The Studio in 2006

It is the year of the Second International Biennale for the Artist‘s Book at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. My work „MenschenWürdeRechte“ is being accepted and will become part of the famous library.

On a wonderful trip to the iconic North of Scotland in summer we visit the famous old bridge in Carrbridge, which will be one of the images turned into a lino etching next year. And while we are away, at long last the rollers of my KORREX Hannover press can be fixed, helped by the people at Max Simmel in Pforzheim, the very company the press was manufactured way back in 1956.

In last year’s artist‘s book I had already been working with burnishing. This is an interesting way to print. A block is inked, paper is put on top and the back of the paper is then burnished until the ink has transferred to the front of the paper. Burnishing can be done using all sorts of implements like a bonefolder, a spoon or just your hand. It can be a laborious process particularly on large sizes, but by varying the pressure during burnishing you can highlight individually special areas. There are instances in which a block cannot be printed using a press, for example, when the block is too large. Using presses for letterpress there are two main criteria. Whatever is to be printed in a letterpress printing press needs to be of the type height the press is built for, plus it must be the exact same height at any point on the entire block. Any block which is either higher than the reqested type height and/or uneven, cannot be printed in such a press. Especially large wood blocks that are a natural piece of wood, and not prepared by a carpenter, tend to become warped.

The blocks used for the woodcuts in „Where the Red Poppies Dance“ were just like that. All of them are fantastic leftover bits of oakwood, I could collect them from a carpenter. All of the pieces are uneven, some have crevices and none have rightangle edges. The poppies dancing in the wind are more scratched than cut into the hard wood. And every block is burnished onto the paper according to the layout. In a second print run the text is printed using the proof press.

Artist’s book: “Wo roter Mohn tanzend blüht” (Where the Red Poppies Dance), concertina folding in portfolio, woodcuts

The book itself is a concertina folding, with the sheets connected by folds in poppy red. For the text I translated the folksong „No Man‘s Land“ by Eric Bogle into German. Eric Bogle thankfully gave me his permission. The song is about a 19-year old soldier who had died during WWI. After this war was over in November 1918, the bombed fields in Flanders turned red from poppies in bloom. Each concertina book is housed in a portfolio, its clasp made from poppy red satin ribbon and boxwood branches. Boxwood is often planted as a border around graves and is a symbol of eternal life.

Briefly noted:

Our beloved dog Tita leaves us in March aged 14.

Exhibiting at 6th Bookmakers‘ Fair in Mosbach

Learning Chinese Calligraphy with Ms Man Hou-Kolb

Solo exhibition “Der Schein der Weisheit” (Wisdom’s Brightness), aphorisms on paper lanterns

First experiments with lino etching

Published in 2006:

„Minerva“ colour woodcut

Series of prints „When there still were Gods“ mixed media with paper batik, woodcut, linocut, lino etching

Wo roter Mohn tanzend blüht“ concertina book with burnished woodcuts, in portfolio

Druckwerkstatt Mosbach


Chinese Calligraphy on paper made from asparagus
Buchmachermarkt Mosbach

To be continued on 22 April 2024


  1. Just lovely, Annette. I especially like the photo of the exhibition of the hanging paper lanterns,

    1. Ah, yes, the lanterns look a bit like floating in mid air. A.

  2. The concertina style is genius! Boxwood has many uses, but I wasn’t aware of the grave surrounds – very informative.

    1. Thanks Sue! Boxwood has been common around graves here for a very long time. It is currently replaced in many places since an invasive moth destroyes the boxwood bushes. And there seems to be no reasonable cure.

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