Monday, 18 February 2008

My Own Bookplate (1)

I have two bookplates. The one that I normally used was commissioned from Simon Brett by my wife for my fiftieth birthday.

Simon is a great engraver and anyone who has seen the books about his ex-libris will know that he has produced some exceptional plates, several of which I have in my collection. Here is my plate:
I thought that I would describe and explain the significance of the different elements of the design. Most obviously, the block, sandbag and gravers refer to my work as a wood engraver. The gravers are particularly pleasing, almost like a small school of fish swimming through the composition. The sandbag is solid and sculptured by the stippled marks.

In the right foreground is an ammonite. Fossils were a passionate childhood interest and my first degree was in Geology.

Music has always been, and remains, an important part of my life. My instrument is the mandolin and, again, Simon has captured the difficult shape extremely well.

Finally, the skull. This might seem a strange element but it has its significance to me. I love memento mori, often included in paintings and carved onto gravestones. The engraving is superb. The skull as a symbol has often appeared in association with The Grateful Dead and I have enjoyed their mixture of country, blues and improvisation for well over thirty years now.

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