The authors met the publishing team at Bloomsbury yesterday, including editorial, design, marketing, publicity and sales.
Discussing artwork for The New Sylva in the Board Room at Bloomsbury. Right to left: Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet (authors), Alice Shortland (Marketing), Inez Munsch (Sales), Pete Dawson (Design), Natalie Hunt (Editorial), Madeleine Feeney (Publicity), and Diana Kojik (Special Publications).
This was the first occasion that the authors had met the whole team. It was a milestone in the book’s development as it signified that from now on all of us will be working very closely to turn what has been a book project into a published book
We are working to a timetable dictated by the publication date of April 2014. Gabriel is working currently on the manuscript with the Copy Editor, with a deadline of the end of June. From July the text will be ready to be used to create the first graphically designed layout of the whole book. Meanwhile the drawings will continue to be worked on; Sarah has a deadline of October to complete the last of the drawings. The book will be sent to the printers in November. Planning for sales and marketing is now underway, and we hope to be able to say more soon about some exciting ideas for activities planned during 2014.
Sarah Simblet talking about her drawing of a hazel coppice stool to the Publishing Team
Sarah Simblet talking about her drawing of giant redwood trees to the Publishing Team
Pollarded willows at Wootton by Sarah Simblet
Photograph (low quality) of a completed drawing by Sarah Simblet for The New Sylva:
Pollarded willows at Wootton
Field oak (Quercus robur) and rooks by Sarah Simblet
Photograph (low quality) of a completed drawing by Sarah Simblet for The New Sylva: Field Oak (Quercus robur) and rooks.
We wrote recently about a visit to a forest in Wales to make one of the last treescape drawings for The New Sylva (read more). While we were on location Gabriel Hemery set up a camera and during the course of six hours took 600 photographs of Sarah Simblet at work with a view to making a short time lapse film.
We wanted the film to provide our followers with an insight into at least one of the wonderful locations that we’ve been privileged to work in during the course of this book project. The film shows Sarah setting up the drawing and developing its composition before starting to fill in the detail using pencil. You will hear Sarah’s busy pencil strokes with the river babbling in the background. During the two minute film it takes a while for the drawing to appear on the page but eventually patience is rewarded. Look out for a brief cameo role by Gabriel at the end of the film.
As usual Sarah will work more on the drawing back at her studio before completing it using pen and ink. The drawing is of a stand of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) and will feature in the final chapter of The New Sylva.
There remain many botanical parts of trees to be drawn and a few whole trees to be depicted by Sarah Simblet, yet a forest visited this week by the authors will be one of the last whole treescapes to feature in The New Sylva.
The authors visited Brechfa Forest Gardens near Abergorlech in Carmarthenshire. During the 1950s and 60s some 90 different potentially productive forest tree species were planted there by the Forestry Commission to study how they would survive and grow, and whether they would be productive. Whilst some have failed completely, others are thriving in the moist atmosphere of this sheltered Welsh valley.
The study visit was made as part of our research for the final chapter of The New Sylva, which is looking to the future. We were particularly interested in a stand of sugi or Japanese red cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and were delighted to find it not only thriving and in good health, but growing in a beautiful part of the valley near to the babbling River Gorlech.
Sarah Simblet at work on a drawing for The New Sylva at Brechfa Forest Gardens
Sarah found a comfortable seat on a riverside rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) opposite the stand of futuristic sugi which towered above at 27m tall.
We are very grateful to local arboriculturist David Rice for his support, and to Forestry Commission Wales (now Natural Resources Wales).