out the birch rods... That will give us time to work out how to put ourselves together as a group entry for anything, if we want to operate that way. And if we're all happy, we can then think about a something for our next project.

What does everyone think? That is just a serving suggestion: if anyone has a more significant and workable date, bring it forth!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Carol commented on my last post that she hadn't read the poem as being about the death of a partner, but more the absence of a partner through separation, divorce, or the slow decline of dementia. She pulled me up in my tracks a bit because I realised I'd made a huge assumption about the poem and I was compelled to re-read it and test out my idea.

We read texts with our own life experiences to draw upon, I guess. I'm no critical theorist (very ignorant about the whole process of reading) and cannot contextualise my interpretation of the poem except in terms of how it relates to my experiences. So for me it definitely is about death, but I wonder how the rest of you interpret the poem? Carol reminded me that it can be read in many different ways - thank you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crawling in Coffs Harbour

I was so impressed by Ronnie's picture of her workings that I thought I'd take a picture of my table too... no, the adjustable wrench isn't part of the process, except that I used it as a hammer to push in the map pin so I could assemble the transparencies in the foreground!

I'm finding my thinking on the subject quite interesting, actually, if that isn't a little self-absorbed! The structure of the book is crucially important and I can't work properly with the contents until I've resolved the matter of the 3-dimensional form of the book. In a way I think of books as 'containers' of all sorts of things, and the how of that containment is for me as important as the contents.

I'm also wrestling with a few personal demons. The poem we're using as a starting point is about death: getting used to the absence created by the death of a partner. None of my former partners has died (as far as I know, anyway), but there have been the metaphorical 'deaths' of relationships as well as suicide, vehicle accidents and nasty diseases. I've deliberately avoided looking into my own life as source material in my work except in the most sideways, glancing way but somehow this piece is personal. I just need to find a suitable form in which to express myself.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

state of play...

I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of how my plans are developing for the book edition....

... this is pretty typical of process of working things out - I have a pile of tiny bits of folded paper - that makes perfect sense to me (and the rest of the family assumes is rubbish!).

I've now worked out the basic idea of my edition and now - well I've just got to get my act together and get the things made - I'm still working on the assumption that we'll get a group entry ready for the Libris - so I'm going to try to get something photo-worthy in time for the Libris deadline (but don't expect anything finished until into the new year!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Ok, I really like the idea of having one or two common elements to our group work. This unites us as a project, and gives us some sort of framework upon which to build over time.

Firstly, someone suggested an A5 format -- or no bigger than A5 for this piece. This is a nice size, and of course will be tweaked and pushed by those who like to work 3-dimensionally (you know who you are :)), and if we stick to it, allows potential collectors of our work to collate the books neatly if they so desire! Of course, we may not stick to this size for the next piece, if we get that far (of course we will!), but it's a precedent, and opens up discussion for size next time.

Next, it would be great for everyone to include a colophon, and I'll outline what that means, even if, as I said in the comments a few posts down, it is telling you how to suck eggs (mind you, I don't know how to suck eggs... do you?).

A colophon is the artist's book equivalent of the copyright page in a novel. It should, at the very least, contain the *printed* name of the artist (as opposed to an undecipherable signature) and the year the book was made. If more complex, it should contain the title, materials, place of making, any acknowledgements, etc. In a novel, the copyright page is at the start of the book, after the title page, but traditionally in an art book, the colophon is at the back of the book -- on the last page, or incorporated into the cover. It's best to have the information attached to the book itself rather as a loose sheet or label that might be separated from the book at some point.

I say this because I constantly look at really beautiful and interesting books produced over the years and archived at the art school where I work -- and I have NO IDEA who made them...

I've only just started planning my book, and I plan to start making it SOON. I always plan a colophon space at the outset, because it's so important. Many of my less formal books have very perfunctory colophons, and that's because up to recently I haven't taken them very seriously. I'm taking this one seriously, and this is what I've come up with:

Learning Absences, 1986

A poem by Rosemary Dobson, from her Collected Poems (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1991), reproduced by arrangement with the licensor, Rosemary Dobson, c/- Curtis Brown (Aust) Pty Ltd.

Book design and production by Ampersand Duck: handset letterpress and [...] on Kozo Light washi, handbound.

This book is part of Book Art Object, 2009

[underneath I'll sign and write the edition number: unique/ 1 of 3, whatever -- see below]

I think it's very important to ensure that '1986' is obviously part of the title, and not mistaken for the publication date. The tricky thing with this poem is that it's one of her 'uncollected' collected poems (it wasn't published before the Collected), so there's no definitive date for it other than the publication of the Collected volume.

