The Studio in 2013

We have started house hunting. In the years to come we will visit what feels like to be countless old pubs, former workplaces of carpenters or other trades and farmhouses. We will learn about how houses were built here, the region of Westphalia and Münsterland, which is so different to where we have been living so far, in southwest Germany. We will see how much junk is kept in disused pig stables and barns that provide the space for it. We will take measurements of stables, draw up plans and realize that by no means the presses and type cabinets can be squeezed in, or, on the other hand, the place is far too huge. And we will keep hunting.

Cumbria, artist’s book and woodcut

During the mid-1980s I was staying as a one-year-overseas-student at the University of Keele in Staffordshire (UK) on a DAAD-grant. Between university terms I travelled across England and visited, amongst other places, the Lake District. Tucked in my luggage was the “Guide to the Lakes” by William Wordsworth, a classic text. Scenes I photographed back then will now be worked into illustrations for the artist‘s book “Cumbria”. Passages chosen from Wordsworth‘s text accompany the woodcuts printed with a special technique: the different colours will be printed from separate blocks wet in wet, and, since the process is not totally controllable, every print will be unique. Added to this, every sheet of paper is painted on both sides with earthen pigments prior to printing. The shades resemble the colours of late winter in the Cumbrian countryside, a dark umbra for the withered leaves of bracken and a rusty red for the pebbles veined with iron. The prints are a long landscape format. The book is a Stiff-Leaf-Structure.

Artist’s book “Cumbria”, text handset from Trajanus, earthen pigments

There could not be possibly more distance between two people on this planet than between Marianne and I. Actually almost half of the earth‘s circumferance, which amounts to some 20,000 kilometres. The time of year when Marianne is picking delicious home-grown tomatoes, I am busy shovelling snow. She lives in the southeast of Australia, in Bendigo, a town with a goldrush history. I am still living in the somewhat rural surroundings east of Stuttgart. For several years we have been in contact sending emails, exchanging photographs and stories. We tell each other about our daytrips, projects, friends, pets, encounters, moving house, and of countless life moments and experiences. We have become great friends and penpals. Now a book will grow from this friendship.

Between spring 2011 and spring 2012, each of us takes one photo per week and writes a short text to go with it: 52 pairs of moments in two peoples‘ lives. It‘ll be an album, in which texts and photos will be tipped in, displaying the concurrence of the moments. Any spread of the book will show the Australian moment next to its respective moment from Germany. The whole year will come in four volumes, each volume covering 13 weeks.

Each volume is bound using book screws. The cover is made from strong, patterned linen. The special edition will come with two extra photographs, ready for framing. This year I shall start printing the texts for „52 Weeks“. Next year the artist‘s book will be completed and ready for the Leipzig Bookfair.

Not far away from where I am living, a bookbinder is closing down. They still have a rich stock of paper and bookcloth which has to go. The bookcloth is on large rolls and many of these rolls are rather old. These are very nice old-style colours, not the bright modern ones on offer nowadays. Production of those muted shades has long been discontinued. I choose as many rolls as I believe I can store in the studio without much more reshuffling. I am fully aware that I will have to relocate the studio in the not too distant future, and whatever I add now will be more to pack and move later on.

Briefly noted:

Exhibiting at 8th Norddeutsche Handpressenmesse in Hamburg

Exhibiting at juried artist‘s book fair TurnThePage in Norwich (UK)

Exhibiting at Wasserschloss Klaffenbach bei Chemnitz

Part of the group exhibition at Center for Book Arts, New York (USA)

Part of the group exhibition at John Rylands Library, Manchester (UK)

Publishd in 2013:

„Cumbria“ colour woodcut

„Cumbria“ artist‘s book, text passages by William Wordsworth, colour woodcuts (Text English)


Norddeutsche Handpressenmesse, now „BuchDruckKunst – Erlesenes auf Papier“ in Hamburg

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)

To be continued on 17 May 2024


  1. Hello Annette, It is hard to imagine that it is already 11 years ago since we did that huge project together. We must do something together again one of these days. Love to you

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