Can You judge a Book by the Cover?

Shropshire Woodcarving group has regularly set up a carving project to involve as many members as possible, much as other groups do. Previous projects included scenes of Shropshire and a panel for each Olympic venue.

The problem this Spring was what next? What would inspire 35 members of different ages and interests? What could be set that would appeal across the board, that each individual could work on in their own time and space, that would allow freedom for each carver's imagination and yet be connected?

The answer was book covers.

Each participant was given a book size block of lime, routed to give an edge to the cover and pages. Any book could be chosen. Any scene to suit ability and interest could be used. Can't do faces? Step forward 'The Invisible Man'; like horses? then 'Black Beauty' rears up. To make things more interesting and involve visitors to our exhibitions, no words could appear on the covers so that people could try to identify each book. This has worked really well and often involved parents and children working together to identify the stories and even discussing some of the books.

Ultimately some of the books may be auctioned to help raise funds for the local library which will soon have the 'books' on display once they have completed their tour of local shows.

The books chosen ranged from 'Animal Farm' to 'The Stories of Sherlock Holmes', from 'Pinocchio' and 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' to 'Judge Dredd' and 'The Cat in a Hat'. This exercise appears to have motivated and caught the imagination of the group. Trouble is, what next? Any suggestions out there would be welcome. What has your region undertaken that worked?

Dave Taplin.

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