Shelley’s Cloud

March 30, 2010

At the moment I’m working on a group of artist’s books called One Elephant books, made from one sheet of handmade paper, rather than constructed with several individual sheets. One of the first is called Shelley’s Cloud.

I’ll show it to you page by page (6 pages), and then talk a bit about the making process:

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to choose this text to work on in the week before Easter – we’ve already had the showers and rain, and the rest seems inevitable. Shelley’s poem The Cloud is also the source of my cover image text:

I am the daughter of Earth and Water

The book is made from one sheet of paper (one elephant – 56cm x 76cm) painted with acrylics and watercolours, lettered with inks, then torn and folded into 12 pages about 19cm x 19cm. The images can’t reproduce the pleasure of unfolding and turning the book as you read it, following the spiralling line of the text.

One of the things that excites me so much about this form is the unchallenged entity of the material; I always like to use whole sheets of paper or tiles or fragments torn from a whole and reconstituted, without any extra material added, nor anything taken away. I also like the way that the spiralling /cyclic line becomes a linear sequence, with the unstated interconnections of the pages, when translated from the original one sheet to the book format.

This is one of the first three One Elephant books I’ve just made; the others are called Van Gogh’s Clouds and Waters, and I’ll be adding them to the Bookworks page soon. There are six more books to come in this series, which I’ll add to the page as they’re done. I will be showing some in my next exhibition, and some will be for sale.

To buy or enquire about any work, please leave me a note in the comments box below, or click on contact details.

All photos copyright Liz Mathews.

Permission is needed for any use of images from this blog.

4 Responses to “Shelley’s Cloud”


  1. […] what a drastic effect my One Elephant book Shelley’s Cloud had on the weather the weekend I made it in March, and the equally inevitable result of the […]


  2. […] are lots more One Elephant books in Bookworks, and in previous Work in focus posts (Shelley’s Cloud,  Bank Holiday weekend clouds) – and there will be more to come soon. For information on any […]


  3. […] time, so it’s been a good summer for them since I made the first ones in early Spring (see Shelley’s Cloud and the Bookworks page). Later in October I’ll be showing you the largest (so far) – a […]


  4. […] under, And then again I dissolve it in rain,          And laugh as I pass in thunder. https://daughtersofearth.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/shelleys-cloud/ […]


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