Apart from the obvious, last year I was consumed with helping my mother go through the grueling treatment for stage three breast cancer. Then I received more news of a couple of friends also being affected by the same horrid illness and at worse stages than my mother. I now feel very grateful for my mother’s slightly less harsh diagnosis, despite watching her practically vanishing in front of my eyes, she is making good progress and being the most positive person she can be.
In early December I felt hugely honoured to be asked for a few cards to write heartfelt messages to loved ones from one of these brave friends, especially when the words written in these cards would be lifelong and cherished by the generations through the family. There’s nothing like gut wrenching news to focus the mind and gain clarity when trying to make decisions. One of my favourite images taken at Clattinger meadow was selected as a starting point and this was all that I needed to steer me in the right direction. I’d been pondering and procrastinating over my next collection of cards for some time so I was reassured that just before Christmas the selection was made and the collection fell into place, it is without shadow of a doubt that, as many of your already know, one of the most special places that captivates me completely.
The 5 images were selected for the collection (an additional 3 were set-aside for their precious purpose), and printed onto 400gsm conqueror card, some in A5, which are truly special and will be for sale at a later date. Once the A6 cards were printed, they made their final journey to Suzanne at The Whistle Press and our first collaboration began to evolve.
It was very fitting for Suzanne to lovingly tend to the finishing touches of these cards as she kindly introduced me to this extraordinary meadow and our joint love of this place is clear to see in the final collection. The meadow belonged to Clattinger Farm owned by her Great Aunt and Suzanne spent a great deal of time here whiling away the day being lost in the beauty of the farm and observing all that thrived here. In 1996 the meadow was sold and is now protected due the rarity of the species that grow here. It is one of the last remaining lowland grassland meadows in the country and is part of a Special Area of Conservation. It’s such a thrill to visit in spring when the fritillaries carpet the ground as far as the eye can see and of course the summer is just breathtaking too and this is the basis for my new collection.
Suzanne and I are so thrilled with our collaboration and plan to do more in the future, but for now we thought we would share the letterpress process on the cards and the foil pressing on the bands that encapsulate the elegant box they come in. This process takes time, care and attention but most of all a little bit of heartfelt love. I still find it remarkable that she is self taught and is completely in tune with how her presses operate and if there’s even a slight change in tone of her Heidelberg press she knows something needs tending too and will research and resolve without a bead of stress on her brow!
These 5 cards come in an elegant Prussian blue presentation box with conqueror envelopes, encased in a tactile band of textured card, pressed with silver foil. They are £20 per box (excluding postage) and during January & February I will include a beautiful surprise additional card. I may manage to get these up on my website (working on WordPress is quite complicated and challenging.. ), but please do send me a message if you’d like to purchase any in the meantime.
And of course, here are the cards!
If you would like to contact Suzanne to discuss a possible project do get in touch with her via her website: http://www.thewhistlepress.co.uk or follow her on Instagram; thewhistlepress