Sunday, 23 June 2013

Coconuts, Books and the Philippines.

Whilst in Manila I was invited by the British Council to give a lecture for the Ortigas Foundation Library.  I met John de Silva who showed Nadja, Enan and myself around the library and the conservation unit. A fine place it is too.

We then went to one of the lecture halls for me to give an illustrated talk about my work and stuff. I think the key words to remember here are Library and Conservation. It would be true to say that I am not thought of as a conservator. Indeed many conservators in the UK and elsewhere find some aspects of my work a little challenging.

After an hour or so of me rabbiting on, I concluded the talk with "Thank you very much, any questions ?"

There followed what can be only described as silence.

A long silence.

After what felt like an age John asked a question, the dam was burst and there then followed about 45 minutes of Q and A. I think the work I do may have not been the sort of thing that the audience had been aware of or seen on the large screen.

It was interesting.

On my return to the bleak cold, wet shores of the UK, I set about work. One thing I did notice was the amount of coconut trees growing everywhere. Working in the UK as I do, Coconut trees are not a common site. In fact they are rare. For me the coconut tree is an exotic thing. Growing around the trunk of the coconut tree is a sort of fibre matting, wonderful stuff. Full of textures and colour. Fantastic. 
This wonderful fibre.. I am sure it has a name but I cannot find it, is used for kindling, I wanted to see if I could use it on a book.

So after a bit of R and D here is the first one.

1 comment:

Taghound said...

The fibre around the coconut inside the outer covering and around the nut is called 'coir'. I suppose the fibre on the tree trunk itself is the same name.