Sometimes I feel I’m holding tens of strands of work, none finished, all waiting – for firing, for inspiration, for something, before they are completed. But maybe that’s the fallacy, the story we like to impose on the reality: nothing is ever finished. That’s one of the reasons we love stories so much, I suppose – those loose ends all getting tied up. By the way, the Storythings newsletter is a great example. This week I’m saving up “I am Yup’ik” to watch later. A great recommendation.
Re-making’s a strand too – I’m sure ‘maintenance’, mending, has a role in creating. It makes you reflect, maybe, on the materials and the tools and the original intent… This story shows a Japanese craftsman remaking a treasured dictionary: it shows how much value is culturally constructed – the hours involved in the repair are mind-boggling. I can imagine most people just buying a new one. In this case, it’s interesting what the re-making’s done to history and character of the book. Does it look too new?
I’ve had to remake my home-made e-book cover, too. The leather cover – a Welsh hymnal – would have been used for a few hours every Sunday, and is standing up, just, to daily wear and tear. The e-book itself is also wearing out. As with most tech, it’s the software, not the hardware that will make it obsolete. Sony have already stopped making e-readers like this, and I use software found on the Internet to download library books or Gutenberg classics. Soon enough, these will stop being updated to work on old kit. At least it’s not a Nook, where UK support has just been withdrawn, even if you just got you Nook for Christmas. (Follow the link quickly if you’ve got one, you can save some of your books).
The Dulwich Festival Artist’s Open House is coming up fast… I was interviewed for their publicity – as usual I look like an idiot in the photo (“why didn’t you tuck your shirt in?” – Mum). You can see the interview here. I’ll put up a link to the online booklet when it’s available, but for now, here’s the page for Parade Mews. More artists than ever are taking part this year, another reason to get the (home-made) bunting out!