Bird Hide

Another small experimental book about the Spinney. This little book describes part of my route through the wood where the old oaks grow. Part way along the track are the remains of a fence, once for some limited purpose as there was only ever one strand of wire, now missing in parts. It’s another remnant of some other time, rather like the old oak trees.

BH1      BH9

Initially I planned this as just a dense, tree filled, background with the fence, but as I worked on the block I thought it more apt to incorporate bird shapes “hidden” in the background. I am acutely aware that the wood is full of watchers, birds, squirrels and even perhaps the trees. You are never alone in a wood .. are you ? Also along the route there are signs to the Savages Spinney Bird Hide.


First rough design based on my sketchbook drawing

Adding the reference to the nearby Bird Hide by the water seemed apt. Who is watching who I wonder?? So should anyone care to take time to look into the image, there are 16 birds worked into the background, some a little abstract but then how difficult is it sometimes to see the inhabitants in a wood?

BH2           BH4

Two flying birds on the fold and the walking figure at the very end of the book.

The concertina form is joined by a thread of “wire” kept in place by two small twigs from the oak trees and is backed with linen, like the old maps which had that very satisfying strength and pliability. The covers are hard and quite weighty and the whole thing folds very nicely.. It is all hand printed so has a tactile surface so much more pleasing than the digital print.


It’s a very satisfying thing to hold in your hand too, that is so important for a book.

It’s not often I am pleased, but, despite the many things that could be improved,  I like this little book very much.
It has taken a few weeks to work out and I have more prints to play with,  but at least one is actually finished.


Hurrah!!  I am managing to stick, in part, to my 2017 resolution of finishing things!
More finished things soon.

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  1. So lovely ! I've been an admirer for some time now–always such beautiful work comes from yourhands !

  2. Bird Hide is simply an amazing piece from you! I'm transported as art should do. Love and peace to you and Mr. Chris.

  3. This is simply wonderful Val. The best of you! I was transported as art should do. Love and peace to you and Mr. Chris!

    Mark Hofreiter

  4. Well thank you all for your very kind words. It was such a fascinating project to work on and quite tricky to get right but I think I am beginning to get a better idea of how bindings might work and what they can do.

    Thank you Sharon and Therese, Very kind! I just keep on trying to improve!
    Hi Mark all is well here. I often think how different our woods are to those in Florida!:) Both very beautiful, I think ours have fewer potentially dangerous inhabitants …but then, having just said that I am not sure!!

  5. This is beautiful! Thank you for continuing your wonderful blog! I have had a "brief" hiatus… years? At any rate, I hope to return to see you again before too long!! Shady G

  6. Hi there SG, I have been less than regular with the blog of late but am trying to get back to it. Somehow time just drifts away everyday and in front of the computer is not my favourite place to be!Would rather be outside. Weather has been amazing here recently. Not quite Florida, but lovely for the UK!

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