Friday, 27 March 2020

Notes from the Bunker

Update from Simon regarding 'Spring Clean'  event at Editions Gallery


I hope you’re coping with the extraordinary circumstances we’re living through, and are keeping well.

A statement of the obvious (but we thought we should be explicit): our PV and exhibition(s) won’t take place in April. This decision has been made in line with government advice to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus.

We plan to reschedule when circumstances allow – maybe this autumn, maybe a ‘Spring Clean 2021’. It may be months before we’re in a position to know.

This is of course very minor in the wider context of the pandemic; priorities are health, safety & security.

We hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and well. Let’s look out for each other and show kindness in this difficult time.

All the best


Marilyn and I have been working (when the brain allows) on the Magellean Project.
So far no one has yet been in touch regarding taking up a subject from the list When your panic and stress has subsised and things settle a bit please have a think about it  as there is a tremendous amout of work to do.

Each blog I will include some new sites of interest to get the creativity going again........Don't forget the next project ABC.  Please sends pictures

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Magellan Project

Dear fellow artists

Having now read the book about Magellan’s voyage,I thought it might be helpful for you to have a list of the things I think we could usefully illustrate using calligraphy, appliqué, stencilling etc............... list below. 

So far..........?

  • Brenda has offered to do the so-called Patagonian giant, 
  • Jane the penguins and flying fish, 
  • Frances various imaginary sea monsters, 
  • Chris some bodies, 
  • Joyce weather and nets
  • Jac has started to piece together thCath e actual book - she has bought, and been paid for, the cloth.
  • Cath has volunteered for the Nebecula Major and minor galaxies etc, the Venetian hourglasses, and ships compasses?
  • Jane is working on  flying fish and coconuts

Inevitably some of what we have to do will be last minute because we can’t actually meet, but if we have things prepared the work will go easier once we can meet again.

Please let me know if you want to work on anything particular so that we don’t have hundreds of whales, for example, and please remember to work small-the book will be 5” deep at its deepest and most of the flora and fauna occur at the end of the voyage when the mariners are in, or nearing, the Spice Islands.

If you need to know where your item actually sits, please ask and I’ll try to tell you. Also please remember that this book will be rolled so keep your pieces fairly flat.
I’ve offered to dye some cloth in cinnamon, clove or red ochre, so just let me know if you need some.

I’d love it if you would send us  pics of work in progress, or indeed completed items.    Fran   will post them to the blog and Estella will post to Facebook, whilst I can post to our Instagram account.    This will also keep track of who is doing what. 
At least this will keep us busy over the forthcoming weeks!
Take great care of yourselves and keep well..... Marilyn

  • Wine in pipes sealed with cork and pitch and in casks
  • and hard tack biscuits (buscocho) , always with weevils later and doused in rat urine
  • Flour in wooden barrels
  • 7 cows and 3 pigs, other meat too
  • Barrels if cheese, almonds in their shells, mustard, figs in casks
  • Sardines, anchovies,, cod, tuna, all dried and salted
  • Fishing lines and hooks
  • Chickpeas,beans,rice,garlic,lentils,raisins (dry and wet),jelly, jams inc membrillo (quince paste), Vinegar (also used as a disinfectant), sugar, salt, honey

Creatures......and other items.....

  • Flying fish
  • Teredos or ships worms which drill holes in wood, inc ships
  • Rats and mice, bed bugs and cockroaches
  • Sharks
  • Penguins
  • Antarctic sea lions
  • Lots of fishes in shoals
  • Mussels, foxes, sparrows, small rabbits
  • Guanacos
  • Sea elephants in families
  • Sardines
  • Dolphins
  • A large black bird flying at night over the huts on the island of Mactan
  • Fighting cocks
  • 2 elephants
  • Chickens and peacocks (served as food)
  • Phyllium insects
  • Angel fish
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Whales
  •  Stars-the Nebecula Major and minor galaxies, and possible the Southern Cross
  • Indigenous peoples: Brazilians (probably Gurani pepple) with holes bored in lips and cheeks in which they placed green and white alabaster stones and bones.
  • Techuele Indians described
  • ‘Paul’, the Patagonian ‘giant’
  • Chamorros people with red teeth from chewing betel nuts
  • Phillipinos
  • Cebuan women singing and dancing
  • Cebu dictionary example (short)
  • Magellan’s death from a poisoned arrow in the leg on the isle of Mactan
  • Lines of the language sailors used, inc shanties
  • 16 Venetian Hourglasses to mark the time
  • 35 ships compasses
  • Medical instruments included mortar and pestle, scissors, a lancet, tooth extractor, enema syringe and a scale.
  • Lots of severe storms, thunder, lightening, huge seas. Some known as Williwaws
  • Several descriptions of St Elmo’s Fire
  • Eclipse of the sun
  • Active volcano in the Spice Islands
  • Pale blue glaciers and icebergs
  • Outrigger canoes and proas in Brunei

  • Medieval herbs, inc fennel, thistle,cicory, turpentine,lard, chamomile, honey, incense and quicksilver, stored in canisters. 
  • Bananas, coconuts, palm trees
  • Nutmeg trees
  • Clove trees
  • Cinnamon trees
  • A gold casket full of Betel nuts offered by an emissary from Tidore
  • Black pepper trees/bushes

Trade goods...........
  • Including mirrors, bells, combs, red caps
  • Armoury, inc harquebuses, daggers, rapiers, lombard guns, falcone guns, 60 crude rifles (versos). Pasamuros guns, 50 shotguns (escopetas). 3 tons gunpowder and cannonballs ditto
  • In Borneo, Gold daggers, quivers full of arrows with poisoned tips, spears, bucklers, blowpipes
  • Banners of parrot feathers, white, yellow and red in a large craft propelled by 120 oarsmen carrying the King of Bacan  

The surviving 18 European sailors did penance in Seville , walking barefoot, carrying candles  -  list of survivors available

Friday, 21 February 2020

Gelli Plates

An interesting and productive discussion about the Magellan project and our various contributions, which we need to get on with turning into some actual work now. Jac agreed to bring to the next meeting some lengths of the cloth so that we can make an individual start on our various projects. If anyone would like some material dyed in either cinnamon (pale brown)m cloves (darker brown) or red ochre (deep red/brown), please let Marilyn know either at the next meeting or via email so that she can dye the necessary amounts.

