An auction, a school visit, an otter

I have to confess to being utterly confused by the new interface with wordpress, BUT I want to auction a piece of work for a school library, so I will try my best to make this work, but if I am silent for a while afterwards it’s because there are things I would rather be doing than trying to get to grips with this. But first, a puffer fish Christmas bauble.

Last week I went into a school in Rugby. The school had been working on The Lost Words, and there was wonderful work on the windows to greet us as we arrived.

I get so many requests from schools to visit, and so many are working on The Lost Words, often using the Explorer’s Notes written by Eva John. But I can’t go to them all. I need to be home, making new work. This visit had been planned for a while.

In front of an assembly of children and teachers I talked about how the book came to be, and why, and how it was made and then using an otter spell, speaking an otter out from the brush in ink and water I painted otters. Later, as two classes watched, asking questions while I worked, I a wren on an acorn, a small dragon.  Kenilworth Books supported the event, and Tamsin had been in the school before me, working with the children. They are the most brilliant bookshop who work so hard to support authors and illustrators, independent publishers, build readers of the future. They help to find grants for schools to purchase books for school libraries and bake the best biscuits. Oh, and do other amazing things too

After school parents bought books for the children. I left the two big otters I had painted for the school library, and the wren on the acorn and the Paddox dragon, to watch over the school, but the other otter came home with me. Because the other otter has a job to do.

This otter is a different kind of library otter. And now this otter has white gold letters, and an otter spell, Robert Macfarlane’s, but written by my hand in pencil, and gilded splots, and now this otter is for auction.

To bid on this otter, who is painted with sumi ink on watercolour paper, gilded with white gold leaf and is 75 x 56 cms leave a comment on this blog post with your bid in £. The reserve on the otter is £100. I’m happy to post anywhere in the world. The money raised will be paid to Kenilworth Books where it will be held for the school library of Paddox school to draw on to buy books for the school. ( Like many bookshops Kenilworth offer a discount to schools, as well as advice on new and brilliant books and fantastic backlists by authors) It’s like a Christmas present to a whole school. The auction will close 24 hours AFTER the last bid has been placed…….. so, it may take a day, a week, a month, but probably not so long….. but it’s not like eBay where people can sneak in a last bid before it times out. The aim is to raise as much money as possible for the school. All comments have to be actioned by me. And I will try to keep an eye on the blog, and authorise comments. As auction comes to a close I will contact bidders by email. Please email me if you have any questions, or if you wish to keep your bidding anonymous, and I will add your bid for you.

If you could, please share. Help us turn ink into otter into money into books into readers. And, well, I seem to have got to grips with the new interface, so maybe an old dog can learn new tricks. Right, I’m away to read my book. And Ivy is very pleased to have me home.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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20 Responses to An auction, a school visit, an otter

  1. Tabitha adair-king says:


  2. Alison Walton says:

    Hello Jackie
    Please may I bid £150?

  3. Jenny Burton says:

    I will be pleased to kick start this auction.£100 bid placed.

  4. Jackie says:

    Highest bid so far is Tabitha’s bid of £250.
    Sorry for the confusion. I have to action the bids, otherwise my blog fills with spam.
    So, any advance on £250

  5. Kate Hurr says:

    Hi Jackie

    I’d like to bid £275 please, thanks.


  6. Matthew Scott says:

    Hi Jackie,

    I’d like to make a bid of £350 please.

  7. Ali silcock says:

    Jackie Hi,
    I’d like to make a bid of £375 please
    Many thanks

  8. Alice Silcock says:

    Jackie Hi,
    I’d like to bid £375 please .
    Many thanks

  9. William Nourse says:

    Can I bid £450 please?

  10. Nick G says:

    Hi Jackie. I already have one of your otters, I think from the Dorset schools campaign, but without words. Can I bid 550 for this one please. It’s a bargain at twice this price really!

    • Jackie says:

      Indeed. And thank you.
      So, £550 is the current price bid.
      I’m away to sleep now, so although people can add to the bidding no comments will be actioned until morning, so don’t worry if your bid doesn’t show.
      It will do tomorrow, when the sun comes up.

  11. Matthew Scott says:

    Hi Jackie – may I increase my bid to £750 please? Thank-you.

  12. Kathryn Davies says:

    Hi Jackie, I would like to bid £800 please. Such a good way to use tbe money. I have had such a lot of pleasure from books over the years. I loved illustrated books as a child. Kind regards Kathryn.

  13. Bernie Bell says:

    Not bidding – more like begging –
    Are you aware of Breadline Africa’s container libraries? A VERY GOOD THING.

    • Jackie says:

      Trouble is there’s so many ‘good things’. So many ‘asks’.

      • Bernie Bell says:

        I know – I was just hi-jacking your blog, to get it out there – not a personal request.
        You do so much – I don’t expect you to spread yourself even more thinly. In fact, I look to you resting, over the holidays.
        “Holidays? What’s them?” says Jackie.

  14. Matthew Scott says:

    Hi Jackie,

    Been busy sorting out Michele’s affairs. May I increase my bid to £1,000 please? Thank-you.

  15. Jackie says:

    I have a private bid of £1 100.
    If there are no more bids the auction will close at 1 pm today. Any advance on £1 100?

  16. Jackie says:

    This auction is now closed and the winner is a private bidder who will be most pleased, I hope, with a bid of £1 100.
    This money will buy many books for the school library at Paddox School.
    Thank you to all who have shared this and made it a success, and also to those who have sent and are sending donations to Kenilworth books to build this book fund.

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