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4

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selvedge.org

Bias

Contributors

I am one of the possibly rare peoplewho actually enjoyed

wearing the 1970 print dresses my mother chose for my

sister and I. Easter Sunday was particularly special – we

would put away our winter woollies in favour of white knee high socks and sorbet

coloured cardigans; although it was never quite warm enough in my opinion. The

relationship between spring and floral prints is indisputable. This issue we bring you the

summer frocks of Dries Van Noten, pg 48who understands the link better than most and

brings a riot of pattern to enliven your wardrobe.

Pattern takes us neatly to the topic of paper. Jocelyn Warner, pg 30explores the links

between the two over the last 100 years, from the earliest single sheet wallpapers to the

wall stickers of Rachel Kelly. While Christine Woods, pg 28Curator of Wallpaper at the

Whitworth Art Gallery looks at the cut and paste decorations of the 1920s and 30s.

The stunning paper structures of artist Tara Donovan, pg 20and the subtle shifu

paper cloth woven by Hiroko Karuno, pg 24show another side of this versatile material.

As does Julie Arkell’s house, pg 41where she surrounds herself with her paper mââchéé

creations. Her ‘little people’ bring us to this issue’s ‘alternative’ theme; dolls and thetwo

intersect neatly with paper dolls and the delightful escapism of Betsy McCall, pg 78.

Dolls are a personal subject; around the world children invest their earliest emotions

in treasured toys.My doll Pebbles was a brunette in a pink crocheted dress. She smelt

of sugared almonds but despite loving her I still cut her hair to stubble and 'injected’ her

with a knitting needle during a stay in ‘hospital’. Now when I play dolls’ house with my

daughter I find the miniature world fascinating and repellant in equal measure.Our doll

section, pg 65 gathers together the cute, the curious and the occasionally creepy.

On a more practical note Selvedge has updated its website to include an index of

our back issues, our affiliates page is finally live and we are now able to offer continuous

subscriptions and online institutional subscriptions. This issue we also have some

beautiful additions to our object range; they would make the perfect Easter treat...

Polly Leonard, Editor

We asked our contributors for their memories of a special toy...

GRAHAM HOLLICK pg 34

My favourite toy was a go-kart that

my grandad made for me. It had

an upholstered seat, a steering

wheel from an old sports car, the

body work was moulded plywood,

painted red and it had American

number plates. It was the envy of

our neighbourhood until it mysteri

ously disappeared from our front

drive never to be seen again...

CLAIRE RICHARDSON pg 41

STEPHEN SZCZEPANEK pg 24

Royal de Luxe’s giant marionette

of a young girl has to be my most

memorable doll to date. Operated

by dozens of puppeteers, her

performance in London with her

friend, the three-storey high

mechanised Sultan’s Elephant,

will remain one of the most

magical and inspirational pieces

of street theatre I’ve ever seen.

Since childhood I have been

fascinated by the American

Indian. My favorite toy was “Chief

Cherokee”, an articulated, plastic

Indian doll, replete with molded

buckskin suit and an arsenal of

plastic accoutrements, including

a war club and long, feathered

bonnet. I still have him, in the

original, tattered box... Rebecca Machin

Correspondence

5

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For as long as I can remember my grandmother has been writing a book... about her grandmother, Dollie Radford, who wrote books. I have sat mesmerised by tales of my great great grandparents meeting in the reading room of the British Museum and their movement on the fringes of the Bloomsbury group. I would delight in the names that wove their way into conversation and through her stories she instilled in me an appreciation of not only the written word, but the way it is presented. To me it seems that theirs was an 'age of the artist' and the books on my grandmother's shelves are among the treasures of that era. The craftsmanship – cloth binding, gilt lettering and engraved illustrations – add weight to the writing before you have read a single word. Names such as The Bodley Head, John Lane, T.Fisher Unwin and David Nutt appear regularly as publishers. I am curious to know who the modern day equivalent of these art house publishers are and where one would go to find privately published books? Rebecca Machin

ED. Your great great grandmother, Dollie Radford was a poet and part of the vibrant political life of fin-de-sièècle London. Her circle included some of the most celebrated names in turn-of-the-century literature: William Morris, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, W. B. Yeats and D. H. Lawrence. Private presses flourished at this time, an occurence often traced to the founding of William Morris' Kelmscott Press in 1891. Elkin Mathews was another key figure while his company name The Bodley Head still exists as an imprint of Random House. After a decline in the 1930s and 40s private presses experienced a resurgence in the 50s and today they are described as one of the “best kept secrets of art and craft.” The Fine Press Book Association is ten years old and has a worldwide membership. The Fleece Press, Incline Press and The Alembic Press are a few examples of companies who continue to produce books that are themselves works of art and skill. www.fpba.com

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