I've also included the URL for the blog, because while I'd like to explain the project in more detail, I'd rather let others do the research if they're interested! It's probably something you can leave out if you don't want to be too wordy. And as you can see, I haven't quite decided how to produce my images yet!

Feel free to use exactly my words (changing the bit about who made it and what the book is made from and with!), or re-write it your own way, but you do have to include the part about permission: 'reproduced by ... Pty Ltd.'

If you think the colophon should be different, let us know how in the comments. I'm very open to suggestions!

A question for discussion: are we making them all unique books, or can they be in small editions if desired? I'm thinking up to 5, but that's just because I tend to print in multiples since it's always easy to print them once I'm set up...

Monday, November 2, 2009

I wonder...

How is everybody? And how are you getting on...?

I shall be the first to confess that presently my contribution to the group exists only in my imagination (although hopefully it will get into the real world very shortly). Is everyone feeling OK about the project, or is it doom and gloom all around?

You know me, I'm just nosey...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's good to be back

I feel a bit out of the loop really, having been away so long, and it seems as if things have conspired against me in terms of keeping in touch while I was away AND getting swiftly back into it again now I'm back... My excuse is that I haven't been able to move back into our house because of plumbing issues (take a look at Double Elephant if you want to know the whole sorry saga...), but now that I've survived my daughter's class camp I'm able to get my head down and my bum up and start translating numerous drawings into something real.

Thanks Ronnie for suggesting the A5 thing - sounds good to me, although I warn you that I might be a bit 3D - not sure yet - so will try and make it fit within the envelope of A5, if you see what I mean!

Dear Duck, I'll send you an invitation to be an author again - I think it got lost in your exhibition preparations, sorry about that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A5 everyone?

I noticed from the previous post that we've been tossing around some ideas of size - I'm reluctant to be the one to take the lead on this - but do others think we might make a decision - (or wait until sara returns... or throw some other ideas into the mix...)

I'm cool with the suggested A5.... how about we do a group run around and see once and for all what everyone thinks (and speak freely!) - and that way those who want/need to make a start can do so

I won't be commencing work until after mid nov so I'm ok if the group want to wait

Monday, September 21, 2009


Today I spoke with a friend at Artspace (Mackay) and asked her to clarify the entry requirements for the Libris Awards. I thought I'd better get this straight in my head as several other people have asked about collections and collaborations.

In brief- yes, we can submit 8 (probably widely disparate!) entries as a named group submission. Although this is not clearly stipulated on the form, Tracey sees no problem, providing the work is entered under a group name and relates to a unifying theme.
So, we are clear on both counts.

And, while I'm here, Ampersand Duck might like to know that "Pron Coktails" is currently on display with other books in the collection.


Friday, September 18, 2009

copyright sorted

Great news book-art-object people

I've just received an emailed reply from Curtis Brown - Rosemary Dobson's literary agent - we have permission to use her poem with the following conditions

1. that the work(s) is not for commercial sale

2. that copyright is acknowledged in the following manner:

"By arrangement with the licensor, Rosemary Dobson c/- Curtis Brown (Aust) Pty Ltd"

So that means if any of us is indeed interested in using any/all the words - it's now perfectly ok to do so.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

getting started...

Well I don't know about anyone else in the group – but I've made a start (of sorts) I've ordered and received a parcel of lovely coloured linen thread from Bibiani....

no I haven't done anything else – not yet.... but I'm counting this as a start! (and no I haven't got a clue what colours I might be using)

I WAS hoping that I would be telling all about my time in a paper marbling workshop that I was expecting to be doing this weekend in Sydney... and showing off some attractive papers to whet your appetites but, agggghhhh, it wasn't to be – maybe it will be rescheduled in time to allow me to create some great papers to use in this project – fingers crossed (I can really SEE some marbled endpapers or covers or something...... agggghhhhh!)

it's been one of those fortnights...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A question re copyright

My first thoughts about making a book using Learning Absences as a theme or idea certainly didn't include using the actual poem in the book. However, I've had an idea for a structure in which the entire poem would fit really well. I'm still very unsure about this, not only because I felt the poem was just a wonderful trigger for lots of thoughts and emotions, but also because there must be a copyright issue.

Having spent the past 28 years working in a library I know I should be right on top of copyright and all its rules but I don't think I am.

What do other members of this group think about quoting the poem? I guess if I chose this particular plan I could ask permission from the publishers. Then again, it may be easier to go back to one of my earlier ideas.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

.....and another intro

Hello to everyone! I'd like to add my intro into the mix.

