Living with the Pandemic: Carole King
Carole King is a painter, printmaker and artist bookbinder. She lives in West Wales and usually paints in oils in a realistic style. As www.nantdesigns.co.uk she creates a range of sketchbooks and other books for a wide range of purposes, bound with her own handprinted papers.
Carole told us about her experiences since the lockdown started…
“Since March the things that I have noticed are that the sales of bookbinding kits and materials increased significantly – I think there was a need to fill time at home or maybe it was projects they had been meaning to get around to, or even buying presents for people on Etsy as they were unable to wander down the high street (I’m guessing of course).
“This has now quietened down.
“I have had several commissions from new clients – making special books of memorable moments for someone going onto a new job, and another one of the memoirs written by a 93-year-old and now ‘published’ in their own hardback book – these were fun to do. As well as sketchbooks and journals from previous buyers.
“I had expected to be attending three major craft festivals this year – Cheltenham, Bovey Tracey and Bath – all of which have had to be cancelled, but I will be involved in their digital replacement.
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“Waunifor suffered the same fate but it too had a digital festival, for which I made a film for beginner bookbinders (learning a new skill as well – film editing) which can now be seen here: https://youtu.be/Man4Eps8yT0
“Workshops at Studio 3 in Cardigan were of course initially cancelled but are now resuming with limited numbers and extreme spacing. It’s been quite difficult teaching a skill like this from a distance but I think I’ve got the hang of it now. Large teaching aids and taking it slowly seem to be the answer. Hopefully we can continue in the same way.
“Winners have been the vegetable garden and the greenhouse – we have been so lucky to be able to escape into our wilderness for a change of scenery.
“All in all we have probably gained time in the studio although as events and shows have been cancelled the motivation and deadlines have been removed. This inevitably makes a difference to how much work is produced. Maybe there was more space to experiment or just time to plan and evaluate.”