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Friday and the end of term

December 19, 2014

Today is the last Friday before our Christmas break it is quiet and I am making plans for next term; when I will have a volunteer working with me for a few hours a week. She is super special  and I am looking forward to working with her! We do have volunteers in the department at Special Collections but this one is more work experience. She is has graduated and while she looks for work within the library world she need experience. So Ms Anon will work beside me helping me with the tasks I do, attending meetings, workshops and even coffee break grabbing every opportunity to learn, see and do.

For me it is a chance for me to look at procedures, tasks I do, the objects I handle, the people I meet and work with and introduce them to her in a positive way.  I am a library assistant the work I do is not rocket science, often mundane and tedious, but it is a pleasant environment with fabulous subject matter and is for a good cause. However,  work no matter how ‘wonderful’ in the beginning, work can become dull and lifeless but looking at it with new eyes and with someone  beginning their career it can be refreshing!

So these items we will be working with next term … while photographing them the battery of my camera went flat so not a full picture … but a nice start.

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Alphabe Thursday … E is for Gretel Ehrlich and Egeria

December 18, 2014

Gretel Ehrlich

This week I find two more walkers for my Alphabet:

Gretel Ehrlich (1946), American writer and Buddhist walked up Tai Shan, a notable mountain pilgrimage site in China. It was first ascended by the First Emperor in the 3rd century BC in his chariot.

The walk to the summit now is 7000 step staircase leading from the the City of Peace at the foot of the mountain through three heavenly gates to the Temple of the Jade Emperor at the top.

Ehrlich tells us that the the phrase ‘going on a pilgrim’ when translated into Chinese means ‘paying ones respect to the mountain’ as if the mountain was an empress before whom we kneel and honour.






In the 4th Century AD a Christian pilgrim called Egeria climbed Mount Sinai.  Although she is largely unknown, her diary remains; she was as it suggests an abbess of some stature.  She was guided through the Egyptian desert a notable area of Christian pilgrimage by resident holy men.  Together they passed through the valley where the children of Israel waited as Moses climbed the mountain of God.  For Egeria, Sinai was the mountain on which God descended and where Moses ascended to receive the Tablets of Law. Climbing or walking was the profession of those faithful in the Scriptures



alphabet thursday

Wednesday’s Women wood-engravers.

December 17, 2014

In the early 1980s it seemed there was a trend away from the tradition boxwood usually used in wood engraving. In Australia, while boxwood  was unavailable,  three women;  notable print-makers worked with ‘other’ woods and substitutes.

Edwina Ellis (1946-), who trained as a jeweler came to England to study metal engraving; but then discovered wood engraving, finding boxwood available but expensive, she used commercial products and plastic such as Delrin for her work.

Meanwhile. in Brisbane Margaret Lock (1950-) cut into marine plywood to illustrate stories by Samuel Johnson and Leo Tolstoy.  

Then Rosalind Atkins (1957-)took her printmaking to another level. She began experimenting with embossed prints from engraved blocks.  Using thick pulpy paper, the results were rather more sculptural and could only achieved by using industrial materials and equipment. It was told that she once used a tractor as a press for dramatic effect.  

Weekly Photo Challenge Twinkle

December 16, 2014

Sparkle … personally not so twinkly yet. But Saturday while I sat in my favourite coffee shop it became overcrowded with overly jovial christmas shoppers. Me, squeezed, began pout; but noticed these twinkly things.  Wanting to get the perfect shot I trampled a few  bystanders;  by way of a strange retaliation!

So lacking the Christmas twinkle thus far … the result sadly reflects this …

Monday …

December 15, 2014

Bit disappointed that the vital printing felt for my press didn’t arrive as I hoped on Saturday.  So while I understand the seasonal postal problems; I have exhausted all possibilities as regards the lino cuts I have prepared.

I have made a protective cover for the dream machine ;  it won’t be paraded along the catwalks of the Parisian Fashion houses but it will keep the dust off!

I have packed some Xmas presents … which have been sadly neglected since the advent of ‘printing press’


Silent Sunday

December 14, 2014

2014-12-13 10.17.23

Saturday and all is well

December 13, 2014

… Especially as the the autumn harvest of Dragonwell is good this year! Also, I am off to an art class ; more a show and tell but hoping to talk about some projects for spring next year.  I am waiting for my printing pad; to arrive so I can begin printing with my new press ; it is delayed I expect, because for those other less attractive seasonal happenings! I remain hopeful it will arrive today if not I have a plan and that will no doubt feature tea and some cake … even a humbug like me will find some joy today and with you too I hope!

2014-12-13 08.28.40


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