My name is Amanda Watson-Will and I live in Brisbane. This year is my first year post-masters and I have been enjoying the freedom to explore and experiment with new media. My background is in ceramics, and I have mostly worked in the area of installations, combining ceramics and projections.

A few years ago I discovered artists books, and fell immediately under their spell. By this stage I was half way through my masters at RMIT, but was able to incorporate three artists books into my final body of work. Two of those books were porcelain and the other was archival inkjet.

My foray into artists books has lured me into taking some time to explore printmaking. While studying ceramics we did some linocuts and monotypes, and ever since I've felt strongly drawn to printmaking. Now at last it seems that all my interests are coming together.

I have a blog, Amanda Watson-Will, where I write up my various experiments with different media and slowly track the development of my work. I've been posting for a couple of years now.

I'd like thank Sara for getting this project off the ground. It's a terrific idea, and I am very excited to take part. The poem by Rosemary Dobson is an excellent choice and my head has been whirling with ideas, imagery and book structures for the past few days. I'm beginning to think that this poem may provide inspiration for me for quite a while! Some of the photographs I have taken over the past couple of years resonate quite strongly with the theme of absence, so I have started by pulling together a folder of that imagery. Looking forward to seeing how other people are getting started.

Friday, August 14, 2009

a personal introduction...

Hi gang (and assorted bystanders)

I figure this is a great time to give a real introduction to myself and my blogginess (I've just realised that I've never actually done this on my own blog... oops!)

I'm Rhonda Ayliffe (and I answer to 'Ronnie pretty much everywhere) – I live on a large farm (by comparison in my part of the world) on the far south coast NSW – and you can read/see a bit more of this over at my sams creek farm blog (which I forget to update and generally neglect.... )

(the very dry creek bed of sams creek - it's a pitiful sight presently)

There you'll see that I have a couple of young children, a long suffering farmer/partner/mulch mover. Much to his angst, I LOVE gardening – and we have a damn large one for him to tear his hair out in (hee hee hee). We grow a large chunk of our own food (I'm planning to add a HUGE berry patch this weekend.... husband is planning to have a mental breakdown around the same time). We have dogs and cats and chooks and a monster load of cattle (including one calf who is living with us for the moment as he is currently being bucket-fed)

(presently picking peas, broccoli, rocket, cauli, bok choy, tuscan cabbage, silverbeet, parsnips...)

ON the arty side of things (and most folk think that's all I think about – all the time...) My website is currently out of action (you can find some of my older calligraphic bits and bobs on a friends site)... oh and I blog over at Art and Etc.

I have a rustic studio (the word 'rustic' excuses the rodents and drafts and cobwebs and snakes and dust and general grot of the place) where I mostly fiddle with booky type things. I'm a Guild Member of the ASC (Australian Society of Calligraphers), and when I tell folk this I usually have to add that means I'm a peer acknowledged 'master' of the craft (yes, you may now curtsey... hee hee hee). I contribute to calligraffia – a blog that focuses on all things calligraphic (and it's a project that I'm very proud of).

I am absolutely passionate about traditional crafts - calligraphy and book arts are obvious inclusions – but I admire the skills and history of most traditional crafts - I'm also interested in how these traditional skills can play a part in a contemporary art context – (I am absolutely NOT a fan of Tracey Emin and her ilk of artists.... I don't like contemporary artists who debase skill for no real net gain – except to their bank account..... OOOOH them's fighting words!)

('you are' - concertina booklet from 2006 I think... I wrote the poem just after EJ was born)

Hmmm what else should I say here – oh I know - I'm completing a Master of Visual Arts with Monash Uni and I'm due to finish in three (count 'em ) months time – wheeeee!!!!!!!! so I KNOW that I should be putting this project over to the side until I get through the next little bit (but I also know that I won't be able to resist temptation....)

soooo that's the long and short of it from the creek – except to add – I'm really looking forward to interacting with the book-art-object mob here assembled (and anyone else who may stumble by....)

and now you know where you can find me – feel free to drop by and drop me a line (follow the links and you'll easily find me)

cheers from the creek

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I should say I had such fun chosing a poem from the book of Rosemary Dobson's collected work. On a brief riffle-through of the pages, with the only criterion for me stopping and reading being the shortness of the verse, I stuck seven markers in different pages, all of which would have given us inspiration material.

