I seem to have got bound in to this thing of sealing my envelopes with sealing wax. It started because the only envelopes I had were old and the self-seal had lost its stick so I used Pritt stick and some sealing wax. I rather like the way that things like this develop. Quite often in the repetitive drawings I do, rules develop: perhaps if I make a “mistake” I will respond with an over-correction, which I then have to do each time that “mistake” happens. It all goes back to the thing I have about the wave-carved ripples on hard-sand beaches, where regular patterns develop and anomalies occur in turn spawning predictable reactions to the anomalies.
So anyway, I am now probably stuck with sealing up with sealing wax each day (except when I am away) and I started using the decorative gold wax I already had and then bought some more from the art shop in Dorchester. Neither of these had the satisfying sticky quality that the sealing wax my father used. There was always a long stick or two in the sideboard drawer (along with the little machine for cutting rug wool, the wooden darning mushroom and the little reedwork pen nib box my father brought back with him from Egypt during the war, amongst other mismatched sundries). This sealing wax had the manufacturer’s name or the brand embossed on one side. I can’t remember what is was called, though for some reason i think it may have been “Houses of Parliament”. Over the years the sticks got broken and gradually eroded at the breaks though still held together by the wick like a string of flattened red sausages. This was real “legal” sealing wax and was very different to the decorative stuff I used to date on the project. So the first one I found was this one pictured above is Waterson’s, supposedly made to a traditional recipe and unchanged for years. They are quite small sticks but they certainly have a much more satisfying stickiness to them. I am confusing myself with these sticky sticks that stick!
I posted No37 hours ago. I’ve had to renew the ink cartridges and tried to keep the same tone as before but the grey came out far too light really, a pale ghost of its former glory! The piece inside is worked up precisely from the idea I had this morning. It all went smoothly apart from a brief moment of doubt just before I completed it. It feels great when it goes like that – and it feels great when it gets a life of its own and finds its own resolution. It doesn’t feel great when it turns out to be rubbish and goes on the fire or recycle pile!