So, Saturday is here again;I am attending another Open Studio event this time at OpenHand OpenSpace at Brock Keep, here in Reading. I am not sure what to expect the workshop is called “Lines and Forms from
While this concerns me a little, it is the premises themselves that worry me. I have been there several times and it is a fine building, in a prison sort of way; but it is cold even on a summer’s day the protective walls do not allow the sun to penetrate; it is of course difficult and costly to heat such a place. I know that in time I will become acclimatised and not notice my icy breath. I will be start to apply the layers and pack my tea that is always comforting on such occasions soon.
The subject matter is very intriguing. I worked high in the Andalucian mountains in a voluntary capacity for a little over 6 years, so the area is familiar. I liked it very much, so much so that I hoped to retire there and and fulfil my retirement as a librarian in a Buddhist retreat. This didn’t happen not only was it not financially viable, the direction of my devotion turned to the Americas.
Nonetheless, Andalucia still holds a place in my heart so the class will be lovely … if not as warm as I would like.
For the last few weeks I have been working with a work experience student while she only comes one day a week she has really made a difference in the library at Special Collections here at the University of Reading.
We do many ‘background tasks’ for lots of reasons to do with staffing levels and also usage. It is no good spending months or years cataloging a collection if it has no interest at all. But, then one man’s meat is another’s poison, we have no real way of knowing what is going to be the next interest. So we each beaver away hoping that someone some somewhere will ‘discover’ we have a fine collection of something super-duper.
Such are our dreams.
So with an extra pair of hands and a willing mind we decided to finish a background task. We have a collection of Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum around 400 items. We have the first editions and many since so you can imagine it is an interesting collection and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. Nonetheless it has now attracted some interest with students; so we are delighted; especially as we draw to a close as other collections and background task need to be completed.
As I said; the Wizard of Oz is almost finished so we haven’t been ‘finding’ so many gems … but this one made us smile it is not by Baum but W.W. Denslow the illustrator of the first editions of the Wizard of Oz in the late 19th century.
The images and text are funny …
So I reach the end of my journey through the alphabet of walking and cannot find a nice reference for ‘Z’ So forgive me as I fail but not so miserably. I found this nice image in A philosophy of walking by Frederic Gros and very suitable quote
‘Sit as little as possible, do not believe any idea that was not born in the open air and of free movement – in which the muscles do not revel. All prejudices emanate from the bowels. Sitting still (I said it once already) – is a real sin against the Holy Ghost’
I don’t altogether hold with this saying as I thinking sitting still as many benefits but walking we have discussed is wonderful.
Today I celebrate Sally Hands; I bought one of her wood engravings recently at the 77th Royal Wood Engraving exhibition at Kevis House Gallery in Petworth, Sussex. I was drawn to the image and knew nothing of the artist. I have since discovered that she is a printmaker of many years and has recently returned to spinning and weaving. As I am a lapsed spinner, I decided to reunite myself with my wheel that I had unceremoniously demoted to the loft, since it began to gather dust and take up valuable space.
So while I may not take up spinning in the near future I will make some sketches and maybe make an engraving … So thanks Sally Hands!
I live in Reading UK; we have discussed this before pretty much; it is as far as you can get from the sea although we live near the river Thames that might break its banks during VERY heavy rain. The autumn leaves sometimes stop the trains running but this in minimal. Also in Berkshire we will not get altitude sickness. All in all, I am not exposed to the power of nature. I smile, as I look at the gardens and front drives of the houses whose owners have gone to great measures to protect themselves from nature and her unsightly (so they say) infestations of greenery with concrete and brick paviour. Such is the force of nature! So with the utmost respect to those who endure the power of nature daily some in fear I count myself lucky; and enjoy the little seedlings that find their way through the urban protection against nature and her unruly force.