We agreed that all our work will need to be either in or on textiles so that the completed piece can be rolled up. Various group members have appropriate stencils for the cold, temperate and hot stages pf the voyage, and it would be good to see some actual examples at the next meeting.

Jac has helpfully provided some online links for anyone who would to read up about the voyage.

This first link gives a contents list in blue, if you click on the bit of the book you want it takes you there

Pigafetta was the diarist who went on the voyage. I think some of the translation has been bowdlerised by Lord Stanley for a contemporary (1874) audience

You have to work on line to use this document but you can copy and paste bits into a word document if you want to save them

Also found this link in project Guttenberg.........

It’s meant to be an accessible account of the voyage written in 1899 using the Stanley translations as a source. I’ve not read it but you can download it and read it off line

Fee Changes
We discussed the impending increase in fees and changes in booking systems at the central library, and will think about alternatives; we have a year to sort this.
Other books discussed were on the theme of hidden which has inspired lots of interesting books. We forgot to sort out a theme for the next two months, so will do so at out next meeting, and if, due to the dreaded C virus, we can’t meet, by email.

Gelli plate printing, led by Sue and Chris, went very well with much mess mess than we might have anticipated-careful prep and what tidy workers! We saw some lovely examples, and owe big thanks to both leaders for sharing their expertise and tools so readily.

Next meeting ... April
Dear members
Having thought long and hard about holding our April meeting, and taken advice from those medically qualified, we’ve decided to cancel our April meeting and will meet again in May, fingers crossed. We cancel with a very heavy heart as you can imagine, but safety first. 

Please continue to work on your Magellan ideas, maybe practicing on some cloth of your own whilst you wait for the book cloth, or on paper. We will give the whole of the May meeting over to Magellan, so something to look forward to. 

Our theme for the next 2 months will be “A B C”, so you might like to have a go at something for that too.
Please don‘t hesitate to contact me if you need anything for Magellan, or more information about our meeting

Note from Simon Ryder

Please find attached an invitation to our upcoming ‘Spring Clean’ selling show of paintings & prints at Editions Art Gallery Cook St. Liverpool . These are all works that Steve Walkinshaw & I (Simon Ryder ) have (separately) collected over the years, which no longer fit as part of our collections. There will be bargains! All monies will be re-invested in Liverpool Book Art activities.

There’ll also be a select exhibition of Book Art (not for sale).

Private View is Thursday 9th April, and the show will run until 9th May.

I’ll also be arranging a couple of talks during the show’s duration.

We hope to see you at the PV. If you can’t make it then, please visit at another time. Also please share this invitation and tell anyone else you think might be interested.

Kind regards

Simon Ryder

Frans finished Tunnel Book

Friday, 7 February 2020

Carousel or Star Book

At our January meeting we had a lively discussion about our Magellan project, with plenty of ideas and offers of help. We now need to refine the project and get on with starting the work. If anyone has offered to develop ideas, please bring some practice pieces or more developed ideas to our March meeting. We agreed that we may need to keep a couple of future meetings to work co-operatively on the book, depending on the speed of progress.
Several members had started or completed work on our theme of “hidden`”. Any other books please bring along to the March - this has been a stimulating theme.

We then made a carousel or star book. This is a useful structure which can be developed in a large number of ways and always looks most attractive when displayed as an open book.

At our next meeting Chris and Sue will be leading a gelli plate workshop, so please bring any plates that you may have; more information on what to bring will be in a future post. It’s also always a good idea to wear old or protective clothing when printmaking as no-one can guarantee no ink transfers.

Members remain keen to share their expertise in various book forms, and Sue has offered a workshop on a Jacob’s Ladder, whilst Jac has been investigating flexagrams and will show us how to make a woven concertina; both these for a future date.

Our next meeting is on March 7th in Room 1, 10.30-1.30 at Liverpool Central Library.
The next Stitch and Hobby trade fair is in Birmingham NEC 19-20 March 2020

The latest from Eric 

Still alive and kicking. We still go fires though and the weather is changing every day. This is and area that burnt a couple of months ago.
We are also getting assorts of different wild life in the garden.
More later
No worries

Monday, 3 February 2020

Embroiderers NW Regional Day 2020

Saturday April 25th LACE Conference centre Sefton Park

£30 including lunch & morning and afternoon refreshments. 

As promised,  flyers and booking details for the Merseyside embroiderers day of speakers and exhibitions.

Our work representing Tudor Speke Hall, which will go to Speke Hall later this year will be exhibited.  There will also be embroidery competition entries,  a raffle for hand made bags, stalls selling sewing items, and handcrafted work.

The main speakers are
Linda Miller  
Machine embroidery 

Michele Carragher   
Costume maker and embroiderer for tv and film 
To find all details of the Merseyside Embroiderers Regional day of speakers,  exhibitions and craft stalls see:-

Look for   '2020 NW reg'   in the black strip near the top of the page.
2020 Northwest Regional Day.

As promised,  a photograph of the Merseyside Embroiderers guild group work,  in progress.   It will be a piece that can be hung and is approximately 1metre by 1m 20cm.  There will be other pieces for the exhibition at Speke done by individual members, and we hope to have most of them ready for our event at LACE Conference centre on April 25th