Stone Four: Copy no. 18 'Headstone'
Completed July 2001


Binding • 28 x 20.1 x 1.8
Grey morocco spine, suede-side, with onlay of suedeside yellow native-dyed morocco at head. Handmade paper sides, stained with acrylic paints, and impressed title with George Mackay Brown's name and dates. The impressions follow through doublures and endpapers towards the white flyleaves of the book at front; both front and back are coloured with sponged acrylics in keeping with the surface texturing and colouring of the other surfaces of book and box. Head is gilded randomly in gold and palladium over airbrushed base colour. Silk head and tail bands complement either end.

Inner slip • 29 x 21 x 3
Outer case • 30.3 x 22 x 5.3

Constructed from laminates of millboard covered in handmade paper stained and textured with acrylics and plaka casein tempera. The inner slip profile is angled to show the emerging lettering coinciding with the 'headstone' lettering, and lined with grey velvet. The book must be drawn upwards out of the box, imitating the spirit rising.


The ancient graveyard on the Craignish Peninsula is in a beautiful setting overlooking the sea loch and hills beyond, with its sculpted stones and headstones gently settling, some weathered towards oblivion but peaceful and thought-provoking. The lichens vary on each type of stone and the mosses bed into the lettering - unlike the newer, routed granites which have little character nor signs of gentle ageing. There is a particular headstone that is delaminating, and its splitting further allows the weather in - it reminds me of a book with its layers of a life and the effects of time. My father lies in the newer graveyard nearby and his handcarved headstone, too, is gradually being garnished by nature. The birth of an idea both lives and dies in its execution, though the spirit lives on. The binding and its 'tomb' say enough: 'A name, two dates, cut deep' (from 'Flower of the Stone', Stone, 1987).


2008 © Faith Shannon. All rights reserved.