Books have always been
an essential part of my life.
In the early 1990s, as part of a two year lettering art course, I
spent six weeks learning the joys of creating my own handmade books.
This opened up a whole new world, where I could employ my love of
writing and exploring both traditional and sculptural book design.
Building our own home, which we named 'The Duckpond', led to
the establishment of my own private press 'Duckpond Press' under which
name I continue to create new limited and open edition titles.
The next step was venturing
into making my own paper, from both plant fibre and recycled material
1999 I began making books as Christmas gifts for my immediate family
and close friends, which saved me not only the agony of crowded shops,
but the dilemma of choosing appropriate gifts.The
enthusastic reception to the first book allowed me to repeat the exercise
- and it has continued ever since.
In an earlier life I taught
hand spinning, weaving and dyeing courses. As part of these classes
I introduced students to the colours which could be extracted from
some eucalyptus leaves to colour hand spun skeins of fleece.
After teaching for thirteen years, and setting up annual exhibitions
to support the fleece section of the Lilydale Show, it was time to
But life often takes us
in circles, and with the emergence of what has become known as eco
printing, I was fascinated to see the lovely results of direct contact
dyeing using leaves from the eucalypts and other plants. Most of this
was done on woollen fabric, felt or silk. But paper was my current
medium and so this is where I returned to my gum leaves and began
a series of prints and hand made books under the name of 'Leaf Magic'.
My work with the gum leaves continues as I explore the extent and
range of cours - and endeavour to unlock the secret to why eucalypts
of the same species offer a surprising range within.
Although I have dedicated
my recent work to eucalypt prints on paper, I couldn't miss the opportunity
to produce just one or two garments so I could drape myself with these