Caitlin Akers

Od Arts Festival 

photo credits Katy Docking

Twisting Heads, Publication and Workshops, May 2023

In May 2023 I was commissioned to create a publication and to deliver a series of bookbinding workshops for Dawes Twineworks, the UK’s only surviving Victorian twineworks, for Od Arts Festival in East and West Coker in Somerset. 

Spooling, twisting, braiding, twine walk, rope walk, twisting heads, fast and loose – the process and machinery used in traditional twine making has a unique language that evokes movement. Taking this as a starting point my bookbinding workshops provided an opportunity to learn and enjoy slow and productive movement, and to reflect on the industrial history of the twineworks whilst making. We used original twine from Dawes to create a series of handcrafted books. 

The publication, entitled ‘Twisting Heads’ invites readers to follow a series of simple exercises in movement, twisting and twine walking. I designed, printed and bound the book myself and it was made by printing with original twine from Dawes - these prints were adapted into the pages of the book then risograph printed in brown and gold on hemp paper as a nod to the traditional materials used in twine making. The book was a limited edition of 500.