An acorn book

Asemic writing in nature can be read in almost any natural phenomenon. Asemic writing can be read in a strike of lightning, in the cracks of sun-baked mud and in the clusters and lines of moving ants. Patterns in tree bark, winds howling through bare branches, the lining of a magpie’s nest can all be read for asemic writing and, often, a story or narrative emerges from the writing.

The Acorn book emerged from the idea of natural narratives and the already written. When closed, the acorn carpule (the book’s hat) sits in place over the pericarp (fruit wall). The pages are one section of sewn, hand-cut cold-pressed water colour paper. There is one set of end-papers which are visible under the additional strip of mull that was added for spine strength. Casing in would have been more tidy with an additional pair of end papers.

 

Acorn

Ladybird, lady beetle, lady bug

As children, we learnt that to find a ladybird in the garden meant you’d found pure luck. Ladybirds were a good omen and would bear any wish we bestowed upon them. In France, if a ladybird lands on you, when she leaves she will take with her any ailment you were experiencing. In Switzerland it is the ladybird who brings babies, not a stork.

The ladybird family name coccinellids is derived from the Latin word for scarlet which is also where we get the word cochineal. These days, when we say cochineal we’re usually talking about a colour but it used to refer to deeply crimson dye made from the dried bodies of a species of insect.

The dome shape of the ladybird’s body perfectly echoes the aesthetics and shape of a regular shirt button. These buttons, designed and hand-embroidered by Dianne, are only 8mm in diameter. They are six little circles of happiness and good luck. We’re hoping to sell them in sets at a market stall in March.

We’d love to hear your ladybird stories. Do you have a cultural story about the meaning or special powers of the ladybird? Comment below, or email us.

 

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