26 May, 2009

Out & About

Frances says (!)

It may seem, to some readers of this blog, as though we spend all our time wafting about in meadows filled with cow parsley, cornflowers and apple blossom but here are some dates when we leave the sunny slopes and head off to places where our books can be seen and bought!

Olympia - The Antiquarian Book Fair

Thursday 4 June 4pm-9pm
Friday 5 June 11am - 7pm
Saturday 6 June 11am - 5.30pm

Olympia 2 Hammersmith Road London W14 8UX

This is the first time that this famous Fair has included designer bookbinders and a Private Press . . . us. Our stand is downstairs and on the way to refreshing coffee and somewhere to sit down. Quite possibly the perfect position! Do come to the Fair if you can. We can send you a free ticket, if you ask.

Abergavenny Art Shop and Gallery
Each year this exciting gallery shows the work of book artists and this year
Unfolding - celebrates the book in many forms by fine artists, printmakers and applied artists.
6 June - 11 July 2009

London Art Book Fair 2009,
Whitechapel Gallery, London E1
25-27 September 2009

This is the successor to the London Artists’ Book Fair run for many years by Marcus Campbell. He is now expanding our horizons to collaborate with the newly re-furbished Whitechapel Gallery. The aim is to show the work of 70 international artists, bookmakers, gallery presses, publishing houses, art magazines and antiquarian dealers. More details nearer the time . . .

Oxford Fine Press Fair,
Oxford Brookes University
Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 November 2009

The fair happens only every other year and this year promises to have some exciting presses from many parts of the world showing their most recent work, apart from everybody's favourites from around the UK. Again, we will post times and details of speakers nearer the time.

as a special extra:

Larkhall Fine Art Dealers
10 St Margaret Buildings, Bath BA1 2LP
01225 444480

C. F. Tunnicliffe RA OBE The Memorial Collection Part Two

Gallery Hours Tuesday - Saturday 10:30 - 5:30 Other times by appointment

The complete portfolio of nine large wood engravings of birds will be exhibited in the Larkhall gallery throughout June. Prints are available for sale now.

The wonderful wood engravings of birds in this exhibition were printed by Nicolas - but are only on sale from Larkhall Gallery

22 May, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

This post is not designed to generate lots of late birthday cards or even good wishes for this particular day . . . for I prefer to think of every day as special. It is rather me rejoicing yet again that I was born at this, the most beautiful, time of year. My mother always said that I arrived in the middle of the night and that nightingales were singing!

09 May, 2009

. . . how I wish that this book was one of ours! . . . 6

Here is a book which I not only objectively admire but which gives me tingles down the spine when I turn its pages. I love sharing the joys of it with friends, not least because the tiny 'run' means that there will not be many other copies around.

It was all a matter of chance, and the need for a quick decision! Towards the end of 1996, Frances and I were staying with some friends in Devonshire. This was interesting enough, because we so seldom leave here, but one evening we were taken to the Private View of an exhibition by members of "The Dartington Printmakers" at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

"You should be interested," we were told, "because it takes the form of a book."

We were interested . . . from the very first glance.

On entering the hall where the exhibition was being held, we were faced with the amazing sight of thirty-six (the complete edition!) copies of a large book laid out in an exact grid in the middle of the floor (3 x 12, as I remember), with the design on the cover, striking enough on one copy, making a really dramatic repeat pattern.

I was immediately intrigued and set out to find out what this extraordinary book was. I can best quote a few sentences from the preface by Michael Honnor (the Svengali figure behind the venture, I understand!) in the catalogue.

A Printmakers' Flora is a remarkable limited edition Artists' book. Every part of it has been hand-made at Dartington by twenty one printmakers, a bookbinder and a letterpress printer. The idea was to make a large, luxurious book about British wild flowers in the form of an anthology of their common names. The book would exploit the diversity of the artists taking part and use a wide variety of printmaking techniques. Thirty flowers would be chosen, each illustrated by two Artist's prints. The result is a strikingly handsome, unusual and substantial book, bound in blue silk and printed on heavy artist's paper and hand-made Chinese paper. The edition consists of thirty seven books with one Artist' Proof copy. Twenty three of these belong to the participants, one has been purchased by the V & A, one by the Dartington Hall Trust and three by major collectors. The remaining nine are for sale.

N I N E copies!!! . . . and the private view was simply seething with people who looked to me as if their cheque-books were always at the ready one such occasions!

I should mention that, by now, we had seen the inside of the book. Not by looking at a copy of it (all were on parade on the floor) but, in an adjoining room, in the form of spreads/prints framed on the walls. A further limited edition of each of these prints was for sale and a 'set' of them seemed quite expensive. It seemed to me, however, that having them bound together in a book, would make them more, rather than less, fascinating . . . but then I am a book person.

Another advantage was that, in this form, it seemed to be priced as a book is priced rather than as something from an art gallery. How often have we been surprised and aggrieved at other examples of this but, on this occasion, it worked in our favour because the book contained everything, was a stunning object but the price seemed almost moderate for the wonder that it was.

Anyway, we BOUGHT a copy and have never regretted it. We turn its pages often, particularly in the winter months when spring and summer seem so far away.

I will not comment further but will just let these wonderful pages speak for themselves. You need to know one more thing - the scale of the thing. The book is, by most standards, vast. The spread of the opened book measures 30 inches!

07 May, 2009

This is positively the last time . . .

. . . I waste your time with this damn plant BUT, five days after the last photo was posted, the extraordinary sheath-like thing (with another on the way, as you can see) has opened to reveal what would be a bit over the top as a Christmas decoration!

I promise that next time I will post something a bit more to the point but the sap of Spring/Summer does just get into me!

02 May, 2009

. . . and in less than a month . . . !

I am truly ashamed at having let so much time pass by since my last post BUT it does offer us the possibility of this piece of 'time-lapse' photography! I cannot remember from last year quite what its flower looks like (although I think we have quite a few more leaves to go yet!) but you may be sure that I will let you see it when the time comes!

This is the Mullein that starred in an earlier post. It too is doing wonderfully well but I just noticed that, at its very heart, there was a little jewel of water . . .

Click the photo bigger . . .