StoryMag cover

This image, made by me long ago as a paper-engineered Christmas card, was picked up at Pinterest and thereafter requested for the cover for a magazine published in the US. I received a PDF of the cover today. Magazine due out shortly.

It’s fascinating how images travel around the globe these days. In 1989, when this card was made, I was working as the relief custodian at Tretower Court and Castle. My ‘office’ was a temporary wooden hut erected in the courtyard of the monument. In the summers I cooked and in the winters I all but froze. But I liked the winters particularly, because cold notwithstanding, my time was my own as there were few visitors once I’d done my duties. As a consequence I spent some of the long hours making my Christmas cards.

The Punch Booth card began as a series of pen and ink drawings that I then photocopied in multiple onto thin cards. Then I hand-coloured each set, cut them up and assembled them. I can’t pretend they were quickly made, but I enjoyed the process.


18 thoughts on “Storytelling

  1. Excited to be sharing some of your work with my year 4 class tomorrow Clive. We are studying Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Morpurgo and Armitage versions) and the Green Knight is about to appear. The children are going to produce portraits of him using a range of techniques.

    Since setting up a puppet theatre in class the children have really embraced this way of story telling (much to my surprise as their world is very much minecraft, football and Justin Bieber) and we plan to design our own sets, also inspired by your work.

    Been studying your work for the past few months and just wanted to share!

    Diana Waller

    • Diana, what a delightful message to receive. Thank you. What a lovely project for your class. I’s love to see what they make of the Green Knight, and how the poem might transfer to a puppet theatre. I’m seriously thinking of making a puppet theatre for my forthcoming Sir Gawain and the Green Knight exhibition, opening in September in Cardiff.

      If you were to have some images of what your class produces, I’d love it if you would consider sharing them with me. If you go to THIS link, you can e-mail me from it.

    • The bottom shot is of the card when closed, and the top is a close-up of it open, when a version of the stage with open curtains pops into 3-D, with Mr Punch and his truncheon standing outside a coffee shop. What you don’t see here, is that at the bottom of the open version, a little terrier in a ruff is excitedly racing around the corner of the booth.

  2. Oh the Singing Cricket and I was back there…taking a break from an assignment(that should have been given in last week, hey ho) thought I’d give myself a treat and…Awash with memories all crowding in of Tretower and your hut and the Celtic brooches, which I still have and wear, bought for me by my nearest and dearest.

    The swifts, looping in the air, the formal, neat gardens and the country all around and being a LOT younger. Ah well, when times remembered are sweet even if tinged with wry smiles…not so bad.
    Love as ever and always
    B xxx

  3. I am a fan of printed ephemera, so I love seeing examples of artist Christmas cards. How lucky Liz and Anita are to have one of these beautiful cards in their collections and I’m not at all surprised that Liz has treasured her Punch & Judy booth for 27 years!!

  4. Even though it’s always been freezing when I’ve been, I love Tretower and I’m sure it has a special magical energy, just thinking about it makes me tingle, so I’m not surprised to see your cards popping up years later, perhaps you worked a little of that magic into them 🙂

  5. I remember these wonderful Christmas cards, I still have mine, they were such fun to receive and play with! That’s fantastic that this one is to be resurrected, now everyone’s going to want a magazine, it’ll be a sellout! Hope you are both well, lots of love XxL

    • Ahhh, I’m so pleased you have it still. Recently Anita Mills wrote to say she has hers, and messaged a pic of it on the wall. She had hers long after the date the card was originally sent, but she has a while to catch up on you having kept yours for twenty-seven years! Well done!

      It’s nice to know that at least some of those little bits of ephemera survived. I recall going to visit my uncle, a week after Christmas 1989. I asked him if he’d liked his card from me. He looked a bit blank. So I said ‘The Punch and Judy booth!! Where is it?’ ‘Ahhhhh…’ he replied…. ‘I threw all the Christmas cards out last week. Couldn’t bear them cluttering the place up.’


      Sending love to you and G xxxxx

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