Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Wildwood - Part One

It seems very self-indulgent showing both sides of all sixteen book pages' but people have asked to see them so here goes! To begin at the beginning, with the title page. It was originally going to be much grimmer (the working subtitle was A Story of Life and Death) but I chickened out of showing things like crows feeding on animal carcases though I am annoyed with myself about this as it would have been more honest to have done so, and would have developed a more interesting theme, i.e. the way in which death for one kind of life-form becomes life for another.

Next to the titl-page comes the fox, in his uncorrected state (I did later elongate the front leg out of the picture so it got to be back in proportion.

And on the reverse, what else but foxgloves! All the pages are see-through (shapes cut in painted pelmet vilene with a scalpel; then covered in hand-dyed silk organza - for each side; then stitched and sandwiched together with dyed silk net in the middle, and finally quilted, the organza cut back in places so that the light could come through in a similar way to the dappled light in woodland). Designing double-sided pages proved challenging: this is one of the more successful ones.
The next page in the middle bit shows a squirrel: not one of the most successful pictures (though as my art teacher pointed out you can see its a squirrel:
backed by a stag beetle, one of the pages I like best:

On the back section is a grass-snake (not normally associated with woodland but my dog once found one curling itself round his hind leg after running into some undergrowth, and you do still find them in the more open bits of Wytham Woods).

with brambles on the reverse: they do tend to throw out suckers which makes them appear to grow in loops and coils - and I was relieved, after a great deal of trial and error, to find something woodlandy that would go on the back of a snake!

And the last page of this set of four has snails...

and on the reverse badgers. They are fat because they are from the badger colony adopted by my sister-in-law's father who feeds them on suitable left-overs. Once has was asked to stop feeding them while Oxford Wildlife Films (some years ago) could make a documentary about the effects of drought on the Wytham badgers; they then phoned and asked him to come back - the badgers refused to come out and be filmed until Sid reappeared with food and water...
I suppose that's the badger equivalent of Equity rates!
Next instalment coming soon.


Barbara said...

Incredible! Absolutely incredible - never seen anything like this.

zquilts said...

These are truly magical Sandra!
Super well done!


It's been great to see inside your beautiful stitched book. My favourite pages are your title page Wild Wood and the Badgers, but I love them all, including the squirrel. I love the colours and stitching on the Badger page. Shall look forward to the next instalment

maggi said...

Thanks for sharing these. I can't imagine how long it must have taken you. Good for the badgers!

Julie said...

Amazing work Sandra. It's so good to see it all in detail and in a good light. I'll look forward to seeing the rest.

hippopip said...

Beautiful work, it was great to see it at the FOQ,well done