My favourite craft centre, Walford Mill, has been running an exhibition of artists’ books – and it suddenly dawned on me that it finishes at the weekend.
So we took advantage of another lovely day, and drove down to Walford via our ‘avoiding the A31 in summer’ route across the New Forest. Longer, slower [unless there is a traffic jam on the A31, which is why we avoid it in summer] – but you get views like this when you stop for lunch. Not to mention the ponies.
For non-Brits - if you are saying to yourself ‘That doesn’t look much like a forest’ – the New Forest is neither new nor a forest. More information here if you want it.
But I digress. After a pleasant picnic we went on to Walford, where I bought an armful of books in their second hand book sale, and got inspired by the exhibition. At first, I was disappointed that they were all accordion books, but realised this is probably because they display well – and it was a learning experience to see how many variations of the form there were.
Both Wensleydale and I felt the show compared very well with the embroideries at Ramster, although these artists too, were mostly non-professionals. Perhaps it is the limitations of the structure, perhaps that it is a fairly specialised genre which attracts only loonies like me, but unlike Ramster I could have happily brought many of them home – if I could have afforded them…
It was also reassuring to see several examples using manipulated photographs of everyday things – street furniture or aluminium pie cases for example. I learned quite a lot about how to handle scale and positioning, and when - and when not – to add stitch. Altogether a useful and worthwhile trip – and the cafe lived up to expectations as usual.