Chatting with Darwin: The Galapagos Connection


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I’ve been doing some work on Charles Darwin for my uni course – so far this is the only thing I’ve completed. The cyanotype process was used for covers and pages (about 60 of them). The pages are made from teabags and I tried to get the pages the natural teabag colour towards the spine, and cyanotype blue at the front. I also found out that Coptic binding teabags was not the most sensible way to learn to Coptic bind! It was very fiddly. However I was also very lucky and completed the Coptic binding with only 20 cms of waxed thread over – after an absolute guess on how much I might need.

Both Darwin and I had sailed to the Galapagos as part of a circumnavigation – Darwin around 1835 and me in 2003. Sir John Herschel was a friend and mentor to Darwin – so I thought it apt to use his process. I was also fascinated by the fact that such a great man as Darwin would forget to label his bird specimens with their island of origin – so I have given him a collection of labels to mark this oversight.