I've got very lazy about reading. When I lived in Bristol I followed the herd and joined a book club at the university where I worked and it was, sadly, a bit too focused on long and erudite analysis and I gave a small sigh of relief when that job ended and I had a graceful excuse for leaving. Then I found a literary home among a group of friends who all lived nearby. We met once a month at a wine bar once we'd exhausted each other's hospitality; our partners all laughed about "the girls" going off for a boozy evening, but over a bottle of wine and several coffees we had great discussions and a lot of fun. I was teased for months about my book choices, when we took it in turns to offer up titles for the coming meetings. The first book we read was Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red, the title of which is enough to set the others off in giggles because they all hated it whereas I loved it then and love it still! That book club was - is, although not for me now I live half a world away - an invitation into other worlds. I went outside my comfort zone many times, into the dark world of Lionel Shriver's We need to talk about Kevin or the lighter comedy of Alexander McCall-Smith's African stories, or John Banville's The Sea, The Sea. I miss that: I miss my friends, I miss the anticipation of a good night out with the girls within staggering distance of my garden gate (no car required), and I miss the challenge of reading something new and stimulating and not having permission to give in and give up.

To make up for it (at least a little bit) I make books, and I read books to my daughter*. Together we've finished reading SEVEN of Joan Aiken's children's books, from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase through to the last story in the series, Is (* Michael listens in, too, although he likes to pretend that he's busy doing something else...). Rumour has it that Joan Aiken added a few more volumes late in her life but we haven't seen them yet. We don't have an excuse to buy them because I found a bumper edition of Mary Norton's The Borrowers stories. Six stories in one volume! How exciting. We've only just finished Chapter Three and are entering the tiny world of Pod, Homily and Arriety in their home under the kitchen floorboards of a big, old house.

Anyway, reading Rosemary Dobson's poems - although I confess I've only read the ones against which I stuck a marker - has made a refreshing change, and I'm enjoying the opportunity to concentrate really hard on one short poem, in the way I used to do when studying English Literature set texts at secondary school. I'll find all the nuances, the rhythms, the stop and start of the punctuation and the set of the lines, and while I'm thinking about it I'll be thinking about making it into a book...

Thank you Ronnie!

Thanks Ronnie for the fab new header... infinitely better than I could do, and without all the attendant bad humour!

So exciting

Hello everyone, I just wanted to introduce myself and say thanks to Sara for having this brilliant idea to bring us all together. I make books, both commercially and for myself - that's my main mission in life - but I also dabble in marbling, draw strange fish, garden, collect stuff, read, write a bit and spend a lot of time with my grand daughters.

I think the Rosemary Dobson poem is beautiful, very poignant and full of wonderful images. Good choice Sara. As yet I have no idea how to use it to make a book but my head is full of fleeting ideas which I need to corral and try to make sense of. It's not only an exciting project but quite scary so I need to tell myself not to panic. I'm glad there's a deadline because that's essential for me so now I'm off to do some serious thinking. After I've fed the chooks, of course.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hi Sara and everyone else involved in this fantastic project.
Thanks for including me - there's nothing like a group of people working on the same project and a deadline for inspiration.
The poem is beautiful - a hundred ideas are already running round my brain.
I do have a blog set up (well sort of) called Ida Musidora- so I suppose for the purpose of these posts and the exhibition that's who I am.
Can't wait to follow what everyone does and watch it all evolve.
Cheers Jane A

Monday, August 10, 2009

The first project...

Thank you Amanda for pointing out that the set text for the first artists' book club collaboration isn't even on this blog yet! I must admit I stopped in my tracks after setting up the blog and inviting members... didn't even think about what to do next!

For anyone new to reading this blog and wondering what on earth we're doing, a group of artists interested in books and book objects is using different texts as a starting point for making a small edition of artists' books. This is the inaugural project and about eight artists are going to make an edition of nine books each; participants will get a full set of the books and the final set will be available for exhibition.

So here it is: the poem chosen to kick things off, by Rosemary Dobson, one of Australia's leading poets.

Learning Absence, 1986

Being alone is also to be learnt
Long time or short time.

Walking the length of the house, shutting
The doors and the windows

No longer calling casually over one's shoulder.
Returning to find no trace

Of the other, companionable living -
Bread smell, the stove still warm,

Clothes on the line like messages,
Or messages written and left on the kitchen table:

"We need to keep watering the cumquat."
Or, "I have paid the milkman."

At night, at this season, lingering at the window
Not being certain where to find Halley's Comet,

And looking a long time at the darkening sky

Text taken from "Rosemary Dobson, Collected Poems", part of the Angus & Robertson series 'Modern Poets'. Published 1991, ISBN 0 207 16864 4. Text copyright © Rosemary Dobson 1991.

I hope you like it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Thanks for setting up this site, Sara. I've completed the "paperwork" and this just activates it. I think! My profile link should redirect to http://moreidlethoughts.wordpress.com/
Now...back to Ms Dobson...