Whilst many of the tasks seemed complete by the time we met for the making day south, it was still a good opportunity to discuss not only some of the minor detailing, but also make a decision about the front covers.
At the previous making day we had discussed the materiality of the covers and their relevance to the project. Through discussion we returned to the walk itself and the wooden signs that are used along the Jurassic Way to indicate the route. The chance discovery of some 0.8mm plywood offcuts seemed to offer a perfect solution.
Through an ongoing exchange of ideas we became aware that the cover design needed to be kept as simple as possible – as a contrast to the postcards – and the methodology needed to be relatively uncomplicated due to time restrictions. By extending the idea of the postcard we eventually arrived at a solution to produce rubber stamps of postmarks, so that each front cover can be stamped individually.
With individual postcards constructed and the project almost complete, the first making day in the south started with a review of each others work . This provided the opportunity to view the full sequence of 36 selected individuals and their stories to represent each of the towns and villages along the Jurassic Way. We began work by drafting and then typing the introduction page and role call. Consideration was given to ordering names and identifying individuals from the north and south of the route.
Throughout the day post cards were stitched together with a colour chosen separately to represent the wooden Jurassic Way markers. Individual stamp sized portraits were stuck on postcards where we had been able to find the actual individual.
Having visited, read about, written, designed, edited and constructed each postcard over eight months we finally met in the middle by joining the north and south sections with a red stitch to represent the colour used to identify walks on Ordnance Survey maps.
Making in the north alongside P enabled me to finalise 5 images and begin to work on a further 3. The time to share ideas, discuss working practices and give and receive feedback further supported my initial ideas and gave me confidence to continue. A practice of cutting and sticking has emerged! Making use of the photocopier I have explored its potential and utilised the advanced settings to knock back or heighten colour, enlarge and re-enlarge to distort found images, and print different surfaces including thin washes of paint and fabric. Access to a printer and photocopier alongside printing and painting materials has proved essential in the later stages of the making process and very much supported the idea of making the multiples required for this project.
Having made each picture postcard separately, I began to view them sequentially prior to the final making day. This resulted in the addition of collage though self adhesive papers, letter stamps and selected colours in paint and pen for further detail.
The return trip from a making day in the North provided the opportunity to re-visit the last villages on my section of the Jurassic Way to search out possible starting points for the final stories.
The first visit to Welford with P some months before had led to The Wharf Inn and a notice board listing local walks. Having read about The Welford Arm of the Grand Union Canal I was interested to find a story to represent this. The notice boards and village website provided information about boatmen, business men and their lives. I was drawn to the story of Mary Gilbert who ran the Inn and continued to expand the business her husband began after his death.
In Elkington I found the village notice board but little else! Surrounded by fields and sheep only one or two farm buildings seemed to make up this tiny settlement. After taking the photographs, I discovered farmers listed in Kelly’s directories and eventually happened upon a report examining large scale sheep grazing in the sixteenth century. Apparently many flocks were pastured on deserted village sites such as Elkington and an individual called Sir John Spencer emerged as the most renowned at this time!
The tiny village of Winwick on the other hand was home to a church on a hill, a hall and a manor. The village website and additional local history sites provided a wealth of information about owners of the manor, rectors and their families. I became drawn to the story about Juliana Poole who started the Winwick Orphanage for boys in 1877. Further detail about the orphanage, the school master and Juliana was found through online census listings.