First moving boxes delivered

Everything here is slowly gravitating towards our move, but just very slowly. I had the first boxes delivered. Previously this room hosted my office with a desk which obviously has gone to make room for the boxes.

They arrived at the beginning of this week, but I have not packed a single box so far. – That is because we still do not have a definite moving date. Just today we met with one of our builders, next week I will meet with another one. – Several teams are working at different parts of the house.

The thing amongst others that I discussed today and will discuss next week is the outhouse which is going to serve as my new studio.
I thought it would be ideal as a studio space. And was just a little bit worried about possible dampness. We thought we’d plan in a decent amount of money to spend on it, since it is quite important for me to have a good workspace. But costs are rising constantly. The current suggestion is about twice as expensive than first planned, and it does not encompass the recommended raising of the floor in combination with installing a new door that we discussed today. Phew – this is all hard stuff.

But, apart from worrying, and meeting people, there is not yet awfully much to do for the move. And I do hope to finish a first copy of 346 before the move, ideally before the school holidays (means in March), since then I’ll have two weeks of a forced break anyway, and after that I’ll probably finally have to start packing. It is still A LOT of work to be done until then. But I am really pleased at how the pages are coming along now.

346 screenshot
346 screen shot, the first three pages

As you can see, I now have lots of little fish swimming over the pages. This might seem odd, but to me it isn’t. I started drawing fish when I was in hospital, in the second half of my stay there, and have been drawing them ever since. I find fish rather creepy, I guess it is a phobia thing. (I do have real trouble walking over fish markets.) But they finally generate the feel on the pages that I am looking for.

I have been struggling to find meaning in why I have been drawing fish, but maybe that is exactly that: The kind of fear which I know is irrational, matches quite well with the feelings I had back then. Maybe it is silly to put them on these pages, because they won’t generate the same feeling for others, of course. But maybe for you the fish will mean something else, or it will always be a little bit of a puzzle why fish swim over the pages of this report. But that’s o.k., I guess. I am finally happy with how things come together, and now I just have to work through loads of pages, make drawings, clean them up, arrange them on the pages, print them, assemble them to a scroll, bind the case… Ah well, getting it done before the holidays quite surely is impossible, but I’ll hang on to that hope for a while longer.

rusty metal thing and shell
“daily” (30 done in 18 months) beach sketch by H. Kurzke, “rusty metal thing and shell”

Do you remember the “daily” beach sketch I was making at a time. Well, this project has nearly come to an end, just two pages left to fill, and I started a new sketchbook with fish. I also created an album on ipernity where I currently upload my sketches as daily as I manage to make them.

Flying Fish
daily (truely so far) fish drawing by H. Kurzke, “flying fish”

On a different matter: I have been thinking for a long time about changing my (Etsy-) Shop name and related to that really my business name and everything. Büchertiger or buechertiger is really a terrible choice in an international setting. Just changing it to book tiger (the English translation) seems like the obvious decision, but now that I will have a real studio for the first time, maybe it is the time to go for something completely different. What do you think?

4 replies on “The move is s-l-o-w-l-y progressing. Drawing fish in the meantime”

  1. I don’t envy you all the work ahead! Moving is so … !! And sorry to hear how expensive the studio will be. I empathize — my own overran its cost estimate (it’s a converted a garage). But doing it right while you have the chance now will save you money later. It would be worse to have to spend a lot later to make repairs and replace damaged supplies. But it does sound stressful.

    I think the fish are an evocative symbol in that context — floating, drowning, being submerged, losing use of your limbs, suspended animation, fish going around in circles in a claustrophobic aquarium, being like a fish in an aquarium having no privacy … babies floating in the womb… the amphibian-like nature of developing fetuses… to me it makes a lot of sense, and is a very interesting and powerful symbol there.

    I’ve always known you as Büchertiger, so it’s hard to imagine you with another name, but if you feel something else would be more appropriate…? I wish when I’d first set up my blog that I’d known I would wind up doing more books than anything else, and that I wouldn’t be keeping it anonymous. I would’ve kept everything Zebra Crossing. The Paper Chipmunk is kind of silly. But I’ve gotten so used to it by now… (I’m not sure what I’m saying there — only that naming is complicated!) I think for you, your name is so tied into your businesses… it’s definitely something to think carefully about, but I’m not sure I have any useful advice! Only if you feel you’ve outgrown it and want to go in a different direction, then maybe a rebranding is in order?

    1. Hello Ellen,

      thanks for your thoughtful comment. Indeed, formulated like that the fish do make sense. Isn’t it funny how the subconscious sometimes work and makes us do things leaving the meaning for us to discover later?

      About the name: Well, I am already moving away from Büchertiger: from to, also when I am commenting on blogs I am using my own name more and more. I chose it with the thought of teaching bookbinding classes to children, and thought “book tiger” would be cute. And now I don’t like it for the same reason. I guess it is quite similar to your problem. I like “paper chipmunk”, but I have always known you by the name. Indeed, name giving is hard. Because a name does convey something and kind of sets the scene – but it is hard to know in which direction we are developing.
      What I am now thinking about is changing my imprimt completely. Maybe to wash house studio. Or something other connected to the new location. I’ll have some time to think about it. While I crave a more mature sounding name, I am reluctant to move away from what I got. I guess I’ll see whether I can come up with a new convincing name.


  2. Just wondering if it would be possible for you to do some of the jobs for your studio yourself. In North America, shipping pallets are often discarded so it is possible to get used ones which you might employ os an under layer to raise your floor. A layer of pallets with plywood or strand/particle board nailed on top might work.

    As for the name Büchertiger, I find it quite comprehensible, but English has many similarities to German. I do like the idea of something like Wash House Press, to mark the new studio though.

    There: absolutely not helpful about the name at all!

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