I haven't been able to enrol for the next module of the Creative Sketchbooks course yet, owing to a computer glitch, so I have been amusing myself with a bit more hopefully creative recycling.
I recently read a fascinating little book by Karen Cater called the Ogham Sketchbook and thought it would be nice to make a much simplified fabric version of my own.
Karen writes: 'In ancient times, our Celtic Druid ancestors devised a system, part alphabet, part calendar/zodiac, which could be carved using simple notches onto wood or stone. Each character was a number and a letter. The consonants were time periods - mostly Lunar months - and the vowels were the soltices and equinoxes. Each symbol represented a tree or shrub, around which grew an extensive mythology. To the Celts, the whole landscape was alive with meaning and wisdom - the wisdom of the trees.'
Below is the first page of my book, the background of which was to have been a backing for another piece of work, and the other fabric components also started life being prepared for something else. B in the Ogham alphabet, stands for Beithe or Birch and represents the first Lunar month - 24th Dec - 20th Jan. It represents 'new beginnings' and the number 1.
I plan to add either a drawing of a birch leaf and catkin(s) or fabric and stitch versions to the right hand side of the page and there will be some kind of narrow border round each page. As usual, with all the handling, the pages get rather crumpled and will need a good press when they are completely finished.
The second letter of the Ogham alphabet is L for Luis or Rowan whose dates are 21st Jan - 17th Feb. It's meaning is 'quickening' or 'magic'. I have found several variations among the various books I have used to research this project, which can be confusing, but I shall try to stick to just one source for my information.
There are twenty letters in all as the vowels represent only one day each and not an entire month.
I played around with various ways of making the letters as I wanted each page to have it's own identity and not look like all the others. These below didn't make the grade although the shapes are alright. I like the B and M but the thread I used to create them didn't look right against their pages.
I wanted each letter to be more or less the same size, so cut a piece of cereal box into 2" squares and drew them on those. Having a template for each one makes life much easier as I can draw round it on the back of a piece of fabric with no lines showing on the front, or mark out my area on a piece of soluble fabric before machine embroidering the shape.