Monday, 29 October 2007


Leather Cover

I've always been a big believer in being in the right place at the right time, and seeing what happens.

Sometimes, it hasn't worked out -- there's at least one reason why I've been divorced twice -- but sometimes, the results can be sublime.

In July, I went to see Dougie Maclean play: he's a fine Scotsman with a self-deprecating humour and a wonderful voice. One of the songs he did at the concert was based on the story of the Lewis Chessmen, an amazing archaeological find near Uig on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland in 1831.

While Dougie sang, he passed two pieces from his replica set through the audience. When the queen came to me, I clutched it tightly and felt something: with a traceable Scottish heritage that dates to almost the same time as the creation of the chess pieces, even the plastic casting reminded me of where I come from.

And so began the largest-scale book/fibre project I have attempted thus far.

With a working title of My Past Life, I've started a separate blog to document the process, which can be found here.

In case you were wondering, the picture at the top is fish leather, made from descaled perch that has been tanned, coloured, and given a smooth finish: it's pretty neat stuff, and I'm planning to use it for the cover of the book part of My Past Life.

1 comment:

  1. Something else we have in common: the Scots heritage. Going to take a look at your book now;
    what an excellent project. I love the story of the Lewis chessmen.


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