Monday, April 13, 2009

Clouds Index Card Accordion Book

Spring in New England is a wonderful time to look at the sky. While we hunger for warmth that has not yet arrived, we can take joy in the brightness of white clouds in a blue sky (except of course when it rains or snows). But of course the sky deserves our attention every day of the year. John Day, "Cloud Man", called clouds and cloudscapes the greatest free show on earth. Here's what poet David McCord said about the sky.

I used three strips cut from the side panels of a grocery bag and 12 index cards for the book. There are ten different types of clouds. I used the top card for the title and the bottom one for information about the Latin names. I colored the cards blue with the side of a crayon and cut the clouds from index cards and glued them on. The tie is a loop made from a plastic newspaper delivery bag.


The story of Luke Howard who gave the clouds the Latin classification names we use today is interspersed with Grace's monthly weather journal which is full of facts about the weather from how clouds are made to how to make a rain gauge. Lots of information presented in an engaging manner.

Beautiful paintings of clouds in the landscape by Thomas Locker accompanied by short poetic sentences. The book concludes with a visual guide to the clouds.

For Spacious Skies

In the early 80s, I listened every weekday afternoon to Music America with Ron Della Chiesa on WGBH in Boston. One of his guests was Jack Borden, who was then a local TV news reporter. He had started an organization called For Spacious Skies which grew out a TV piece he did. He stopped twenty people, shielded their eyes, and asked them what the sky looked like that day. Most people said something like "It's sunny" and no one could describe it in detail. The website has an NPR interview with Jack Borden, essays by him and teachers who have worked with For Spacious Skies, and links.
This website created by the late John Day, known as Cloud Man has a Gallery of Clouds, Mini Cloud Atlas, Ten Reasons To Look Up, and much more.

Cloud Concentration Matching Game


Joan Holub said...

Hi Susan!

What a wonderful post -- chock full of cloud information and links. I love that you're making books (and art).

Thank you for including the book my mom and I wrote about Luke Howard, The Man Who Named the Clouds.

And thanks for drawing my attention to the Spacious Skies. That's so true that many of us wouldn't be able to say what the sky looks like, even as we're standing under it. I used to live in Seattle, where gray was a good bet, but the skies in NC are ever-changing, so that would be a tougher call, without looking.

~ Joan Holub

Gigi said...

Hi, Susan!

I love your blog(s)! Your work is so inspiring, and I'll keep checking back to discover more about what you are up to. It was great meeting you at the Poetry of Home event last week. I look forward to talking more with you again!

-Gigi Thibodeau

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