Posted on Leave a comment

Nightjar Tea Towel/Wall Hanging

I’ve created a screen printed tea towel, using my Nightjar illustration as it’s one of my favourites.  I’m pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s 100% natural, unbleached cotton and makes a lovely addition to the kitchen.

Nightjar tea towel

Tea towels like this are quite ink heavy on the printed side, making that side less absorbant than the unprinted side.

Researching tea towels I discovered that they were originally used to keep tea pots warm in the 18th century, hence the name ‘tea’ towel. Tea towels are made of either linen or cotton, whereas dish cloths are traditionally made of terry cloth, which is a woven cloth with protruding loops that can absorb a lot of water.

Nightjar tea towel

Later on, by the 19th century, tea towels became more decorative, especially with embroidery, and were often given as gifts by ladies to ladies. In the early 20th century some people called tea towels glass towels, using them to dry and polish glass.

Nightjar tea towels

Tea towels can be used in all sorts of ways – for drying dishes, as a decorative wall hanging, a tray cover, bread cover, cheese wrap, place mat or napkin – whatever you like.

Nightjar Tea Towel is available in my website shop here. Other products with this nightjar image include a greetings card and notebook.

  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (3)
Posted on 4 Comments

New Forest Book

Working in the sunlight
Working in the sunlight

I woke before dawn to see a crescent moon high in the southern sky. Now it’s a beautiful bright cold day with frost on the lawn and on the rooftops. I am longing to get out into the woods, but the car is broken, I’ve put my back out and we’re in lockdown. I’ll have to wait. Instead I’ve found a patch of sunlight to work on my new ‘forest’ book.

This book is about the forest at night. It’ll be titled Forest or Night Forest and will be mostly made up of illustrations with minimal text. It’ll be similar to a zine, but I like to think it’ll be more than a zine – I’m printing it on good quality, 160gsm paper.

So far I’ve drawn three two-page spreads of nocturnal forest scenes. One is of a nightjar flying at the edge of a forest on an early summer evening:

Nightjar in pen and ink
Nightjar scene in my new forest book. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Nightjars are such special birds, I have a bit of a thing about them.

The other two-page spread is of a family of badgers in a forest glade. The full moon has risen higher, it’s bold and bright in a dark, starlit sky:

Badger scene
A badger family scene in my new forest book. Click on the image for a larger version.

I intend to make limited edition prints of these illustrations on white, linen paper. I’m hoping the printers I use are able to take on print jobs during this lockdown. Meanwhile, I’ll plan the other pages in the book. These will feature owls, deer, woodmice, moths and possibly bats.

I have a bit of a thing about forests. I guess I’m a nemophilist – from the Greek nemos, which means grove, and philos, which means affection. That also means I’m a dendrophile, a lover of trees. And then I’m also a bit of a nyctophile, someone who loves night and darkness. Interesting, but right now I love sunshine and am looking forward to the light and warmth of spring.

Flatropers Wood
Flatropers Wood, East Sussex – a bit of a favourite.

Note: A4 digital prints of both of these illustrations are now available in my Reflections shop and Etsy shop.

  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)