I made this piece in a workshop with textile artist Cas Holmes. We created folding books using a range of media – fabrics, papers, found objects. Cas demonstrated some of the techniques she uses in her own work, and us workshop participants were encouraged to apply these ways of working to our own projects, worked under her guidance.
My book is inspired by my local landscape – the Norfolk Broads. I know that the places of our childhood stay with us, and are the types of landscape that, for the rest of our lives, give comfort and make us feel at home. I certainly feel that way about the broadland landscape – the wide flat horizon, expanses of water and reed bed. I tried to reflect this in my textile book.
I used pieces of old Ordnance Survey map, pages from a book of Norfolk wildlife and eco-dyed fabric (using locally sourced leaves). I added birch bark, some sections of old Norfolk reed that had given many years service as loft insulation in a cottage not far from where I live, and some blue tissue paper; reused packaging.
Using Cas’ methods I was able to bring all the elements together into book form. I have added hand stitching and removed sections using shapes that indicate waves on water.
Over the two days taken to make this book I became completely absorbed in the task. Cups of tea grew cold, bites of my sandwich taken between stitches. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and the enjoyment is heightened because I have created such a personal piece of work. This creative project was pure joy, from beginning to end.