Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our next books begin

Susan and I sat down after we made our first collaborative books - back in April for World Book Day and talked about where did we want to go from here?

We have decided to try and make a few more books together, with a few different 'rules' or approaches each time to provide some guidance, but not dictate what the other has to do, and to add variety to the books we make, and to offer ourselves a bit of a challenge.

This time around we decided that we would do a two-step dance.  Our first book was a three-step dance. We each prepared pages, gave them to each other to work on, then we got them back to finish the book. For book two, we are each preparing some pages, and giving them to the other - and then they work on the book AND finish it. That is, the pages don't come back to us.

We also decided we would offer up suggestions for materials that might be used with the pages. We used words like guide and suggest, not dictate or direct. We are free to incorporate what the other gives us; or not.

We also agreed that this time we would swap pages well in advance - so we each have time to ponder, plot and if necessary purchase things we want to add in to the book.

So on Thursday afternoon, Susan popped over and we swapped pages. You can see what I sent her way and what she has started thinking about here.

These are the pages and pieces she brought me to work with.

The four dark chocolatey brown pages are the main pages - the rusted tracing paper and ink-marks on paper are suggested materials, along with the beautiful waxed linen threads...

I think they look sumptuous together and am already quite besotted by them. My mind is going this way and that and I am picking up things around the studio and asking myself "what if?" "what about?" "how would this work?". It's lovely to have the pages and pieces about and to keep looking at them and pondering...

And just because she is Susan and so beautiful and thoughtful, she also included a whole separate package of pieces I might like to use with the dark brown pages, just in case I didn't feel like working with the warm, strong colours. These soft watercolour pages and pieces complement the dark ones so well, but you can tell from my first five photos I'm planning to work with the stronger tones this time.

It's one of the beauties of this work - we get challenged, but in the nicest, most supported way possible.

Our planned Book Day is Friday 6 July, so we have a wee while to play with ideas before committing. I must say, I am looking forward to another day of studio delight!


  1. As you say, these materials look so gorgeous together already! Look forward to seeing what emerges.

  2. ooo what fun! I'm particularly drawn to the colours in that last piccie ..... mmmmmmmm delish!

  3. Beautiful as always, I can't wait to see more!

  4. Came home last night and saw your blog - funny seeing each others' papers and suggestions of work on the others' blog. I love the richness of those papers and colours. Will be so interested to see wha tyou do with them, what you use in that stash, what you introduce and so forth. I am looking forward to sitting down some more with my gentle greys and thinking about the book I want to make. Very exciting x

  5. What a great way to work, swapping materials, works for a starting point on a project's completion!
    I love what you are showing us and I am sure you will end up with an amazing result!
    Looking forward to the [grand] finale!

  6. How exciting! The pages and materials you have to work with are scrumptious. I must say I envy your access to so many collaborations with such wonderful friends and artists. (Envy in the most positive way, of course.) :)

    I can't wait to see what you both fashion from each other's beginning!

  7. wonderfully inspiring Fiona - I'm going to be working with an artist friend in August to create a book together and looking forward to the challenge! Great to have also found Susan and her work

  8. Hi Annie - I hope I can do them justice. Sometimes I just look at them and think - gulp!

    Yes Ronnie - they are quite the delish aren't they? Interestingly I'm feeling bolder than that this time..will see how I go!

    Thanks Jane - yes so stunning to begin with...hopefully I'll be able to keep them that way!

    Thanks Susan - I must say I loved looking at my papers on yours as I mentioned. Funny isn't it? I am enjoying my time with them already - thank you!

    Thanks Anna - yes it's a lovely journey we have begun and so far it has produced interesting and beautiful results. Here's hoping we continue that way.

    Scrumptious is so the right word Jo! I know how fortunate I am to have Susan nearby to collaborate with; and the many other colleagues we do joint things with together. Its special and adds something to not just being on your own and doing your own thing...altho your 'own' thing is always so beautiful!

    Hi Rosie - thank you. I'm glad you've found Susan's work too - it's gorgeous and amazing. I'm sure you will enjoy your collaboration - we have found talking thru expectations is important for us, and a few guidelines as well. Have fun!

  9. Lovely rich colours to work with. No wonder you are besotted. Off to see your pages at Susan's >>>>

  10. ahhh, the anticipation! so excited to see how this unfolds.

  11. Luscious, both sets of papers and materials. Really looking forward to what comes of both books. Fions, I love that you said you get challenged, but in the nicest,most supported way possible. That's what we all need.

  12. Hi Robyn - they are delicious aren't they? Mine are a bit softer that's for sure...

    Thanks Anca - the excitement is building here as well - I have ideas, and then fears. A funny combo, and in the end I'll just have to sit down on the day and DO something.

    Hmm Carol yes, luscious. And it does feel exactly like that - pushed out of comfort zones a bit; but with all the care and support you need. Lucky me!

  13. Trying to catch up with posts I seem to have missed Fiona! Can't wait to see another collaboration between you and Susan. You seem to have an intuitive way with each other's materials. I love the understated grey papers you gave her and think you've been given a glorious palette to work with by return. Looking forward to seeing how this book is resolved!

  14. What a delicious array of papers and threads! I keep coming back to ooh and aah over them as well as visiting Susan's array. What fun you are going to have! Can't wait to see collaboration #2!

  15. Hi Lesley - I think it will be another interesting and wonderful experience; and I am hoping we both find that magical way with the work again this time. The palettes are quite different this time - but they are both lovely.

    Yes J I agree - there is much oohing here as well - and when I see how Susan has already put my bits together I am in awe - the photographs are so beautiful. It will be another fun time I am sure.


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