Wandering through the narrow streets of the Altrarno last week, we came across one of many Florentine paper and book binding shops in the city. My friend makes leather notebooks and Coptic stitch journals and I even help sometimes, and of course I have a passion for stationery, as many of you also do. The shop was fabulous! Chatting to the young woman, we learnt that the shop had been there for more than thirty years, started by her grandfather, but the family tradition went back for around a hundred years. Every surface was piled with pre-stitched signatures of paper, and she was binding legal documents, as they’ve probably been done for century’s. Realising how interested we were, she stopped what she was doing and showed us her marbling process instead.
Layers of colours were poured, splashed, and flicked into a tray with mysterious liquids, we watched, entranced.
We wanted to buy the sheet we watched her making, sadly it wouldn’t be dry for some time.
This is one she made earlier.
Here she is in her beautiful shop, needless to say we bought some nice things from her. If ever you’re in Florence, pay her a visit at Via Sant’Agostino, near the Ponte Santa Trinita, she’s such a charming lady.
This post is for Ben Huberman’s weekly photo challenge, Layered.
Cleopatra, a blond fair-skinned European?
Patrick Jones, an international artist living in Devon has been painting all his life. He currently has an exhibition, No Pasaran, a Retrospective, at the gallery in Preston Street, Exeter. A recent illness has led to Patrick evaluating his life’s work, this exhibition invites us to share in this process.
In his student days, Patrick’s heroes were Matisse, Pollock and Miro and this was what led me to the exhibition. In 1997 he began the No Pasaran series of work, inspired by the Ken Loach film Land and freedom, and he says the work ‘makes visual his continuing preoccupation with human rights and democracy.
Here are some of the paintings.
I was able to have a brief char with Patrick, and he is a charming, self-effacing man. His work mainly made me happy, with the exception of one or two that I found darker.
If you’re in the area, No Pasaran (they shall not pass), continues until the 9th of April.
Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Sylvie, a belated birthday trip at the Craft for Crafters show, Westpoint. There was so much to see, we ambled up and down the aisles for hours. One of the prettiest stands was Hollyberrie Studios, where we met the lovely Pauline Spence.
Originally a water colour artist, she now has a passion for textiles and embroidery. Her work is incredibly intricate, some fantasy based.
This fairytale castle had so much detail, I didn’t know where to look, every little girls dream!
Here’s a closer look, but I only had my i phone.
This piece all folds away into the box, dragon and all.
Pauline’s work has won national competitions and been featured in magazines. She has City and Guilds teaching certificates and loves to run workshops, sadly I wouldn’t have the patience or even the basic skills, but she can be contacted if you search for hollyberrie studios.
This four seasons clock was both Sylvie and my favourite.
For Paula’s , Black and White Sunday. I’ve chosen this photo of a section of a lantern in the library at Castle Drogo. It’s supposed to portray his life.
Strange don’t you think?