Let me tell you something, about otters and money, books and banks.
Wonderful news today as Jane Beaton’s crowd funding initiative gets an extra couple of weeks to raise it’s target. And because in the process of this learning curve Penguin Books came on board in a massive way that target has been massively reduced. Half way there. Hoping to push through to funding to see a copy of The Lost Words brought to every school in Scotland.
To celebrate I want to auction this absolutely unique proof of the silk otter scarf, produced by Beckford Silk for Compton Verney. (It’s printed on paper, not silk. There may still be scarves for sale at Compton Verney. You could wrap yourself in otters.)
Anyway, this is a big piece of work that repeats three times the double page spread of tumbling otters from The Lost Words.
The image is 33 cms high, so you can imagine how long it is. Colours are not true to the original, but it’s a curious and unusual thing. If the price gets high enough I will doodle a pencil otter or two in, and of course, sign it. It would look wonderful framed, although it is big.
To bid, please place a comment on this posting. I will close the auction on 5th Feb, not sure what time. Sorry if the process is a bit ramshackled. I have to action the comments, so it takes time, and I’ve so much t do at the moment. Bids should be in £ sterling, but I am happy to post anywhere in this world and you can donate from overseas. You just have to do that before 8th Feb.
If you win the auction I will ask you to donate the money directly to Jane’s amazing initiative to place a copy of The Lost Words in every primary school in Scotland.
And if the bidding is outside your range then have a look at this way to contribute. For £32 you could get a small piece of gold.
Here are some more images of the piece.
Now, the initiative is for schools in Scotland, but there are some who would like to roll this out into the whole country. In Scotland, by coincidence, there are otters on the ten pound note. Two otters curling in play. I tried to find the name of the artist who drew the otters and found a whole back story about what is the most beautiful bank note I have seen. So many artists and crafts people worked on these notes, under the leadership of The Nile Team. Such attention to detail, even the tweed pattern is called the Dog Otter Tooth. Wild money. Why not use it to rewild the language of children.
And the Scottish note has poetry and hidden lost words that are only visible under uv light. The first lines are clear,
The cork that can’t be travels –
Nose of a dog otter.
The second two become visible only under uv light.
It’s piped at, screamed at, sworn at
By an elegant oystercatcher.
Poetry against forgery.
So please, bid generously. Leave your bid in the comments below, but be sure to read first. All bids have to be actioned by me, so sometimes there are cross overs.
Otters are amongst my favourite animals, and both Robert and I were delighted to find ourselves on the shortlist for the Nations favourite Nature Book. I was especially pleased to be there alongside Tarka.
Please share. And do have a look at the links to the otter’s story on the notes. It’s fascinating.
Bidding starts at £100.