the key book

Posted: May 18, 2015 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , , ,

the-key-book The Key Book by Mo 15
embellishing a vintage Chinese accordion book
key-and-clothLiz Ackert’s rust dyed key cloth
and 60 count hand weave linen, lichen and yellow onion skin dyed
rust-key-coverstitched with red silk, white silk wrapped steel over passionfruit vine tendril, black linen & Silkworm threads, clay beads, hemp string border
Acacia-merinthoporasketch of Zig Zag aka Acacia merinthopora
drawing helps me understand the world
stitched Acacia merinthopera
stitched Acacia merinthopora
stitched Acacia merinthopora detail
a couple of red x-es
red-xand then I spilt the vase of Zig-Zag Acacia into the book… after swearing quite loudly at 2am (hoping I didn’t disturb the neighbours) I dried the book under weights and played around with some roots and lichens stitched to bookbinders mull (RHS below) & had a go at carving the negative space into the paper without enough thought and then tried to heal it with red felt and tiny stab stitches (LHS below)… it’s so strange, perhaps it needs a little lace curtain like a modesty panel
considering-laceas a wise glass artist said at Pilchuck Glass School back in 1989
“the fun is in the process, the outcome is just debris”
working so intently adding snippets of vintage lace to the canopy of the red thing I didn’t even notice the that my fingertips were flinging drops of blood
so I drew around the edges of the blood and have put the key book safely away for a little while

  1. Simple, beautiful . . . simply beautiful.

  2. dinahmow says:

    Love this one, Mo.

  3. Liz says:

    Oh I love that I am looking at tomorrow (5/18) from today (5/17) … and how you conjure the most amazing effects with your stitches and layers.

    • Mo Crow says:

      I look at your beautiful weaving set into the front of the book and am astounded, it is the inspiration for trying to make properly even stab stitches… I want to make a pair of very fine leather fingerless gloves, the stitches will have to be perfect for the gloves to fit well and look “right”.

  4. Drawing helps me understand the world. Too true. Beautiful and inspiring images as usual thank you.

    • Mo Crow says:

      I read a line that gave me pause for thought about why we make things today in ‘Moral Disorder’ by Margaret Atwood today.
      in the story a young girl is knitting her soon to be born little sister (or brother) a layette
      “…But white was best: after it was known whether it was a boy or a girl I could add the ribbons, blue or pink. I had a vision of how the entire set would look finished – pristine, gleaming, admirable, a tribute to my own goodwill and kindness. I hadn’t yet realized it might also be a substitute for them.”

  5. jane b (epocktextiles) says:


  6. i really like this mo . you have combined the vintage and the newer elements well here to make a very fine book . oh and i love the lichens from last post , refreshed by the rain !

  7. handstories says:

    I am in love with all of the little “x”‘s…your latest posts remind me of this book “Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel”, I love how you see and reflect the spirit of things.

  8. Liz says:

    This post draws me back in … and I find the Acacia stitched down looks like the map of a neighborhood, the x’s marking treasure, the finely drawn lines like tributaries leading to a watershed beyond. Shape-shifting magic …

  9. This is just superbly striking Mo… your creativity amazes me!

    • Mo Crow says:

      thanks Sharmon there is so many possibilities with an accordion book the back is doing things too and I need to cut out some lace like pages today…
      PS oops no I won’t… the little book is drying under weights after spilling the vase of Acacia on it… it’s all in the process!

  10. jude says:

    you are luring me into book mode

  11. Carol says:

    The adventures of a little book! I hope it dries out well, be pleased it’s not red wine. Though no doubt you would make some magic out of that, too.

  12. margaret johnson says:

    Oh, I love watching your creative adventures, so beautiful Mo. ox

  13. fiona says:

    Oh my Mo, this is really something special. I am loving where the journey has travelled so far, enjoy the ongoing time with it.

  14. karmadondruplhamo says:

    the book is More than just what it appears to be?

    • Mo Crow says:

      well, every book is a journey & so far it’s just observations made with marks on paper & stitch but this week it has taken me into some wild spaces both physically & metaphorically with these bleeding fingertips!

      • Liz says:

        It’s strange, but I initially hesitated sending the square of lichen-dyed linen … at the time it looked to me like a small bit of gauze bandage with blood on it. But I loved the scent of it and let it go to you … now this. Hmmm … interesting.

  15. Finally caught up with you….This one’s potent, and the blood pages most provocative indeed. made even more so by the explanation.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Michelle, what a wild week, time to give this one a break to get into the third and final draft for ‘The Illustrated lyrics of Old Man Crow’ our friend Richard who is an editor just brought it back with lots of good suggestions, have talked to the printers and will be getting some test prints back early in the week, the gallery is confirmed for the launch in September 2016, it’s all getting very real!

  16. lots of emotions and serendipity if my spelling is correct ( mo , due to bounce back mails??? i see i lost a lot of comments here too…but i was and followed all magic here!

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Yvette, good to see you, this little book is certainly taking me for a ride into new places but the next few months will be very quiet here in It’s Crow Time to get all the fine details sorted for the crow book, it’s almost too exciting!

  17. coloremartine says:

    This is really beautiful and
    i need to start drawing again for better understanding…………….everything!

    • Mo Crow says:

      I love how no matter what sort of day it is, be it bold & wild, timid & trembling, sadly happy or madly bad there is always a mark than can be made to record it

  18. saskia says:

    amazing, beautiful, rich, exquisite

  19. Heather says:

    Oh, Mo, it is fabulous. I love how you respond to each event that happens, planned or otherwise – working intuitively at its finest.

    • Mo Crow says:

      the structure of the accordion book lends itself to exploring front to back up and down above and beneath and in between, look forward to arriving at the end of this little book & turning it over and seeing what happened on the reverse !

  20. Susan C says:

    So many wonderful things, Mo. All of it. I especially love the wispiness of your lines in the drawings.

  21. deemallon says:

    Catching up here, missed a lot! This, of course, is exquisite. I think what I love the most is the incredible contrast between the delicate, fine lines, and the bold lacy red. Bleeding seems the right response to such a contrast… I will think of this approach of incorporation next time I prick myself!

    • Mo Crow says:

      have stitched in twigs, lichen and string into the red thing and cut out some of the red as well as drawing more about lace forms found in nature… will post more about this soon!

  22. Mo – this is extraordinary – wow!

please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.